The Texas Arabian Breeders Association (TABA), alongside the entire Arabian racing community, is mourning the sudden passing of a dear friend, Renee LaFleur-Diaz.
Renee was a proud Texan. She was born in Connecticut on Jun 26, 2981, but “she got here as fast as she could,” says TABA Board Member Sam Vasquez with a chuckle. During her elementary school years, Renee moved to Texas with her mother, Myriah “Mary” Orrick. With a love for animals from a young age, Renee trained show dogs in her youth, and it carried over into horses later when she began training Arabian race horses in 2003 here in Texas. Later, she added Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses to her string, but Arabians remained her passion and mainstay breed. She trained for several prominent owners including Sam Vasquez, Dianne Waldron, Ray & Jane Teutsch, Michelle Morgan, and many others. Throughout her career, Renee trained to a total earnings of $697,300 and 1,003 lifetime starts (70-81-115) including recent back-to-back wins in the Texas Yellow Rose Stakes (G3) with RB Feel The Burn and the Texas Six-Shooter Stakes (G3) with RB Rich Lyke Me this past February. In fact, Renee was experiencing her career-best year in 2021 with an impressive 23% win rate and 31% Win/Place/Show rate.
Renee and her husband, Antonio “Tony” Diaz, lived in Rockdale, Texas, and dedicated their lives to the horse racing community in Texas and throughout the United States. Tony serves as a respected farrier to all Texas tracks, while Renee served as the Arabian breed representative to the same tracks. Renee also joined the TABA board in 2014 and was an active participant in promoting Arabian horse racing in Texas.
She is survived by her husband, Tony Diaz, and her mother, Mary Orrick.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to assist Tony and Mary with funeral expenses, as well as their sudden loss of income. We encourage you to support them in any way you can.