by Sadie Fowler

Copyright 2006 WHR

Mr. Kurtis Steven Kovalick, age 35, of Shelbyville, died of an apparent heart attack Sunday, March 12, 2006, in Woodbury, Tenn.

Funeral services will be held 6 PM Thursday, March 16, 2006, at Feldhaus Memorial Chapel. Following the service, his remains will be cremated.

Kovalick was born Nov. 16, 1970, in Gary, Ind., to Donna Romich Kovalick, of Valparaiso, Indiana, and the late Joseph John Kovalick. Most recently, Kovalick trained horses at Ed and Linda Brown’s Old Plank Stables in Bell Buckle, Tenn., with Ronal Young. Young, who worked with Kovalick since 2002, is one of many, many people saddened by the unexpected death of Kovalick.

“I have worked horses ever since I was 14 and I have enjoyed them more since working with Kurt than I have in my entire life,” said Young. “Kurt just loved life and he lived it to the fullest every day.” Prior to training at Old Plank, Kovalick worked with Ramsey Bullington, Dude Crowder and Winky Groover, where he trained for several years.

Kovalick enjoyed and was known for training young horses, mainly two-year-olds, according to Young. “He loved working those two-year-olds.”

Horses such as It’s Billy The Kid, Storm Threat Too and The Sky Patrol, The Super Bowl and The Sky Command ranked high on Kovalick’s list of accomplishments. Young said when It’s Billy The Kid won at the Celebration in ’02 it was the highlight of Kovalick’s life. Sue Brassy rode the then-two-year-old to the Amateur Two-Year-Old World Grand Championship. After being started by Kovalick, It’s Billy The Kid went on to win shows on the West Coast under the Russ Thompson Stables banner, and most recently had a very successful 2005 Celebration.

In 2003, Kovalick won his first personal blue at the Celebration with Storm Threat Too in the Show Pleasure Sec. B class. Kovalick will also forever being associated with the success of The Sky Patrol. Linda Brown won the Amateur Ladies Show Pleasure World Championship with the impressive horse last year; In 2002, under Kovalick’s direction, Julie Grider and The Sky Patrol topped the Three-Year-Old Mares/Geldings Sec. A class. This was Kovalick’s first Celebration blue and Ronal Young said that it meant the world to him.

While Kovalick loved the show horse world, trail riding was his greatest love. He also enjoyed, and was quite good at, the game of golf.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by a son, Charles Jacob Kovalick of Shelbyville; two brothers, Joseph John (Sunday) Kovalick, II of Nashville, and Scott (Julie) McGinnis, of Indiana; a sister, Kara Beth Kovalick, of Chicago, Illinois; an ex-wife, Samantha Crowder of Shelbyville.