“Bob Benoit was a dear friend and an incredibly talented guy,” said Oak Tree Director and Executive Vice President Sherwood Chillingworth. “His mission was to promote our sport and nobody ever did it better than Bob. He loved the game and the people in it. Here at Oak Tree, we had a wonderful relationship with Bob and we’re going to miss him. He was truly one of a kind.”
In 1980, Benoit formed his own public relations firm, Benoit and Associates, which eventually took over as the photographer for Oak Tree at Santa Anita in 1991. Benoit and Associates now serve as official track photographer at all major Southern California race meetings, including the Los Angeles Turf Club meet at Santa Anita.
Benoit’s photography business will be continued by his partners, Rayetta Burr and Tom Abahazy. Burr was hired by Benoit while working as a switchboard operator at Hollywood Park in 1973. “Bob always paid strict attention to detail and he loved every aspect of the game” said Burr. “He was especially close with many of the jockeys over the years and he had great respect for them.”
For additional information regarding the Benoit Memorial, fans are encouraged to contact the Oak Tree Racing Association at (626) 574-6345.