The New England foxhunting community lost a beloved and generous mentor with the unexpected death of Patrick J. Keough, III, instructor to countless Myopia Hunt (MA) riders and a steady, encouraging presence in the field and around the stable. His influence was so closely tied to Myopia that three generations of current members count themselves among his students and proteges. His family ran the Club stables for 40 years, and whether taking clients on casual trail rides or accompanying a senior hunt member in the third flight, Keough was enthusiastic, patient, and always ready with an entertaining tale.
Photo by Ruth Baltopoulos.
His family shared the following details in his obituary:
"Patrick Keough passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack while doing what he loved, riding in the country. Patrick comes from a distinguished and long-standing family of equestrians. His grandfather founded Miles River Stables, which was later run by his parents, Patrick and Barbara Keough, and moved to the Myopia Hunt Club in 1963. Patrick succeeded the family business at Myopia until he established P.J. Keough Stables, where he taught adults and juniors riding and hunting and shared his love of the countryside, passion for horses and horsemanship, as well as the rich history - horse and human - of fox hunting, polo, showjumping, and racing.
"Patrick was devoted to the horse community and gave generously of his time and expertise. He was known for his entertaining hacks, knowing and ready smile, quick wit and pithy maxims. A gentleman, he had a unique sense of style and an unusual take on the concept of time. Patrick was a superb storyteller and loved to take people trail riding while regaling them with the history and background of the land and the events that had happened there over the years."
Joint Master Kim Cutler described Keough's death as an incredible loss of Myopia's go-to guy who "was always there to lend a hand." She said, "We described Patrick as someone you could call for help at 2 o'clock in the morning, and he would be there by 2:35." Myopia retains members in their 90's who are still riding, because they enjoyed the company and safe supervision Keough offered, as well as his charm and wisdom. Cutler also credits Keough with preserving and sharing much of Myopia's history and institutional memory that could have been lost after the 2012 death of longtime master, Don Little.
"Patrick and I rode together for a number of years as I began my foxhunting career," said Joint Master Nicholas R. White. "With the passing of Patrick we have lost not just a friend, but a real piece of riding history and a connection to traditions we need collectively to try to sustain for his memory and for future generations."
Keough leaves behind his beloved daughter Erin Brewer, her husband Chris, and his beautiful granddaughter Nora, born August 1. He also leaves behind his partner, Karla Parnell, his brother and sister, Michael and Ann Keough,and his aunt, Lorraine Croteau.