Michael Farrin, renowned huntsman of the Quorn from 1968 until 98, died on Sunday (18 May) in a Leicester hospice, aged 65. He had been ill for the past two years.
A farmer’s son from the Atherstone country, Michael started hunting in the Pony Club, and entered hunt service in 1958 as second horseman for Capt. Brian Parry, Master of the Atherstone.
Later he whipped in to Brian Parry at the North Cotswold, and joined the Quorn as whipper-in to Jack Littleworth in 1963.
He was appointed Quorn huntsman at 25 and quickly fulfilled his promise as a classic Shires huntsman; a superlative horseman, quick of decision and able to provide superb sport for large, well mounted fields across Leicestershire’s grass and fly fences. He was much admired by generations of Quorn followers.
Michael Clayton, former Editor of Horse & Hound, who hunted with the Quorn throughout most of Michael Farrin’s term, says: “He was the most stylish horseman across a natural country you would ever see.
“People came from all over the world to hunt with the Quorn during those years. The Prince of Wales, the Crown Equerry Sir John Mills, and many racing people including Dick Hern, Barry Hills and Willie Carson were among Michael Farrin’s admirers.
“Michael hunted hounds four times a week during long gruelling seasons and maintained a remarkably high standard at a time when the countryside was eroding and hunting was enduring growing political pressures.
“Through it all, Michael remained a cool, calm figure riding Thoroughbreds, some off the racecourse, with extraordinary skill in front of hard-riding mounted fields.
“Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother sent Michael Farrin several of her ex-chasers, including Colonialist, to ride in the hunting field, and visited the Quorn hunt kennels to see them.”
Michael is survived by his wife, Di, and her son and daughter, and by two sons from his first marriage. His funeral will be held in Melton Mowbray on a date to be announced.