VIRGINIA HORSEMAN BAY COCKBURN 1956 – 2013

Clifton 1994 Jt. Meet

(Douglas Lees Photo)

Bay Cockburn, a well-known Virginia horseman, died December 25 at Loudoun Hospital due to complications from melanoma. He was born at Glebe Farm, Shuckburgh, England on May 18, 1956 to Anne Blaker and the late Edmund Crosby Cockburn. –

Cockburn was a longtime participant in steeplechase racing and rode in sanctioned races from 1991 through 1997. He riding career, which included 12 victories, ended when he was paralyzed in an riding accident that damaged his C6 and C7 vertebra in 1998. At the time, he was the huntsman of the Loudoun West pack in Leesburg, Va.

He maintained his training license and was active through 2013. He had seven victories to his credit, most recently with his Maximize in a claiming hurdle at Colonial Downs in 2011.

Cockburn told journalist Ross Peddicord that training horses meant relying on people to do things for him “that (he) used to take for granted.” But he further explained, he learned “patience and how to delegate.”

Cockburn was quick to note his gratitude for the support he and his family had received from the community, adding, “but, they can only do so much for you. Then, you’ve got to do things for yourself. Basically, you’ve just gotta get on with life. Really, there’s no choice.”

Cockburn’s Equibase jockey stats from 1988 through 1997 credit him with 13 wins, 15 seconds and 9 thirds with career earnings of $115,016. His best year was 1991 when he made 31 starts and won eight races while earning $51,745.

There will be a memorial service for him at Buchanan Hall, Uppervlle, VA January 10, 2014 at 3 PM. He has had Hunt Staff Benefit Foundation financial support since his accident and instead of flowers, please send your donations, in his name to the Hunt Staff Benefit Foundation, HSBF, P.O. Box 363, Millwood, VA 22646.

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