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Monday, June 20, 2011

Charles Town Fixture Web Snyder Passes Away

Web Snyder, 98, one of the early members of the Jockeys' Guild and a longtime fixture at Charles Town Races since the track opened on Dec. 2, 1933, died of cancer on June 17 at his home in Charles Town.

As reported in the Martinsburg Journal in a December 2008 article, Web was scheduled to ride seven mounts on the first day of racing at Charles Town. At that time, Charles Town was the only operating winter track in the United States.

Unfortunately, delayed by a snowstorm while traveling from Rockingham Park, N.H., he missed the card. Web more than made up for his late start by riding his first Charles Town winner, a filly named Dolled Up, the next day. He finished the 20-day meet by winning two of his last three races. Web rode from 1933 to 1952; worked as an outrider at Charles Town for 14 years, retiring at the age of 70; and closed his career as a pony boy in Charles Town several years later. He was inducted into the Charles Town Hall of Fame in 2010, and a race on the Charles Town Classic, the Web Snyder Stakes, is named in his honor.

Web was born in Crabbottom, Va., to Lon and Naomi Snyder, on Jan. 18, 1913. While growing up in the Staunton area, he became infatuated with horses and liked reminiscing about racing up and down the Shenandoah Valley as a teenager. His first winner in 1933 was aboard Modern Ace. He served briefly in the Naval Reserve during World War II, receiving an honorable discharge because of the effects of racing injuries.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Frances DePasquale Snyder of Charles Town; children, Floyd Snyder of Philadelphia, Pa., Florence Marr of Gautier, Miss., and Diana Narragon of Reston, Va.; several grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Bernice Chute Snyder, in 1951, following a long bout with cancer; and two sons, Edgar Snyder of St. Jacobs, Ill., and Philip Constantino of Inwood; three sisters; and three brothers.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at the Strider Colonial Funeral Home in Charles Town, and from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, at Henry Funeral Home in Staunton, Va. Interment will be at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, immediately following the viewing.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Jockeys' Guild, 103 Wind Haven Drive, Suite 200 Nicholasville, Ky., Attn: Disabled Jockeys' Fund.

The funeral home will be open from 2 to 9 p.m. on Monday for the convenience of Web's friends.

Please sign the online guestbook and view his obituary at www.mtstrider.com.

A celebration of Web's life will be held in Charles Town at a later date.

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