Ben Segalla, 85
Born June 17, 1929 in Morton Grove, Illinois to Serafino and Erimina (nee Sola) Segalla, Ben passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Crystal Lake at the age of 85.
Growing up in relative poverty, he began working at Northwestern Stables in his hometown for the wage of fifty-cents a day at the age of twelve beginning as a groom. Young Ben quickly became a proficient horseman, Showmen, and his disposition made him an excellent trainer and coach. He worked for Charlie Houston and Doc Flannery where he gained even more experience; the pair quickly developed a large business centered around American Saddlebred horse-training and riding lessons.
In 1957, largely from Dolly’s influence, Ben opened his own stable in Half Day, Illinois known as Ben Segalla’s Country View Stables. At Country View, he trained five gated, three gaited, fine harness, pleasures, road horses, and stood several studs and mares. Ben had three Pleasures Horse, Rooster Butterfly, Palm Gray, and Wild Honey that were “World and National Champions.” Just to name a few of his Champion wins, Ben won all the classes offered at the Milwaukee Spring Horse Shows. Ben served as the First Treasurer and Secretary, was one of the Founding Fathers of the United Professional Horseman’s Association (many a meeting was held at Ben’s home in Half Day) and he was an American Saddles Horse Association Judge. Over thirty years, he trained and/or showed fifteen World Champions, two National Champions and over a dozen champion show horses. Ben was a contemporary of trainers Tom Moore and Dick Durant.
In 2011 Ben was inductive into the American Saddlebred Horse Hall of Fame and the UPHA Tom Moore Hall of Fame.
Ben is survived by his daughters, Yvonne Segalla-Cousins, Tina Segalla-Wagner, and Benita Segalla-Hutton; his grandchildren, James Benjamin Cousins, Kenneth Robert Wagner II, Benjamin Segalla Wagner and Sean Hutton; and his great-grandchildren, Vironica Elisabeth Wagner, and Ainsley and Emma Cousins; and former wife, Dolly Vole.
To express online condolences please visit www.davenportfamily.com.