Well-known showing steward Denis Colton — known to his friends as “Plod” because of his former role as chief inspector in the Metropolitan Police — died on 27 February aged 94.

Denis ran the Mounted Branch training establishment at Imber Court for several years and was a long-time chief steward at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and the Royal International.

Although he retired from these posts in the mid-90s, he continued to take a keen interest in the events.

Denis was the instigator of the Police Horse of the Year championship at HOYS and, with the late commentator Tom Hudson, was a founder-member of the “Dog Club”; the stewards-only drinking club at the major shows.

“He was one of the best showing stewards we’ve ever had,” said former colleague Sebastian Garner. “He will be sadly missed.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (7 March 2013)