PHILLIP RICHARD HONORE "THE HORSEMAN" Jan 27, 1957 to Nov 25, 2012

Phillip & Doris



Phillip Richard Honore, affectionately known as “The Horseman” in his professional circles, and “Catfish” among his friends, age 55, most recently of Orangeburg, South Carolina, passed away on Sunday morning, November 25, 2012, after an extended illness. In lieu of a Funeral service, a website has been established where family and friends are invited to leave tributes and share memories. The website address is  A Memorial Get-Together in Urbana, Ohio, is being planned by the family for a date and time to be announced later on the memorial website. Urbana artists and talent are invited to contact the family on the memorial website to upload videos and other displays  of their work for reasons described further below.   


Phillip was born in Urbana, Ohio on January 27, 1957, where he attended Urbana City Schools, including South Ward Elementary, Urbana Local, and Urbana Junior and Senior High Schools. He spent his senior year in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Harrison High School. Phillip was raised in the Christian faith by his parents, Rev. Albert and Lulu May Honore of the Hill Street Church of God in Urbana Ohio, which merged with the Northside Church of God of Urbana in 1975 when Phillip was a  teenager.


After high school Phillip trained in heating and cooling and eventually became a member of the carpenters union in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked as a supervisor on several major construction projects on the Southside.


His real love, though, was horses. Phillip became a professional horseman and it was the work he most enjoyed and returned to over and over again throughout his adult life. In fact he was known in quarter horse and thoroughbred circles as “The Horseman,” and his associates say his passing has left the horse world in mourning for a man who had a special God-given talent for handling even the most difficult beasts. Phillip had a way with horses that amazed his colleagues. He was part of the training/handling team that raised and cared for World Champion stallion “Special Effort,” the only quarter horse to win the Quarter Horse Triple Crown, and who was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2008 with over $1.2 million in earnings. Phillip’s travels with the horses took him across the country from Texas to New Mexico, Florida, California, New York, Kentucky and Maryland, until a shoulder injury from being kicked and eventually cancer sidelined him. His boldness in taking on the most difficult animals and his gift for handling them earned Phillip the admiration and respect of people throughout the racing horse circuit. Those who knew his work say the horse business will not be the same without him.


Phillip also had a love for jazz music, true to his New Orleans creole roots, and spent many hours as a volunteer with Jazz in the Village promoting shows to benefit the SHAPE Community Center in Houston, Texas. Last year in Urbana, Ohio, he had begun similar work to promote artists from all genres of music, and other talent from Urbana under an organization he had begun called Okay City Descendants which was planning to stream live shows celebrating Urbana artists on a website he had reserved entitled After two shows, the work was cut short when Phillip's health began to fail and he suffered a serious heart attack in April of this year. Artists who have an association with Urbana are invited to contact the family via the memorial website to upload their work, including videos, pictures, paintings, poems, etc., along with a paragraph about themselves and their connection to Urbana and a few words about Phillip. The family believes this would be a fitting tribute to Phillip's love for Urbana and pride in the abundance of artists and spectacular talent that hails from his hometown.


Phillip was married to Doris Johnson of Austin, Texas on April 15, 1987. They were married for 25 years. Phillip enjoyed fishing and spending time with his friends and family.


Phillip is survived by his wife Doris, his six siblings Stephan L. Honore (Flor Chico), Robert N. Honore (Doris Bryant), Rebecca L. Honore Harris, Lemuel A. Honore, Margaret E. Honore, and Arthur J. Honore (Gloria Farrow), Sister-in-law Caroline (Jones) Honore, close friend and fellow horseman, Ronald Hill, and a host of loving nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends, especially in his hometown community of Urbana, Ohio.


Phillip is preceded in death by his parents Albert and Lulu May (Dolby) Honore, and his brother Lester E. Honore.