THOMAS H. VOSS 1950 – 2014


Tom Voss and Gassendi jump the 3rd Fence at the 1969 Maryland Hunt Cup. (Douglas Lees Photo)

Thomas H. Voss, a highly respected and well-liked Maryland horseman, died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday evening at his farm in Monkton, Maryland.  The successful trainer over fences and on the flat was 63.

A steeplechase horseman from his youth, Voss successfully rode over timber fences and subsequently launched his career as a trainer in his native Maryland. He was the National Steeplechase Association’s leading trainer by wins five times over a quarter-century, beginning in 1997 and most recently in 2011. He won consecutive championships in 2000 through 2002, and he was the leading trainer by purse winnings in 1997, 2002, and 2009. He is the third-leading trainer by career purses with nearly $9 million.

He trained Slip Away to the 2010 Eclipse Award as champion steeplechase horse with a campaign that culminated with a victory in the $100,000 Colonial Cup.

On the flat, he is best known as the trainer of John’s Call, who at age nine won the 2000 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga and Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park, and finished third in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Voss also served on the National Steeplechase Association’s Board of Directors and was the NSA’s secretary in 2013.

“American steeplechasing and horse racing have suffered a great loss,” said NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri. “Tom was a great friend, and he introduced me to owning steeplechase horses. He was a wonderful person as well as a great trainer, and the steeplechase community will miss him greatly.”

“Tom Voss represented everything good about steeplechasing,” said Bill Gallo Jr., the NSA’s director of racing. “He was a skilled horseman who took the very best care of his horses, and he was a great person who was as thoughtful and kind as anyone I have ever known.”

Voss’s grandfather, Edward Voss, moved to Maryland in the late 1930s, purchasing Atlanta Hall Farm, where Voss lived. Atlanta Hall is the site of the annual Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point. Tom Voss’s great uncle, Franklin Voss, was a prominent sporting artist. Tom Voss was joint master of the Elkridge-Harford Hunt.

Voss is survived by his mother, Mrs. Edward S. Voss; wife, Mimi; son, Sam Voss; daughter, Elizabeth Murray; stepson, Matthew McKnight; and grandchildren.

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