AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - Cot Campbell is described as one of the most well-known and respected people in the racing industry. He moved to Aiken with his wife, Anne, in 1987, and coworkers describe a love affair between the couple and their new home. He passed away on Saturday, Oct. 27 at the age of 91, but people say the impact Campbell left in this community will continue to reach for years to come.
Jack Sadler, Vice President of Dogwood Stable, said, “He was a real people person, and that’s what he got the most enjoyment out of was talking to people about the industry.” Although horse racing had been in Aiken for many years before Campbell and his wife arrived, their presence brought the community something new. Sadler said, “Cot and Anne were probably the first ones, as the owners, to live here in Aiken year around. I think that’s what helped bring the community closer together.” The Campbell’s enjoyed being part of the community, and they were proud to make Aiken their home. Sadler said, “He always made it a point to talk about Aiken, South Carolina, and how much he appreciated the city and the people that live here.”
Sadler worked with Campbell for over 40 years. He said working with thoroughbred racing was never really a job. “It becomes a way of life for you, and that’s what it was for him too.” Campbell retired back in 2011, but Sadler said he never stopped coming to work. He said, “He came into the office every day, and actually, he was here last week in the office.”
Campbell was honored with the two most prestigious awards in the thoroughbred racing world: the Eclipse Award, and being inducted in the National Racing Hall of Fame in the Pillars of the Turf. He was inducted back in August. Sadler said that when he found out, he was “over the moon" and that it was “one of the greatest thrills of his life.” Even with the status he has in the racing community, Sadler said that Campbell is a lot more than that. “It wasn’t just horse racing. Cot Campbell as an individual was always helpful to people in any way he could be, and that’s his legacy."