Obituaries--02/25/05

Mar 7, 2005 - 10:00 PM

Larry E. Mayfield

Show jumping rider and trainer Larry E. Mayfield, of Menlo Park, Calif., died at Stanford Hospital on Jan. 13 of liver failure. He was 57.

Mr. Mayfield was a past president of the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association, serving on the PCHA Board of Directors for 20 years. He was Horseman of the Year in 1990 for the California Professional Horsemen’s Association, and he served in the U.S. Army.

Mr. Mayfield spent his life with horses. When he was young, his family owned a grocery store and delivered groceries using a horse-drawn cart.

Gradually they moved into the horse business, and Mr. Mayfield grew up riding and learning about horses, with little formal training, said daughter Laura Gerst of Los Altos, Calif.

He began training Western horses during the 1970s, and his horse, El Mejor, was the world champion Morgan horse for 10 years in a row. He gradually moved into training show jumpers with his brother, Marvin Mayfield, during the 1980s. After the death of his brother, Mr. Mayfield started his own business, the Southwest Riding Club, in 1995.

Gerst said her father could do everything from riding and training hunters and jumpers to trick riding. He had ridden in college rodeos, and several riders from the pro rodeo circuit took jumping lessons from him because they found it helped them with saddle-bronc riding, said Gerst.

“It was very important to him to give back to the sport,” Gerst said.

In addition to Gerst, Mr. Mayfield is survived by children Rick Mayfield of Woodside, Calif., and McKenna Mayfield of Irvine, Calif.; and by two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to Stanford Hospital, Dept. of Guest Services, 300 Pasteur Dr., Suite H1401, Stanford, CA 94305.

Dr. Robert L. Booth

Veterinarian Robert L. Booth died in Bellville, Texas, on Jan. 13 after a long illness. He was 97.

Dr. Booth practiced veterinary medicine in Loudoun County, Va., for 44 years. He began his practice in 1935 and retired from veterinary medicine at age 72. He was a past president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. He was named Virginia Veterinarian of the Year in 1975 by the VVMA and was a member of the Virginia Board of Examiners. He was also a veterinary instructor at Morven Park Equestrian Institute (Va.) and an assistant professor at Lord Fairfax Community College (Va.).

“He was the first [veterinarian] to have an x-ray machine in Loudoun County,” said Dr. William McCormick, a noted veterinarian who was Dr. Booth’s neighbor for many years.

Dr. Booth also built boats and enjoyed sailing. He was a charter subscriber when The Middleburg Chronicle, which would become The Chronicle of the Horse, was founded in 1937.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan Houle of Danville, Vt.; son Creighton Booth of Bethlehem, Pa.; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Doris Creighton Booth, and his son, Dr. David L. Booth, preceded him in death.

Memorial contributions may be made to Goose Creek Friends Meeting, c/o Ed Nichols, P.O. Box 914, Purcellville, VA 20134.

Josephine Auchincloss Nicholas

Ex-MFH Mrs. Josephine A. Nicholas died on Jan. 28 at her Beaumont residence in Bryn Mawr, Pa. She was 92.

Mrs. Nicholas grew up riding and hunting with the Meadowbrook Hounds on Long Island, N.Y. She became master of the Pickering Hunt in Chester Springs, Pa., in 1952 and was joint master with her late husband, Mr. Harry I. Nicholas, from 1962 to 1972.

Mrs. Nicholas and her husband were avid foxhunters and hunted all over the country and in Europe. Mrs. Nicholas also judged hound shows. Mr. Nicholas was president of the U.S. Pony Clubs from 1966 to 1969 and president of the Masters of Foxhounds Association from 1975 to 1977.

“She just had a lifelong love of horses and hounds,” said her daughter, Nina Arrowsmith.

In addition to her daughter, Nicholas is survived by four grandchildren–John Proxell, Lee Brinker, and Christopher and Gregory Manonian.

Memorial contributions may be made to the National Eye Institute, c/o Ms. Marilyn Laurie, Budget Office, National Eye Institute, Building 31, Room 6A16, 31 Center Dr. MSC 2510, Bethesda, MD 20892-2510.

Katharine Reeve Draper

Katharine Reeve Draper, of Chadds Ford, Pa., died at her home on Feb. 1. She was 88.

Mrs. Draper, always known as “Kitty,” was the daughter of J. Stanley Reeve and Katharine Roosevelt Reeve of Haverford, Pa. She shared her parent’s love of riding and foxhunting and hunted sidesaddle for more than 50 years. She rode with the Radnor Hunt (Pa.) as a young girl and later with Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds (Pa.). She competed in all manner of horse-related activities and was similarly involved in most other outdoor country pursuits.

Friends remembered here as a lively, humorous, brave, sporting lady of the “old school.” She was a well-known gardener and a member of the Garden Club of Wilmington and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. She exhibited successfully at the Philadelphia Flower Show until her death.

During her lifetime, Mrs. Draper served on the Boards of Directors for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the Visiting Nurse Association of Wilmington, the Pennsylvania Hospital, Planned Parenthood and the Delaware Art Museum.

Preceded in death by her husband Ford Bowman Draper and daughter E. Avery Draper, Mrs. Draper is survived by her children, Ford B. Draper Jr., Katharine Draper Schutt, Ellen Draper Chadwick, A. Reeve Draper, Prudence Draper Osborn, and James A. Draper IV; by 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Brandywine Conservancy, P.O. Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317 or the Cheshire Hunt Land Preservation Fund, P.O. Box 983, Unionville, PA 19375.

Dr. Chauncey Benedict Thuss

Dr. Chauncey B. Thuss, of Birmingham, Ala., died on Feb. 4 at his Patchwork Farm following a long illness. He was 77.

Dr. Thuss grew up riding in Alabama and began showing jumpers during the 1950s. He served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Princeton University (N.J.) in 1949 before earning his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1953. He became an orthopedic surgeon and was an instructor at Brookwood Medical Center and Healthsouth Medical Association. He had been honored by the State of Alabama for his 50-year dedication to medicine.

During the early 1960s, Dr. Thuss was a jt.-MFH of the Branchwater Hunt (Ala.). He was also a member of the Midland (Ga.) and Fitzpatrick hunts (Ala.), and he helped to form the Alabama Horseman’s Association, which is now the Alabama Hunter Jumper Association.

Dr. Thuss organized and hosted the Cahaba Horse Trials at his Patchwork Farm for more than 34 years, and he built many of the show jumping and cross-country fences himself. He rode in his first three-day event at the Midland Three-Day Event (Ga.) at age 58. Dr. Thuss has also hosted hunter trials, jumper classics and Pony Club rallies. U.S. Eventing Association officials honored Dr. Thuss at the 2004 annual meeting for his continuous service to the sport of eventing as a competition organizer.

Dr. Thuss also enjoyed skiing, watersports and flying.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Hill Thuss; brother Robert W. Thuss; daughter Deborah Thuss McLaughlin; son Dr. Chauncey B. Thuss Jr.; son Michael S. Thuss; and daughter Elizabeth Thuss Gilbert; and by seven grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Rocky Ridge Fire and Rescue Department, 2911 Metropolitan Way, Birmingham, AL 35423.

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