Eugene E. Weymouth, a steeplechase horseman whose racing career spanned eight decades, died Monday, June 11, after being in failing health for several years. He was 85.
The son of steeplechase owner George Tyler Weymouth, Gene was the namesake of his grandfather, Eugene Eleuthere duPont. His late younger brother, George “Frolic” Weymouth, was the founder of the Brandywine Conservancy.
Gene Weymouth graduated from the McDonogh School and attended the University of Wisconsin’s School of Agriculture and the University of Delaware, but his passion was horses, and specifically steeplechase horses.
Beginning in the 1940s, he rode, trained, and owned jump horses. At 6-foot-3, most hurdle races were out of the question, so he specialized in riding timber horses. He rode England’s Grand National in 1949 aboard Possible and fell at one of its towering fences.
He enjoyed success in most American timber races, including a victory in the 1957 Maryland Hunt Cup with Ned’s Flying, a $50 purchase as a two-year-old. Sports Illustrated reported that year that Weymouth had promised his father he would quit riding if he ever won the Hunt Cup, but he soon reneged on that promise and rode Another Hyacinth to victory in the Iroquois Steeplechase two weeks later.
He transitioned into training from his Chester County, Pa., base in the 1960s and maintained a stable of flat and hurdle horses through the remainder of the century. He was one of the original purchasers of a condominium Fair Hill Training Center barn in the mid-1980s. As a trainer, his final National Steeplechase Association start was in 2000.
In recent years, he has raced horses with Janet Elliot, and his Wild for Gold won in 2011 and 2012.
Funeral services will be private.