Trainer Paul Rowland dies at 44

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"rowland12"Paul Rowland, trainer of multiple stakes-winning steeplechaser Preemptive Strike and others, died Friday, June 8 after battling cancer. Rowland was 44.

The transplanted Englishman worked for trainer Michael Dickinson at Fair Hill Training Center in the 1980s, and ventured out on his own as a steeplechase trainer with Preemptive Strike and others including Suntara, Rainbows For Luck, Swimming River, Across The Sky and others. Owned by Polaris Stable, Preemptive Strike won eight races and earned more than $491,000, most of it for Rowland, during a career that lasted from 2002-10. The flashy chestnut won the 2004 Carolina Cup, 2005 Georgia Cup, 2008 Imperial Cup, plus a stakes at the Meadowlands. He also finished second in the Colonial Cup three times (2004, 2008 and 2010).

Beyond horses, Rowland was a paramedic in Pennsylvania with the Second Alarmers Association and Rescue Squad of Montgomery County. He is survived by his children Maddie (8) and Hayden (6), his brother Mark, his parents John and Christina and fiancee Amy Smith.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 12 at Marsh Creek Church , 180 Gordon Drive, Suite 108, Exton, PA, 19341. Visitation with family members from 9:30 to 10:45. In lieu of flowers, please send donations for Paul’s children to the Paul Rowland Irrevocable Trust, 11 Morris Road, West Chester, PA 19382.

Photo by Tod Marks. For more memories of Paul, see Tod’s Online Gallery.