Virginia horseman Melville (Chuck) Church III, who was a past president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, died on Jan.1 while on a hunting trip in Essex County, Va. He was 62.
Church and some of his friends were staying in his hunting lodge. They let a dog out, and the dog didn't come back. Church went out to find the animal, and his friends became worried when he didn't come back. The group started a search party and found him dead. It appeared the dog had become trapped on some ice and that Church had risked his life by trying to rescue the animal.
Church, who owned North Cliff Farm, was a member of numerous organizations, including the Virginia Horse Council, the Virginia Steeplechase Association, the American Horse Council, and the Virginia Gold Cup Association, which he joined in 1965. Among the stakes winners he bred was Peacefully, who became the dam of 1982 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Gato Del Sol.