Ed McEwen, jockey killed in a race, former Ellensburg boy thrown by horse; was born here and parents were pioneers of the Kittitas Valley..
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Walla Walla, June 5-Ed McEwen, Walla Walla, jockey for Geo. Drumheller, was killed during the annual Waitsburg racing matinee yesterday afternoon [June 4, 1920]. The fatal accident occurred during the three-eights mile handicap next to the last race, when his horse threw him from the saddle breaking his neck.
Eddie McEwen, who was the son of Harvey McEwen, a well-known horseman of this valley, was a native of Ellensburg. His father and grandfather were pioneers of Kittitas and the boy’s family had lived much of the time in this county. When his father was racing a string of horses, the family often moved to Yakima for the training season and the boy, as a child, was a familiar figure on the local track.
Dr. Robert Prior, who was for several seasons superintendent of the speed department of the Washington State Fair, said last night “Eddie” McEwen was the best jockey this section ever produced. He raced on all of the big eastern tracks and was an acknowledged mast of his calling, the easterners giving him credit for undoubted ability and rating him as one of the best riders in the United States. I think he was about 25 years of age.
He was the leading jockey for the Drumheller stable and last year rode the Derby winner on the Yakima track. Many people will remember him as the rider of the horse Johnstown which his father entered at the track here several seasons and which always gave a good account of itself. My first recollection of him was as a lad when he rode in a match race here of a quarter of mile on which big money had been placed by Yakima and Ellensburg people. If I remember correctly he was injured a year ago. I think at Spokane. His death and manner of it will be very generally regretted in northwest states.
Another Account Adds:
Eddie McEwen was a resident of Toppenish and had been married about three months prior to the accident. His brother, C. McEwen, was also riding in the races and his father, a groom for the Drumheller string, also of Toppenish was present when the accident occurred…..Following the accident the father of McEwen said: “We are going home. I am done with races from now on.” The deceased jockey is survived by a father, three sisters, and four brothers. The body will be shipped today to Ellensburg via Pasco where the burial will be made beside the mother.
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman