- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 20, 2006

Angela Gladys Archibald, an equestrienne and volunteer, died peacefully in her sleep Aug. 17 at her home in Middleburg, Va., after a long fight against lung cancer. She was 88.

Born in Newmarket, England, on Dec. 25, 1917, Mrs. Archibald — known as “Rusty” — grew up in a Thoroughbred horse racing family and was a competitive rider. She was the first woman to ride as an “exercise lad” at the Middleburg Training Center in 1957, shortly after her family emigrated from Britain.

Mrs. Archibald’s grandfather, George Blackwell, trained Sergeant Murphy, winner of the British Grand National steeplechase in 1923, and Rocksand, winner of the British triple crown flat races and grand-sire of Man O’ War — a champion American horse famous for losing only one race during his career. Mrs. Archibald’s father, Henri Jelliss, was a jockey who twice won England’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby, the Oaks.

Mrs. Archibald was disqualified at Wimbledon in 1934, at age 16, because she fibbed about her age and was ruled too young to compete.

In her early 20s, she skied from the top of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. She also drove an ambulance in England during the Battle of Britain in World War II.

Mrs. Archibald moved with her children in 1957 from England to Middleburg, Va., where her husband already was employed as a horse trainer. She worked with Bettina Belmont Ward raising Basenji show dogs before working for radio news commentator Fulton Lewis Jr. at Mutual Radio in the District during the early 1960s.

She worked as a kennel manager at Hazelton Laboratories in Vienna, Va., from 1965 until 1982.

Mrs. Archibald served for 40 years as head of the Altar Guild at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Middleburg, with the FISH Network, which provides transportation and other services to the poor and elderly; the Seven Loaves food ministry for the poor; and Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years, George William Archibald of Oakland, Calif., a steeplechase jockey who rode in the British Grand National six times and whose father rode Meridian, the 1911 winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Mrs. Archibald is survived by her son, George Archibald of Alexandria; a daughter, Valerie of Berryville, Va.; and six grandchildren.

A funeral and memorial service are scheduled for Sept. 9 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Middleburg.

Memorial donations can be made in Mrs. Archibald’s name to Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Middleburg FISH or the Middleburg Seven Loaves program hosted by the Methodist Church.

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