Evan Shipman, Noted Racing Authority and Writer, Dies: Daily Racing Form Columnist Succumbs at 53; Expert on Both Runners, Standardbreds, Daily Racing Form, 1957-06-25


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— t | r ! — ~~ : 1 Evan Shipman, Noted Racing Authority and Writer, Dies EVAN SHIPMAN t Daily Racing Form Columnist Succumbs at 53;, Expert orr Both RunnerSjStandardbreds NEW YORK, N. Y., June 24, — Evan Biddle Shipman, 53, one of the worlds greatest authorities on thoroughbred and harness racing and breeding and for many years a bulwark of Daily Racing Forms staff of turf columnists, died here this morning at New York Hospital following a long illness. Mr. Shipman was operated on recently for an intestinal ailment which had troubled him for several years. He had been on the critical list since undergoing surgery. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Raymond Barbin of Keswick, Va., and Mrs. Montgomery Angell of New York City. Funeral services will be held Thursday afTiO a. m. at St. James Church, Madison Avenue and 71st Street. Burial will be in the family plot at Cornish, N. H. Mr. Shipmans family has requested that no flowers be sent but suggest that contributions instead be sent to the Jockevs Guild Welfare Fund. Mr. Shipman combined a natural writing talent, a flair for the artistic and deep-rooted conviction with a thorough knowledge of his subject. He was without a peer at analyzing stakes races and his penetrating, unbiased reviews of great races in America and Europe were regarded as models of racing journalism at its highest level. He was born in Plainfield, N. H„ in 1904. His father, the late Louis Evan Shipman, was a playright, editor and essayist of world renown; his mother, the late Ellen Biddle Shipman, was acknowledged ito be the nations most accomplished landscape architect. Evan Biddle Shipman was educated in schools and colleges in the United States and in France. After attending Groton, where one of his classmates was John Hay Whitney, now ambassador to England, he went abroad and attended the University of Louvain and The Sorbonne. He lived in France from 1922 to 1930, acting as European correspondent for the American Horse Breeder for several years in addi- Continucd on Page Eight : ► . Evan Shipman, Noted Racing Authority and Writer, Dies Daily Racing Form Columnist Succumbs at 53; Expert on Both Runners,Standardbreds Continued from Page One tion to contributing articles and poetry to Scribners; Trans-Atlantic Review, Country Home, Polo, Esquire, Contact and Horse Review, Les Nouvelles Litteraires, The American Caravan and other publications. While in France he became the close personal friend of an aspiring young author who now is recognized as one of the worlds literary greats. His name: Ernest Hemingway, Between times, Mr. Shipman wrote a novel, "Free for All," based on the harness sport, and a volume of poems, "Mazzepa." Both won the acclaim of reviewers. Mr. Shipman was an expert on harness breeding and frequently drove horses in workouts. He often attended a thoroughbred track in the afternoon and a trotting track at night. During Hambletonian week he lived at Goshen, there renewing acquaintances with his many friends in the sulky sport and writing about the big race for Daily Racing Foiim and The Morning Telegraph. „ v He served with the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War during 1937-38, spending his free time with Hemingway, then a reporter for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He retained" this close association with the author of "For Whom the Bells Toll" and other classics to the end, visiting him at his home in Cuba as recently as last winter, flying there from Miami, .where he was a member of Daily Racing Forms staff, at Hialeah Park. He was severely wounded in action during the fighting in Spain and carried shrapnel fragments in his leg until.his death. During World War H., Mr. Shipman was sergeant major of the 16th Armored Divisions 16th Regiment, and was also with the 787th Tank Battalion until Its deactivation in 1945. Wrote Grayson Foundation Series In 1951, he wrote a series of articles on the Grayson Foundation, detailing, In laymans language, the activities and purposes of that organization, which-is devoted to the scientific study of various baffling ailments to which horses in general are subject. These articles were reprinted by the Grayson Foundation in a brochure and widely distributed. In 1953, he was engaged to bring "Racing in America" up to date for The Jockey Club but the pressure of his other work and his generally weak condition made it impossible for him to complete this task. For several consecutive years he was the highly respected author of the annual review of the previous seasons major races which was the "lead" feature in The American Racing Manual, giving to pos4 [ terity a history of the sport which was [ eloquent, revealing, comprehensive and thoroughly professional. Several years ago, Mr. Shipman was commissioned to write a biography of John D. Hertz which was privately printed and is the prized possession of those fortunate enough to receive a copy. It was an_ exhaustive work, covering every phase of Mr. Hertz remarkable career, with particular emphasis on his background in thoroughbred racing and breeding. This was a labor of love, for Mr. Hertz bred and raced the great Count Fleet, and "The Count" was one of Mr. Shipmans particular favorites. On several occasions, Daily Racing Form assigned Mr. Shipman to faraway places to cover news of vast importance to the turf world. One of these trips took him to Europe with a plane chartered to bring back to America some well-bred English thoroughbreds. Mr. Shipman not only accompanied the horses on their journey here; he acted as groom and general handy man, writing of his experiences on his return. Another time he was delegated to go to California to cover the racing at Santa Anita. He could have gone "first class," but he elected, instead, to be a groom again with a shipment of horses to the West Coast by train, sleeping in the same car with them. Again, when C. V. Whitney sent his two fine runners, Career Boy and Fisherman, to France for the Prix de lArc de Triomphe last fall, Mr. Shipman flew in the same plane with the horses, grooming and tending them on the Trans-Atlantic flight.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1957062501/drf1957062501_1_4
Local Identifier: drf1957062501_1_4
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800