Eleanor M. Casey, matriarch of one of West Virginia's most successful racing families, died July 28 after an accident at Charles Town racetrack. She would have turned 74 Aug. 1.
Casey was standing at the gap watching her horses work when another horse got loose and headed toward her. The horse hit the rail, and Casey, in an attempt to get out of the way, stumbled and fell to the ground, breaking her hip and injuring her shoulder. She was taken to a Charles Town hospital. While awaiting a transfer to a Winchester, Va., hospital, she suffered a heart attack and died.
Members of the Casey family read like a Who's Who
when it comes to racing at Charles Town, and it is hard to imagine the track without the Casey influence. Eleanor Casey's husband, James W. Casey, is both a breeder and trainer. One of their sons, James M. Casey, is a veterinarian as well as an owner and trainer. He also was a jockey at Charles Town as a teenager. Another son, John, is a breeder/trainer and manages the family's Taylor Mountain Farm near Charles Town. Eleanor Casey and her husband founded the farm. A daughter, Ann, has won several important stakes at Charles Town.
Eleanor Casey raced 14 stakes winners, including a horse named Taylor Mountain, who won the West Virginia Breeders Classic Stakes in 1989-90. A native of Boyce, Va., Casey worked for a time as a stockbroker in Winchester.