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Horse Show Industry Icon Cecilia Hylton Passes


Cecilia May Hylton passed away on February 8th at her home in Gainesville, with family close by. She was the oldest child of Cecil D. Hylton and Irene Virginia (Winegord) Hylton. She attended Fairfax High School and later went on to work in the family business.

She was a gifted leader and, like her father, a developer. She was a woman not easily intimidated. She worked in various construction-related roles and was a construction superintendent in the 1970s in a time when a female in this role was unheard of.

She made her mark in 1980, after being called upon by her father to finish a large construction project with a seemingly impossible deadline. She completed the project on time and under budget.

Her love of horses developed at a young age when her father bought her first horse, Midnight,  at their family farm in Centreville. She never lost her passion for horses and made an indelible mark on the Quarter Horse industry.

She finished in the top five American Quarter Horse Association World Show, 2010, and bred many outstanding horses with several other distinctions. She was also inducted into the Virginia Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame.

Cecilia made a great impact as a benefactor to the Virginia Quarter Horse Youth Association.

She was once quoted as saying, “I know there’s money in horses because I put it there!” Cecilia made history in 1999 when she harvested an egg from her beloved mare, Widow Rider, after its passing and then had the egg fertilized with a deceased sire to become a viable foal. This was a first in history.

A pioneer in equine reproductive research, she assisted in philanthropic efforts in the field through CSU, UK’s GLUCK Research Equine Center, and other organizations.

As well as working to continue her parents’ legacy by managing the family commercial and residential real estate leasing, she participated in the oversight of Hylton Memorial Chapel and served on the boards of the Hylton Foundation and Hylton Enterprises.

She is survived by five children, Preston Wines, Jr., Irene Grice, Kelly Markley, George Markley, and Jamie Hylton.

Also, surviving is her brother, Conrad Hylton, of Woodbridge. She was predeceased by her brother, Cecil D. “Sonny” Hylton, Jr.

Grandchildren, Cecilia Irene Grice, Joseph Grice, II, George Markley, Jr., Gabrielle Hemperley, Caleb Wines, Jared Wines, Josiah Wines, and Judah Wines.

Great-Grandchildren, Kinsley Wines, Rylee Hemperley, and Maverick Hemperley.

Her last months were enhanced by the love and compassion of angelic caregivers who tended to her every need. Julye Amaya, Erin Van Gin Hoven, Yolanda Moore, Kristen Etter, Kathy Carder, Gracie Brown, Jasmine Fulton, Taka Stevenson, and Shekia Downing.

Special thanks also go out to Capital Caring Hospice.

Visitation will be at Mullins-Thompson Funeral Home in Stafford on Monday, February 15th, from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM with COVID precautions in effect. The visitation will be live-streamed via facebook.

Funeral Services will take place at 11:00 AM Tuesday, February 16th, at Christ Chapel in Woodbridge, VA. Due to COVID 19 restrictions and limited seating, the visitation and funeral services will be live-streamed at Christchapellife.org.

Burial will be at Little Georgetown Cemetery 5370 Trapp Branch Road in Broad Run, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Capital Caring Hospice or the AQHA or NSBA Crisis Funds.

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