Cary Wilson Jackson, noted horseman, dies

He had ridden in the Maryland Hunt Cup in the late 1940s and early 1950s and had been master for the Green Spring Valley Hounds

  • Cary Wilson Jackson
Cary Wilson Jackson
February 18, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Cary Wilson Jackson, a noted Maryland horseman, builder and developer who had been on the board of the Maryland Million Classic, died Feb. 7 in an automobile accident near White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

He was 88.

At the time of the accident, Mr. Jackson was returning to his home in White Hall, Baltimore County, from Lexington, Ky., where he had sold a mare at the Keeneland horse sale.

"Cary Jackson defined the term 'Maryland horseman' at its best. He did it all," said Ross Peddicord, former Baltimore Sun racing writer who is now executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

"He was a master of foxhounds, leading the field of the Green Spring Hounds. He bred and raced thoroughbreds, both at the flat tracks like Pimlico and Laurel and also over the jumps," Mr. Peddicord said.

"He had a good eye for a horse and exhibited champions in the show ring. He was an old-line sort of horseman in the Old Line State," he said.

Mr. Jackson, whose father was a real estate investor and whose mother managed the Preston Apartments, was born in Baltimore and raised in Homeland and the Preston Apartments at the northwest corner of Guilford Avenue and Preston Street.

He was a descendant of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore.

He attended Polytechnic Institute and graduated in 1940 from the Landon School in Washington. After graduating from high school, he worked building Liberty ships at the Sparrows Point shipyard of Bethlehem Steel Corp.

Mr. Jackson served in the Army during World War II as an officer. He was wounded in France and decorated with the Purple Heart.

After the war, he returned to Baltimore and worked for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. while studying engineering at the Johns Hopkins University.

In the early 1950s, Mr. Jackson established C.W. Jackson & Associates, a Towson-based construction and general contracting company. In the late 1980s, he sold the commercial and residential building business to his employees and retired.

Throughout his life, Mr. Jackson had been an avid horseman, showing ponies, fox hunting and riding in amateur steeplechase races.

Mr. Jackson rode in three Maryland Hunt Cup races, which is considered the most grueling steeplechase race in the world. He came in second aboard Darkofthemoon in 1948, and rode again in 1951 and 1956.

He also fielded a number of Hunt Cup contenders through the years. His best finishes as an owner came in 1977 and 1978, when Ross Pierce came in third aboard Moon Meeting.

His enthusiastic support of steeplechase racing led him to serve as a board member of the National Steeplechase Association and as treasurer of the Steeplechase Owners and Trainers Association.

Mr. Jackson bred, raised and trained thoroughbreds at Fox Harbor Farm, his 100-acre farm in White Hall. Last year, he won the Chanceland Farm Challenge Trophy at the Maryland Breeders Association Yearling Show for his colt.

"The trophy was retired last year because he had won it three times in six years," said a daughter, Leila W. Jackson of Cleveland. "He also had many winners at racetracks both nationally and locally, including Pimlico, Laurel, Bowie and Timonium."

Mr. Jackson also regularly attended thoroughbred sales in Timonium, Kentucky and Saratoga.

Joe Clancy, editor and publisher of Steeplechase Times in Elkton, wrote on his newspaper's website that he had recently seen Mr. Jackson at Northview Stallion Station's annual open house.

"I walked into the stallion barn, and there he was holding court with John Price and Charlie McGinnes outside Not For Love's stall and telling tales (some of them tall for sure)," wrote Mr. Clancy.

An hour later, spectators lined up for the stallion parade in an area that had been plowed free of snow.

"Well, all but one. Mr. Jackson — blue baseball cap pulled low, collar turned up on his camouflage jacket, stallion information in his pocket — stood in the snow to get a head-on view of the stallions," wrote Mr. Clancy. "Only Mr. Jackson would stand in a foot of snow to get a head-on view of a 28-year-old stallion."

"He was quite a character," said Joseph B. Kelly, retired Washington Star racing editor and turf historian. "He was a very positive and devoted horseman who had been around horses all of his life. He looked like an ex-rider because he was a small guy."

Crickett Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, said that Mr. Jackson was a "big supporter of Maryland-bred horses and was still actively buying mares and breeding them."

Allen and Audrey Murray, who breed horses at their Murmur Farm in Darlington, were friends of Mr. Jackson's for more than 30 years.

"Cary owned shares in our stallions and was extremely knowledgeable about them. He was very honest, entertaining and always a gentleman," said Mrs. Murray.

"Also, because he had been a steeplechase rider, he cared deeply about how those horses were ridden," she said. "His death is a big loss to the breeding industry. We will miss him."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.