California Breeder Peter Whiting Dies

Longtime California breeder Peter Whiting died March 20 of cancer in Fort Bragg, Calif. The English native, who moved to the U.S. in 1948, was 76.

Whiting and his wife, Judy, owned and operated The Anvil in Solvang, Calif., from 1973-91, when they retired to Fort Bragg. They had earlier operated the Hope Ranch Riding Club in Santa Barbara, but they switched to breeding and raising Thoroughbreds when they moved to Solvang. The Anvil property, originally part of Hasting Harcourt’s vast Flag Is Up Farm, is now part of Martin Wygod’s River Edge Farm.

During the early 1950s, Whiting worked with Thoroughbreds at John D. Hertz’s Amarillo Ranch in Southern California. He learned to shoe horses from Ralph Hoover after attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and that profession led to The Anvil’s name.

Whiting would trim all of the young horses on the ranch himself. Young horses the Whitings gave their early lessons to included 1981 California-bred Horse of the Year Eleven Stitches.

A member of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Whiting served on the association’s board of directors as well as on the board of its sales arm, CTBA Sales. The Whitings for many years were major consignors to the Del Mar yearling sale.

In addition to his wife, Whiting is survived by their son, Harold; grandchildren Peter II and Natalie; and a sister, Juliette Whiting. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice or the Mendocino Botanical Gardens.

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