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Friday, June 14, 2024

Packy McGaughan, 1987 Pan Am team eventing gold medalist, died March 12

CLARKSBURG, Md.--Patrick "Packy" Galen McGaughan, of Clarksburg, Md, unexpectedly passed away on March 12, 2020, shocking the horse world and those who loved him best.

Packy McGaughanPacky McGaughan and Tanzer at the 1987 Pan American Games (Photo by Margaret Kaiser)McGaughan grew up in Montgomery County, MD, attending Damascus Elementary School then Prospect Hall.

Before attending Duke University he was a resident rider with the United States Equestrian Team.

He was a gold medalist at the 1987 Pan American Equestrian Games.

A graduate of the University of Maryland Law school, he practiced law at Thelen Reid for several years before transitioning exclusively to training horses and riders in the sport of eventing.

 McGaughan was a beloved member of the eventing community, devoting his life to the sport as a competitor and trainer.

McGaughan was destined to become a fixture in U.S. Eventing.


LIKE MANY aspiring young equestrians, he competed in the 1970 North American Youth Championships.

In 1984, U.S. Eventing Chef d’Equipe Jack Le Goff spotted the young rider’s evident talent and invited him to train with him at the USET Center in South Hamilton.

Years later, after obtaining a degree in psychology from Duke University, he earned a second-place finish with his mother’s 12-year-old gelding, Tanzer, at the 1987 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

As a result, he earned a spot on the U.S. Eventing Team at the Pan American Games later that year.

McGaughan produced clean cross-country and show jumping rounds to help the U.S. win team gold, and he placed third individually.

Following McGaughan’s Pan American Games success, he earned a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

In addition to McGaughan’s competitive achievements, he was an esteemed coach and trainer in Area II, advancing horses and riders to the highest level of the sport.

McGaughan ran Banbury Cross Farm in Clarksburg, which grew into a leading training, breeding, and boarding facility for eventing, dressage, hunter, and equitation riders.

One could often spot him at numerous events across the East Coast, instructing athletes across all levels of the sport.

Funeral services took place at Banbury Cross, the family farm, on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 3 p.m.

Family and friends were asked to bring photos and their stories about Packy, as we will share them then.

There will be a celebration of his life at Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials in Poolesville a weekend in June (details on the celebration to follow) where a cross country jump will be dedicated in his memory.

Please look on the USEA website for the date and time of the Memorial Celebration.

All testimonials will be welcome at that time.

Packy is survived by his parents, Judy and Mack McGaughan of 26215 Haines Road, Clarkburg, Md., his brother and sister in law, Mark and Madgie McGaughan of Comus, Md., and his sister Erin and brother in law Jon Hochberg of Seattle, Washington.

He was loved by many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Contribution can be made towards the "Packy Perpetual Trophy" established by Judy and Mack, which will be run through the USEA, at www.USEventing.com, and will be awarded to an outstanding young rider at the Preliminary Level.

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