Washington Horseman Packy McMurry Dies

L.L. "Packy" McMurry, who spent his entire life involved in the Thoroughbred industry in Washington, died Aug. 9. He was 76.

McMurry and his wife, Julie, owned Royal Match Stud near Enumclaw, Wash. The couple stood numerous stallions at Royal Match including former leading Washington sire Son of Briarctic, who is now pensioned.

Prior to starting Royal Match in 1991, McMurry operated McMurry Farm and McMurry Bloodstock.

McMurry may best be remembered for his longtime association with the Agnew family. As a farm manager, consultant, and agent, he represented three generations of Agnews, beginning with Sam A. Agnew. He then worked for his son, S.J. Agnew, and the latter's son, Dan J. Agnew.

Among the horses he selected at auction were 1984 multiple grade I winner Desert Wine, Spinster Stakes (gr. I) winner Top Corsage, and San Felipe (gr. II) winner Raise a Man,

McMurry worked for a time as field officer for the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association, where he met Ralph Vacca, the association's general manager.

"We go back 40 years together, and first and foremost, Packy was a dear, dear friend," Vacca said. "He was a very accomplished horseman, and made tremendous contributions to the Washington Thoroughbred industry, Packy was very knowledgeable and astute. He will be sorely missed."

McMurry's son, Tim, followed his father into the horse business. He operates Fleetwood Bloodstock in Lexington.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Pam, and stepdaughter, Amy.