Thoroughbred breeder Betty L. Mabee dies

By Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Betty L. Mabee, who with her late husband, John, helped build one of the West’s great thoroughbred breeding empires and played a key role in the blossoming of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Del Mar racetrack, died at about 7 p.m. Monday at her home in Rancho Santa Fe. She was 88.

Mabee passed “peacefully and quietly,” according to her son, Larry, who noted that his mother had finally succumbed to an extended illness.

A warm, personable woman with an easy smile, Mabee made a point of carving out time in her busy life to be involved in numerous charitable organizations and programs during more than half a century in the San Diego area. She was a founding member of Voices for Children and the Angels of Aseltine Auxiliary.

Mabee, a native of Unionville, Miss., grew up in Iowa and married John, her high school sweetheart, to start a partnership that was to last for 60 years and see them reach great heights in the world of business, as well as fame and fortune in the thoroughbred industry.

The Mabees moved from the heartland to San Diego during World War II and opened a mom-and-pop grocery store that evolved into the 30-store Big Bear Supermarket chain. Subsequently, the Mabees started and ran Golden Eagle Insurance Co., California’s third-largest workers’ compensation carrier with more than 1,300 employees. But the couple discovered their true love in 1957 when they bought two horses for $6,000 at the Del Mar Yearling Sale.

That small investment led to the founding of Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona. The Mabees became not only leading breeders in California, but national champions and Eclipse Award winners in 1991, 1997 and 1998.

Among the Mabees’ many equine successes, the best of all was Best Pal, a California champion they bred and foaled at their farm who went on to win more than $5.6 million, including Del Mar’s $1 million Pacific Classic.

Following the death of her husband in 2002, Mabee joined the board of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club as a director, a role she served in until 2008, when she took on the title of director emeritus.

Besides her son, Mabee is survived by three grandchildren.

Related posts:

  1. Local carves out niche as bloodstock agent
  2. Thoroughbred set conducts Pacific Classic business at L’Auberge
  3. Thoroughbred racing educator shares knowledge with ‘Friends’
  4. Thoroughbred set conducts Pacific Classic draw at L’Auberge
  5. Comic-Con founder dies at 76

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7396

Posted by on Feb 18, 2010. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club Ladies Golf Tournament to raise funds for breast cancer research
    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the women of the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club have organized an annual tournament for 13 years raising funds for organizations whose focus is the treatment and/or cure and prevention of breast cancer. Deana Ingalls and a capable and creative committee are organizing another Breast Cancer Benefit Tournament on Oct. 1 […]
  • Couple pleads guilty in fraud case involving Rancho Santa Fe broker
    A real estate investor and his wife pleaded guilty Sept. 30 to conspiring with a Rancho Santa Fe broker and others to defraud mortgage lenders and impede the Internal Revenue Service. Grant McCollough, 38, and his 36-year-old wife, Marisa, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defrauding the United States. Both face up to five years in prison […]
  • Village Church Installation of Rev. Dr. Neal Presa
    An installation of the Rev. Dr. Neal Presa, one of the Associate Pastors of the Village Church, was held Sept. 28 […]