Former Fair Hill executive director has passed away

Former Fair Hill International Three-Day Event Executive Director Charles Colgan, who was also a former director of the National Steeplechase Association, died Jan. 2 after a brief illness.

Colgan, 77, who held the Fair Hill post for 10 years, was the son of a member of the Treasurers and Ticket Sellers Union, which enabled him to attend a wide variety of sporting and theater events in New York City. His deep love of horse racing developed from his experiences at the old Madison Square Garden, the New York racetracks and summer visits to Saratoga.

Practicing as a lawyer in North Carolina, he found a way to connect his professional life with his love for sport by working for the National Steeplechase and Hunt Association in 1971. He also served as editor of American Steeplechasing.

Colgan met Audrey Walsh, daughter of Hall of Fame horse trainer Mickey Walsh, while he was working as a white cap and she as an exercise rider at Belmont Park. They married  in 1963. Their daughter, Kelly Colgan, and her husband, Peter McDermott, are prominent in today’s horse racing industry. Survivors also include his daughter, Kerry Shovlin, son Patrick Colgan and four grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be may to St. John Holy Angels Church,82 Possum Park Road, Newark, Del., 19711.

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