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Eugene duPont Weymouth, top steeplechase jockey and trainer, died June 11

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa,--Eugene Eleuthere du Pont Weymouth, 85, of Kennett Square, Pa., a top steeplechase jockey and flat race horse trainer died June 11, surrounded by family and caregivers.

WeymouthGene Weymouth at Fair Hill Training Center in 1990 (Photo by Jeff Brown)Weymouth won the Maryland Hunt Cup as a jockey on Ned’s Flying in 1957 and also captured the historic timber race as a trainer when Burnmac won in 1974.

Ih a career that ran from 1976 to 2010, Weymouth trained 967 winners and earned more than $11.6 million in purses, but his career goes back to the 1950s.

He was born on Jan. 27, 1933 in Wilmington, Del., to George and Deo du Pont Weymouth.

He attended A.I. du Pont School and Westtown School, and after graduating from the McDonough Military Academy in 1951 he attended the University of Wisconsin.

Born into a family that loved horses, Weymouth’s began riding at a young age and competed at the Devon Horse Show as a child, but he soon set his sights on steeplechase racing, later becoming one of the top amateur steeplechase jockeys of his time.

In 1949, as a 16-year-old, he won the Deep Run Hunt Cup in Richmond, Va., riding Cormac and also won the Western Pennsylvania Hunt Cup riding Done Sleeping.

Some of his career highlights as a jockey include winning the Monmouth Hunt Cup, the New Jersey Hunt Cup and the Maryland Hunt Cup.

 

IN 1952, he had the opportunity to ride in the English Grand National in Aintree, England on a horse named Possible, but, although he did not finish, Weymouth always counted that as one of his most memorable experiences.

He also won the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup and years later allowed the race to be run on his farm in Kennett Square.

 At 24, Weymouth started training thoroughbred racehorses and became a leading trainer at numerous New England tracks.

At the encouragement of his father, he went off to work as a stockbroker for a brief period, but he soon returned to training.

From 1984 until his retirement in 2010, he trained horses at the Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where he was one of the original investors, working side by side with his employees from early mornings until late evenings.

From his base at Fair Hill, Weymouth’s stable developed into a force in the Mid-Atlantic with dozens of wins through the 1990s.

He won 78 races in 1995 and topped $1.2 million mark in purse earnings in 1996, when he won 70 races.

His top horses included stakes winner After The Glitter, a homebred daughter of Screen King, and his mare Jane G, who earned $456,000 and won 17 races.

Bristling won 11 races and earned $386,000, and at odds of 35-1, the homebred finished second to future sire Elusive Quality in the G3 Jaipur Handicap at Belmont Park in 1998.

Canton River won 17 races, including four stakes.

Weymouth ran Colonial Secretary in the 1995 Belmont Stakes for owner Buckland Farm, but he would have preferred a race at Delaware Park, as Colonial Secretary finished ninth at 52-1, but he rebounded to win three times the next year and finish his career (with Weymouth and other trainers) with 22 wins.

 Weymouth retired from training in 2010, and spent several winters in Florida and North Carolina, watching sunsets and reading the newspaper.

He looked forward to visits with his sons and was a proud grandfather.

He enjoyed watching football, betting with friends and traveling with his wife, Cindy and his four-legged friend Huey.

Weymouth was a member of the National Steeplechase Association, the National Museum of Racing, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Weymouth was preceded in death by his son, George Tyler Weymouth, his brother, George A. “Frolic” Weymouth, and Trinda Hope Weymouth.

He is survived by Cynthia Irwin Weymouth, his wife of 19 years, his sons, Eugene Eleuthere du Pont Weymouth Jr. and Knox Shaw Weymouth and his wife Dori Ann Weymouth, and their three children, Knox Ryder Weymouth, Dewitt Hobbs Weymouth, and Tyler Scout Weymouth.

He is also survived by his sister, Patricia Bradford Hobbs, six nieces and nephews, and his former wife, Betty Shaw Weymouth.

Services and interment are private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The Steeplechase Fund, c/o the National Steeplechase Association, 400 Fair Hill Drive, Elkton, MD 21921.

Alix Coleman

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