Charles V. B. Cushman Jr., a lifelong steeplechase horseman and a pioneer in importing racehorses from South America, died Monday, Aug. 1, at his summer home in Chadds Ford, Pa. A longtime resident of Camden, S.C., he was 85.
Born June 9, 1926, in Boston and raised in Upperville, Va., Charlie Cushman attended Phillips Exeter Academy and the University of Virginia. He was among the young jockeys and future trainers who settled in Kennett Square, Pa., at the Heritage Farm of W. Burling Cocks after World War II. Among the young horsemen learning with him under Cocks, a future Racing Hall of Fame trainer, were A. P. “Paddy” Smithwick, D. Michael “Mikey” Smithwick, and Willard “Mike” Freeman.
Cushman spent his entire adult like in Camden and worked extensively in the Thoroughbred industry. In the 1980s, he imported horses from South America for both steeplechase and flat racing clients.
He is survived by his wife, Joanne Bahr Cushman; two sons, Charles V. B. Cushman III and John L. Cushman, a four-time champion steeplechase jockey in the early 1980s, both of Camden; a daughter, Anne Cushman Prettyman of Ooltewah, Tenn.; many grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
He also is survived by four siblings, Carolyn Cushman Doughty, Rob Cushman, Hope Cushman Cisneros, and Peter Bertschman. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ida McDowell Cushman, and a brother, Phillip.
Burial will be private on Friday, Aug. 5, followed by a service at 11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church in Camden. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kershaw Health Foundation, 1315 Roberts St., Camden S.C. 29020.
Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel is in charge of arrangements.