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Prominent Delaware owner-breeder Robert Messick dies

Monday, July 26, 2010  By: USTA

Dover, DE --- Robert Messick, 72, who bred and owned stakes winner Roddy's Bags Again, a 1:48.4 and $705,175 winning pacer, among a number of hard-hitting horses of the past decade, died July 23, 2010, surrounded by his family at Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital in Milford, Del.


Mr. Messick, despite battling diabetes and a failing heart, continued to head the daily operation of his large farm and also oversaw his stable of 13 horses in training plus a dozen broodmares, yearlings and weanlings.


An outstanding athlete during his younger days, Mr. Messick was widely known while playing baseball and softball with teams in Delaware. He was also an avid hunter and trap shooter. In 1973, he was named Handicap Champion in Virginia.


Mr. Messick served with the Delaware National Guard from 1956 until 1963 and rose to the rank of Sergeant.


Following 26 years of employment at General Foods in Dover, Del., where he served as supervisor of its Millwright Shop, Mr. Messick retired and bought his first Standardbred in 1993. For the past 17 years, his horses were trained by the Torberts, Ernie, and now his nephew, Tim.


Currently, Mr. Messick has several horses racing at the Meadowlands and Harrah's Chester. His standout performer is the top-class mare pacer Pacific Philly, a winner of more than $800,000 lifetime.


Roddy's Bags Again, a stakes winner at age two and three and a top class pacer as an older horse, is now a stallion standing at Winbak of Delaware. His first crop are yearlings and will race in 2011.


Mr. Messick is survived by his wife of 51 years, Norma; son, Rodney (Yolanda); daughter, Susan (Ronald) Patton; brothers, James, Paul and Toby; sisters, Mattie Bowman and JoAnn Benson; and three grandchildren.


An overflow gathering of several hundred turned out to pay respects at funeral services on July 26 at Rogers Funeral Home in Milford, Del. Mr. Messick was buried in Barratts Chapel Cemetery in Frederica, Del.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, First State Chapter, 100 W. 10th St. Wilmington, DE 19801.

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