Virginia Harness Horse Owner Bill Camp, Owner Of Nansemond, Dies At Age 90

Columbus, OH — William McCutcheon Camp Jr. or ‘Bill’, 90, died on March 20 at his home, Holliknoll Farm, in Carrsville, Virginia. Camp, a passionate owner/breeder for decades, bred 964 Standardbreds and owned 705 members of the breed according to the U.S. Trotting Association’s data base, which does not include statistics for the duration of Camp’s involvement with the sport prior to 1972.

Ironically, that was the year subsequent to Nansemond’s, a son of Tar Heel-Adios Scarlet,  annexation of the Little Brown Jug for Camp in world record time and in four heats over Albatross. The horse’s triumph is still considered as the biggest upset in harness racing history.

To read the article which appeared in The New York Times please click here. To view an article published on the website as a remembrance of the occasion in 2007, please click here.

Camp, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 1951 with his law degree, also melded his love of harness racing within his career. He was a member of the first Pari-Mutuel Racing Study Commission appointed by then Governor Linwood Holton and became an integral leader in efforts to have racing legislation passed in 1989 within his home state.

Camp’s first Standardbred was Miss Sarah Rodney (Rodney, t, 2:04.2, $103,471). He owned most of his horses with his racing partner Fermer Perry. One of those equines was Adios Scarlet (Adios, 2:03.4, $51,876) one of the greatest-producing broodmares of all time. She was the dam of, among others, Isle of Wight (Tar Heel, t, 1:56.2, $493,514) Scarlet Skipper (Meadow Skipper, p, 1:55.4, $423,658) and Nansemond (1:56.1, $448,436), who was the only horse to defeat Albatross as a 3-year-old.

A regular attendee at the Harrisburg Sale, Standardbred Horse Sales management remembers a transaction in which Camp was involved. A bidder was seeking credit, but was unknown to sale management. Camp vouched for the bidder, credit was extended and the bidder never paid. Camp paid for the purchases because he had vouched for the bidder.

“Bill set a standard for integrity to which we should all aspire,” said U.S. Trotting Association President Russell Williams.

Camp was the son of the late William M. Camp and Edith Clay Camp of Franklin, Virginia. He was predeceased by a younger brother, L. Clay Camp of Charlottesville, Virginia. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Shirlie Steinbach Camp, four children, Carrie Luanne Camp (Thomas Crowder), Frances Hollis Camp, Edith Clay Camp and William M. Camp, III (Cammie Caison Camp) and 8 grandchildren, Mason Camp-Crowder, West Camp-Crowder, Bennett Camp-Crowder, Mac Morecock, Hollis Camp, Hugh Camp, Henry Camp and Chris Camp.

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