07/01/2009 12:00AM

Harold McCormick, former trainer, dies at 85


Harold F. McCormick, who owned and trained horses during a 45-year career while primarily based at Charles Town, died Monday at his home in Charles Town, W.Va. He was 85.

After stints working for Sagamore Farm as a groom, stable agent and foreman at Maine Chance Farm in New York, and an assistant trainer at Belmont Park, McCormick started a public stable in 1953, racing in New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia.

After winning fewer than 10 races in four of his first five years on his own, McCormick went on to win 718 races from 1958 through 1998. Nearly half his career victories - 329 - came between 1976 and 1998 at Charles Town.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Gloria, as well as two sons, two daughters, 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 174, Charles Town, W.Va., 25414.