Dr. Phil McCarthy, owner of Watercress Farm in Paris, passed away on November 29 at his home in Lexington, KY due to cancer. He was 58.
In 1977, McCarthy graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph Ontario and, the following year did his residency at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Centre where he specialized in large animal reproductive studies. In 1979, Phil went to work for Walnut Hall Farms where he was resident veterinarian and ultimately the farm manager.
“Phil McCarthy was a pioneer in many different areas of the horse business; from fetal sexing of mares to diagnosing and treating stallion infertility. Phil was always on the cutting edge.” said Dr. James T. Robertson, equine surgeon.
Over the last 16 years, McCarthy focused on reproductive consultation for leading stallion farms around the world while developing Watercress Farm, with longtime friend and partner Fred Hertrich, into one of the leading commercial breeding farms in North America.
“Phil possessed a rare set of talents in the horse industry. He was a true horseman first and foremost, he knew conformation and pedigree better than most and he happened to be a world class veterinarian on top of all those other things.” said Hertrich.
In partnership, McCarthy and Hertrich bred European champion Shamardal and graded stakes winners: Street Boss, Even the Score, Sir Greeley, Half Ours, La Chunga, Snow Dance and Got the Last Laugh.
Harness Racing Hall of Fame member Louis Guida, described Phil in this way, “He was a model husband, a model father, a model friend and a model partner. He will be greatly missed by many in the racing world.”
McCarthy is survived by his wife Penny and their daughter Katie as well as a brother, John, a sister, Jane and family in Canada.