LeJeune had a 40-plus-year career as a jockey, trainer, and bloodstock agent.
Longtime horseman Ken LeJeune, 60, died at home Dec. 4 after a brief illness, according to his wife, Carey. Throughout LeJeune’s 40-plus-year career as a jockey, trainer, and bloodstock agent, his family said he never lost his enthusiasm as a fan of horse racing.
“He quietly went about his business—no advertisements, no parties, rarely a mention in the trade papers. That wasn’t his thing,” Carey LeJeune said. “His involvement in horse racing reached far and wide. There are not too many people I can think of in the business who have not asked him to train, examine, fix, buy, sell, evaluate, or shelter a horse. He loved every minute of it. It was his life’s blood.”
Ken and Carey LeJeune met at Delta Downs in the winter of 1980. He was scraping by riding Thoroughbreds until the Quarter Horse meet started in the spring. They lived in a tack room and were married four months later. LeJeune even rode a match race the day of their wedding. After Ken spent years moving from racetrack to racetrack as a rider, the couple eventually moved to Ocala, Fla., with $65 and a tank of gas, recalled Carey LeJeune. Ken LeJeune started breaking Thoroughbreds for various farms, getting his first job with the legendary Fred Hooper. LeJeune became the rider of eventual champion sprinter Precisionist.