A memorial service will be held Friday, July 1, for Virginia horseman Felix Jacob Nuesch, who died June 6 at his home in Free Union after a long illness. He was 84.
A native of Switzerland, he was a member of Swiss Cavalry, during which time he competed in military events and in European three-day events. He immigrated in 1956 and managed several farms as well as his own before founding Braeburn Thoroughbred Training Center in Crozet in 1984.
He and his family broke and trained horses for owners such as Lael Stable, Christiana Stable, Morven Stud, Al Fried Jr., Joanne Nielsen, and Mr. and Mrs. Orme Wilson. Grade 1 winners, Thunder Rumble, Unaccounted For, and Waquoit received their early educations at Braeburn. His family continues to run the farm where his son Pat is the head trainer.
Among the many steeplechase horses that he developed was multiple timber stakes winner Sugar Bee, who was sold to Wallace Lanahan. Sugar Bee won the 1986 Virginia Gold Cup and the 1987 Maryland Hunt Cup.
He was instrumental in developing the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington and was inducted into its hall of fame. He also was inducted into the Virginia Horse Show Association Hall of Fame and was named Horseman of the Year by the Virginia Horse Council. He will be best remembered for his mentoring of young people in all phases of the horse industry sharing his devotion and love for the horse.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Annemarie. He is survived by a son Patrick and his wife Roslyn of Crozet and their children Elizabeth and Christopher; son Raymond of Washington, D.C.; a son David and his wife Daryl of Monrovia, Calif.; and a sister Annegret and a brother Peter both of Switzerland.
The July 1 memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Church in Ivy, Va. Memorial donations may be made to the Virginia Horse Center Foundation in Lexington or the Earlysville Volunteer Fire Department.