Former steeplechase jockey and lifelong horseman James R. Wyatt, Jr., 83, of Marshallton, Pa. died April 17. He was born in Chilhowie, Va., on Sept. 24, 1936.
Known to his friends as Jimmy, Wyatt began his career as a steeplechase jockey with Richard Atkinson, near Malvern, Pa., before riding races for Hall of Fame trainers Burley Cocks, Mickey Walsh, and Mikey Smithwick. Retiring after a schooling fall at Aqueduct Racetrack in 1962, Wyatt owned and trained horses from his Pennsylvania base before retiring to cheer on his sons’ horses on the flat and steeplechase circuit.
He was the son of James R. and Pearl Wyatt Sr. and was predeceased by four sisters.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Hogan Wyatt. They were married in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Aug. 20, 1961. They met at a backstretch baseball game. Jimmy bought Betty a Coke and they were together ever since.
Wyatt is survived by sister, Edie Nance; daughters Jamie Wyatt, Kimberly (Randy) Edgar, Kristine (Richard) Woodall, and Nancy (David) Rodriguez; sons Timothy (Tricia) Wyatt and Todd (Blair) Wyatt; and seven grandchildren.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a later time.
Charitable donations can be made to the Injured Jockeys Fund at the National Steeplechase Association, 400 Fair Hill Drive, Elkton, MD 21921.