Archibald Johnston Kingsley Sr., the father of National Steeplechase Association trainer Arch Kingsley Jr., died Tuesday, March 17 at MCV Hospital in Richmond, Va. A lifelong equestrian, he owned, trained, and rode steeplechase horses and served as Joint MFH for the Middleburg Hunt.
Born July 11, 1927, in Bethlehem, Pa., he attended the Haverford School, where he was the youngest boarding student in its history, and graduated from Governor Dummer Academy in Newbury, Mass. He enlisted in the Navy at age 17.
After military service, he followed the footsteps of both his father and grandfather by joining Kappa Alpha Society at Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., and graduated in 1950.
A 34-year career as a commercial airline pilot started with him flying DC-3s with Capital Airlines. Soon after, he joined United Airlines and finished his career flying DC-10s on the Chicago to Maui route. In retirement, he pursued many interests, including sailing, ships, hockey, motorcycles, and horses.
He was involved on the steeplechase circuit from 1964 to 2012 as an owner, trainer, and rider. He was owner-trainer of Virginia Point-to-Point Timber Horse of the Year Lenoso in 1964, ’68,
and ’69, ridden in the Ladies’ Timber division by former wife Kassie. In addition to winning the Seven Corners Owner Rider Series in 1964, he won the 1976 Virginia Point-to-Point leading rider award, winning races over hurdles that season with Bull Run Draft, and three of the competitive Seven Corners timber races with his Artists Haven. He won the Middleburg Bowl four times, and was part-owner of Bighorn, who won the 1971 Hennessy Gold Cup in England.
He retired to White Stone, Va., with Louise “Weezie,” his wife of 35 years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother, George “Skipper” Kingsley; six children: James “Jim” Kingsley of Richmond, Margaret “Peggy” Kuniansky of Atlanta, George Kingsley of Lincoln, Va., Arch Jr. of Camden, S.C.; Josephine Kingsley of White Stone, Va., and Charles Kingsley of Richmond; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at the Wicomico Parish Church, 5192 Jesse Ball duPont Highway, Wicomico, Va., at 11 a.m. on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Northern Neck Humane Society, PO Box 233, Reedville VA http://www.northernneckhumanesociety.org or or the Animal Welfare League of the Northern Neck, Box 975, White Stone, Va. ( www.animalwelfareleagueofthenorthernneck.org ).