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Sug Utz Passes Away

Lexington, Kentucky –  Wilbur Sugar "Sug" Utz, American Saddlebred trainer and owner of Blue Ridge Stables, of Raytown, Missouri, died Wednesday, November 5, 2008. He was 90 years old.

Sug, son of Emil and Sudie Utz, was born and raised on a farm outside Maysville in northwest Missouri. Coming from a horse training family, Sug learned his craft at his father’s side, along with his three brothers. Two of his brothers Don and Jay, similar to Sug, went on to become world’s champion caliber Saddlebred men.  They were all exciting competitors who loved competing against the other the best.

Sug started training horses at a barn in Excelsior Springs when he was 18. In 1945 he established Blue Ridge Stables in Raytown.  After 70 years of showmanship and national acclaim, Sug gave his final performance in the show ring on June 28, 2003, at the Longview Charity Horse Show.

Sug was an accomplished equestrian and trainer of champion American Saddlebreds. In addition to CH Mimi Genius, and The Shamrock’s Commander, he trained the famous CH The Contract’s Commander, who won the stallion stake at the American Royal five times in a row. He also judged many American Saddlebred horse shows throughout the United States.

A forty-year member of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, Sug was named 1987 Horseman of the Year, and in 2004 Sug received the U.S. Equestrian Pegasus Medal of Honor. 

Sug leaves behind his son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Cindy, and his two grandchildren, Clint and Hayley.

A visitation and celebration of his life was held on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at D.W. Newcomer’s Sons Floral Hills Funeral Home, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri.  Funeral services will be Monday, November 10, 2008, at 1:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Raytown, 10500 E 350 Highway, Raytown, Missouri. Interment will be at the Floral Hills Memorial Gardens.

The family suggests contributions to the Longview Horse Park c/o Jess Bain, 6285 W 183 Street, Stilwell, Kansas, 66085.

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