June 2019 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:48


Farewell Maggi McHugh

Maggi McHugh passed away in early May after many years in and of service to the California equestrian world.

This obituary was provided by the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association, for whom Maggi was an administrator for 25 years.

“Maggi was married to one of the top Western trainers on the West Coast, Mac McHugh. The two of them were one of the many famous couples who literally formed horse showing in the 50s and 60s. In her youth, Maggi also showed hunters and jumpers, then went on to show western horses with her husband. Mac was a PCHA board member right from its inception.  When Mac passed away, Maggi continued on as a western trainer showing trail horses.

“She never lost her passion for horse showing. She had many successful trail horses on the PCHA circuit.  When her business slowed down, she asked to work in the PCHA office.  Georgiana “Noopy” Rodrigues, who was president then, hired her as a part time office worker, which was fine with her as she wanted to continue to show and judge.  She later stepped up to become the administrator in the PCHA office.  Her passion continued for horses and horse showing, but this time she did it behind a desk.

“As her health began to fail, she still tried to keep up with the demands and upgrades of the office, which was not easy for her. She left the PCHA office in 2017 and would later admit to a few that it was time.

“We are so very grateful to her for her loyalty, her passion and we can be assured there is one heck of a horse show going on up in heaven.”

Paul Bennett, a former president of the California Professional Horsemen’s Association, wrote this tribute in honor of Maggi’s induction to the CPHA Hall of Fame:

“Ten years ago, Maggi shared the PCHA’s Mark Mullen Memorial Trophy award with Anne Blecker for their remarkable efforts for the organization: tracking points and rule changes and organizing the convention and special banquets. Then and now, those are under-rated and under-appreciated tasks, yet Maggi always did them with grace and good humor. I’ve only known her for 25 years or so, dating back to when she convinced me to be the NorCal Hunter Jumper Association’s liaison with the PCHA. Over the years, we spent a lot of time together working on the banquets and she was a pleasure to work and travel with.

“With everything she did for the PCHA, it was always about making things better for the horses, the horsemen and the association. She was always an extremely dedicated employee. She is very deserving of her place in the CPHA Hall Of Fame.”

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, job changes, new hires, marriages, new management and barn moves. Send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!