William Cauffiel Lickle, retired financial executive, steeplechase owner and larger-than-life family man, died on Thursday, August 19th at his home in Greenville, Delaware. He was 92.
Lickle campaigned 1996 Eclipse Award champion Corregio and was a three-time leading owner on the National Steeplechase Association circuit. His stable had many top runners including Trebizond, Nevada Strip, Raise A Storm, Young Dubliner, and No Bad Habits.
Born August 2, 1929, in Wilmington, Delaware to the late Charles and Hazel (Cauffiel) Lickle, he was a graduate of Tower Hill School where he met the love of his life, Rene´e Carpenter Kitchell whom he married in 1950.
Bill fearlessly danced at death’s door throughout life. From emergency landings on planes, narrowly escaping Castro’s revolution in Cuba, being first on scene of an accident and ready to jump into action, having vertebrae in his neck “liquefy” from a bacterial infection, to having not one, but two cerebral shunts placed at the age of 87 and generally defying most medical odds – shocking doctors was his claim to fame. To say he lived life to its fullest is more than an understatement. Known for his bright, passionate, and curious mind, Bill will be remembered for his wisdom – gracious with his time and advice.
As a steeplechase owner for 34 years, Bill was (upon his retirement in 2005) the second leading owner for money won in steeplechase history; recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in 1984 (Sintra), presented by the Queen herself at Keeneland; Owner of the Year, National Steeplechase Association (’91, ’92 & ’97), and recipient of the Eclipse Award, 1996 (Corregio). His racing silks and trophies are on display in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga, NY and the Steeplechase Hall of Fame in Camden, SC. Additional involvement in the world of steeplechase included The Breeders’ Cup (Director & Treasurer), Winterthur Point-to-Point Races (Chairman & Co-Founder); Fair Hill Races (Chairman, Race Committee); Thoroughbred Racing Communications, NY (Founder); Steeplechase Owners & Trainers Association (Director); Turf Club, Delaware Park, Delaware Racing Association (Director); The Coaching Club of America; National Steeplechase Museum; and The National Steeplechase Association.
Bill will be remembered by his many friends and family across the globe as the life of the party, a man of seemingly endless adventures and travels, who could vividly recount every detail as he shared many of his seemingly unrealistic stories.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm at The Vicmead Hunt Club 903 Owls Nest Road Wilmington, DE 19807. Burial will be private at the du Pont Cemetery.
The full obituary can be read here: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/delawareonline/name/william-lickle-obituary?pid=199874764
Read the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation’s “Legends of Steeplechase” article with Lickle here: https://conta.cc/3mvQPcx