W. Gary Baker
August 20, 1942 – January 27, 2014
(Liz Callar photo)

Longtime show manager and judge, and renown breeder of Thoroughbred race horses, Welsh show ponies, and dogs, W. Gary Baker, passed away yesterday at his home in Middleburg, Virginia. He was 71.

Baker grew up in Port Deposit, Maryland on the Susquehanna River, riding his grandfather’s work horses as they plowed fields and hauled wood. Out of this grew a lifelong love and respect for the horse which would shape his life, his career, and most of his friendships. He bred and owned Thoroughbred horses, primarily for steeplechase and at the time of his death, Baker owned two Section B Welsh stallions, Farnley Belshazzar and Land’s End Monarch.

He served on the Maryland Horse Show Association as a lifetime honorary director, was a board member of the Virginia Horse Shows Association, served as secretary/treasurer of the Virginia Steeplechase Association, was president of the National Hunter/Jumper Association, U.S. Equestrian Federation Zone 3 chairman, chairman of the Virginia Fall Races and the Piedmont Point-to-Point (Va.), as well as a former member of the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Hunter Committee.

Baker’s meaningful and tireless contributions to the horse show world earned him a — USEF Pegasus Medal of Honor in 2007. In addition, he was made a member of the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, the Maryland Horse Shows Association Hall of Fame, and the Virginia Horse Shows Association Hall of Fame.

Services for Gary Baker will be held on Thursday, January 30, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Virginia, at 11 am. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be sent to Seven Loaves P.O. Box 1924, Middleburg, VA. 20118.