Gretchen Mobberley, a longtime Maryland horsewoman, passed away Feb. 21 after a five-month battle with cancer. She was 84.
A celebration of her life will be held Monday, March 7, at noon at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Glenwood, Md. A reception will follow.
Mobberley was a horsewoman through-and-through, says her daughter Bird, “She was more comfortable on the back of a horse than most people are on their couch.”
Mobberley was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Manassas, Va. When she and her late husband, Jack, got married in 1952, they bought a farm in Middleburg, Va., but moved to Maryland in 1963 when they bought Summer Hill Farm in Howard County and made it their permanent residence.
Over the years, the couple developed more than 20 stakes winners before Jack Mobberley’s death in 1995. Afterward, Gretchen, an owner, breeder and trainer, and their daughter Bird, also a trainer, continued the racing operation, with stalls at Laurel Park.
“My mom was something else,” Bird says wistfully. “My mom and dad were a team and after he passed away, she continued. She loved to ride. She was still galloping her horses at the track [at age 82]. After that, she still rode and we took our last ride together Sept. 15th, the day before she went into the hospital for her operation.”
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