Bill was born and raised in Lafayette, LA, the heart of Cajun country. He is married to Kathy and they have one daughter, Ashley, 34. Bill gained interest in horse racing from his father who was a veterinarian. Dr. Hornsby retired from private practice at age 57. About that time Evangeline Downs Race Track opened in Lafayette and Dr. Hornsby was asked to be one of the track vets. Soon after he agreed and became the state vet at EVD. Bill began attending the races and fell in love with the horses and the thrills of racing.
Bill and Kathy bought their first race horse in 1981. Their trainer, Gerald Romero (brother of Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero) called and said “I have one to claim but he is a bit more than you wanted to spend. He is $17,500, not $12,500. And, oh, he is blind in one eye!" His name was Fontana’s Hangover. He did okay for us and that got us started. We have never any great horses except the ones we own now, of course! But we’ve had the typical thrills and disappointments that horse ownership brings. We now have one broodmare who has had two foals and is currently in foal again.
Bill has been with Northwestern Mutual since 1968, his graduation year from The University of Louisiana, Lafayette. In 1978 he moved to New Orleans with the Company. From 1981 to 2007 Bill was the Managing Partner of Northwestern Mutual in LA. In 2007 he stepped down from the management position but continues with Northwestern Mutual today as a Financial Advisor. He likes to use the word “graduated” instead of “retired.” He still goes to the office every day but admits he is “at the office” but not necessarily “working.”
Questions & Answers with Bill Hornsby:
Childhood Hero? Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry
Favorite food? Chicken & Sausage Gumbo or Shrimp and Crab Stew
Favorite restaurant? Gallatoire's and the Hornsby's
Three dinner guests? Dwight Yokum, Elton John, Jeff Dunham
Favorite cocktail? Budweiser (no longer served at Saratoga) and Chardonnay
Favorite ice cream? Vanilla and Mango
Favorite movie? Dirty Dancing
Favorite actors? Sean Connery, Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew McConaughey
If a Movie was made about you, what would be the name of the movie and which actor would play you?
Ces't Bon Vie. I'd play myself
Favorite TV show? The Voice
Favorite book genre? Mystery
Last book read? 13 by James Patterson
Favorite music? Just about anything except rap and hip-hop. Last concert was Gary Allan. Best concert was Elton John at Caesar’s Palace. But Celine Dion ranks right up there too.
Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere on the Almalfi Coast
Last vacation? Our condo in Crested Butte, CO
Where would you want to go but haven't been? Turks & Caicos
What car do you drive? Tahoe
Perfect day? Begins with breakfast on the terrace of La Minerva Hotel on Capri. Lunch at La Capannina followed by spoiling my wife and best friend, Kathy, with some high end shopping followed by champagne for Kathy and chardonnay for me. And who knows what after dark.
Ambition? To make a difference!
Indulgence? Buying Kathy shoes and purses
Hobbies? Horses, golf, and casinos
First job? Northwestern Mutual Fantasy Job: Northwestern Mutual
One thing you CAN'T live without? Good French Bread
One thing you CAN live without? A Divorce
The last thing you bought? French Bread
And the best thing you ever bought, borrowed or stole? Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and lots of it
Favorite Sport's Team?New Orleans Saints
Favorite athlete outside racing? Drew Brees
Proudest moment? Witnessing our daughter walk across stage to get her college degree
One word to describe your life? Blessed
First horse purchased?
In 1981, our trainer, Gerald Romero (brother of Hall of Fame jockey Randy Romero) called and said “I have one to claim but he is a bit more than you wanted to spend. He is $17,500, not $12,500. And, oh, he is blind in one eye!" His name was Fontana’s Hangover. He did okay for us and that got us started.
What aspect of racing appeals to you the most? The grace with which the thoroughbreds glide and the multiple skills exhibited by jockeys
Best horse race you ever saw? Zenyatta at the Breeders Cup. Unfortunately it was the only race in which she was defeated.
Best horse of all time? Man O' War
Favorite racetrack? Saratoga Racecourse
Favorite racetrack story? Years ago at the New Orleans Fair Grounds (3rd oldest track in the country) on Christmas Eve a horse named Santa Clause was entered. In the paddock he wore a red elf's hat. As they entered the long stretch, Santa Clause began to move. The race announcer began his call with "Here Comes Santa Clause, Here Comes Santa Clause" and he won the race.
Words of wisdom to horse owners? Get in for the fun. Have another source of income. Don’t fall in love with any horse until he/she has won over $500,000. Most of all, run ‘em where they have a chance to win.
Most enjoyable golf course played? The Old Course at St. Andrews; but the most beautiful are Kingsbarns in Scotland and Old Head in Ireland.
What aspect of golf appeals to you the most?The never ending challenge presented by this damn game
Golf handicap? My swingand/or my putting….It’s the cause of my handicap being way up there. I play with a bunch of guys who play by all the rules. No mulligans, no improving the lie, no gimmies. It sucks.
Best golfing attribute? Patience
Dream foursome? Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Michelle Wie
What celebrity golfers have you teed-it-up with? Digger Phelps
Favorite golf story? Hitting my 1st and 2nd drive out-of-bounds on the 1st tee box at The Old Course in St. Andrews. Do you realize how wide the 1st fairway is? It is very difficult to hit one out of bounds there. But two!
Words of wisdom to golfers?Enjoy the beauty of the course and the company of your friends and don't sweat the rest
Which living person do you admire most? Ashley, our daughter. She gives me inspiration. Even though she has challenges, she has never doubted her ability to succeed through work and never gives up.
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