H.R. “Pat” Mullens, Longtime Trainer


AUBURN, Wash.) – Hilbern R. “Pat” Mullens, a trainer in the Northwest for nearly a half-century, died December 28 after a long illness. Mr. Mullens was 92.

A trainer at Emerald Downs since its opening in 1996, Mullens was among the most successful and popular horsemen at the track. He saddled 243 winners, including six stakes wins, and over $2.6 million in earnings in 24 seasons at Emerald Downs.

In 2018, Hit the Beach scored victories in the Muckleshoot Tribal Classic and Pete Pedersen Overnight Stakes as Mullens became the oldest trainer to win a stakes at Emerald Downs. Campaigned in partnership with longtime clients Ed Zenker and Swede Larsen, 5-year-old Hit the Beach was named Washington’s champion older horse while Mullens was voted the track’s top training achievement. In 2006, Mullens trained She’s All Silk to a victory in the $100,000 Washington Oaks and honors as state champion 3-year-old filly.

Born February 27, 1927 in Ramer Tennessee, H.R. Pat Mullens served in the United States Air Force for 21 years, before beginning a second career as a Thoroughbred trainer in the early 1970s. His first winner, Trespasser, was at Longacres in 1972. In 2001 and 2004 Mullens was honored with Emerald Downs’ Martin Durkan Award for leadership, sportsmanship and cooperation.

“Pat was the kindest person you could ever encounter,” said Emerald Downs President Phil Ziegler. “He will be missed by everyone associated with Emerald Downs and racing throughout the region. He was a special member of our family.”

Mullens was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary, sisters, Tish Farris and Helen Mabry; and brother, Ron. He is survived by his sons, Winford (Cindy) and Darrell; grandchildren, Erin Mullens, Jodie Mullens (Jason), Cyndal (Jonathan) Ellis, and Zach Mullens; great-grandchildren: Kayla Oxborough, Michael Martinson, Wiley Adams, Pearl and Lincoln Ellis; sisters: Nettie White, Elizabeth (Junior) Durbin and Juanita Johnson; and brothers, Don (Louise) and Arn; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Services are 1 p.m., Saturday, January 4, at Fir Lake Memorial Park in Spanaway.