R.I.P Joe Aitcheson, Jr.

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On Saturday, May 24, Maryland lost one of her most treasured icons of steeplechase racing, Joseph Leiter Aitcheson, Jr. He was 85.

Born on July 31, 1928 in Olney, MD, he was the son of the late Joseph L., Sr. and Lillian Roby Aitcheson. Joe Sr. and his brother Whitney founded the Iron Bridge Hounds and operated Aitcheson Stables on Riding Stable Lane along the line separating Burtsonsville from Laurel, Montgomery from Prince George’s County.

Joe Jr grew up to become the winningest jump jockey ever, with 440 jump wins from 2,457 mounts over a two decade career. He won eight Virginia Gold Cups, seven Carolina Cups, size Internatational Gold Cups…just to name a few. In 1976 Joe became the only professional jockey to receive the National Steeplechase Association’s F. Ambrose Clark Award for lifetime service to the sport. In 1978, he was inducted into the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and in 2006 was named Maryland Horseman of the Year by the Maryland Horse Council.

Joe was also a veteran, serving our country in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1952, serving in both World War II and the Korean War. He attended the University of Maryland where he played football. 

The Equiery extends its deepest condolences to Joe’s daughter and son-in-law Jody A. and Thomas Davis of Sykesville; Joe’s sister and brother-in-law Jane and Ronald Cartwright of Laurel; grandchildren Jacob Stepp of Eldersburg and Brett Davis of Sykesville; and nephews Robert Curley, Jay Curley, and Beaver Curley.

The family will receive friends on Friday, June 6, 2014 one hour prior to the start of the memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel, 412 Washington Rd., Westminster with Chaplain Jimmie Schwartz officiating. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Maryland Horseman’s Assistance Fund, 500 Redland Ct., Suite 105, Owings Mills, MD 21117 or to Carroll Hospice Dove House, 292 Stoner Ave., Westminster, MD 21157.

To read more about Joe Aitcheson:

Baltimore Sun Obituary

This is Horse Racing 

Baltimore Sun 2013

The Equiery 2008

Sports Illustrated 1971