INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 6, 2012)—Pete Pedersen, who served as a steward for the California Horse Racing Board for 50 years, died Sunday due to complications from a recent fall at his Arcadia home. He was 92.
A winner of an Eclipse Award of Merit in 2002, Pedersen was the fifth recipient of the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award in 2008. Given to an individual who has served the sport with integrity, extraordinary dedication, determination and distinction, the Award is presented annually by Pincay during the Hollywood Gold Cup program.
“He was always very fair,’’ said Pincay of Pedersen at the time of the presentation. “What I liked about him was how he always very respectful. Some stewards like to show their authority and power. He was always very kind. He let you know in a nice way what he thought.’’
Pedersen, who retired at the conclusion of the 2005 Spring/Summer meet at Hollywood Park, worked at nearly every track on the West Coast, beginning with the now-defunct Longacres in Renton, Washington.
Born July 4, 1920 in Seattle and educated at the University of Washington, Pedersen served in the Navy Air Corps during World War II before working in various capacities in the racing industry.
A publicity director at one time, Pedersen also wrote for several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times.
“I miss it,’’ he said in 2008 regarding his time as a steward. “You don’t spend all you life in something and not miss it. One thing about it – you always have interesting things coming up.
“You don’t flaunt your authority. You put yourself in the other person’s shoes. You accept that people make careless mistakes.’’
Pedersen is survived by his longtime partner Marlene Crain and two sons – Craig and Michael – from a previous marriage. Services will be private.
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