Farewell to the horse world’s great and good

  • Susan Bach

    A leading breeder of National Hunt and sport horses, Mrs Bach died on 17 August aged 83 following a long illness.

    She will be most remembered for her long ownership of Furze Hill Stud, one of the most successful private studs in the country?, initially breeding National Hunt horses from her foundation stallion Cintrist. Her greatest success was with dressage and sports horses, including standing Galant and Baron B at the stud.

    Mrs Bach was also a qualified glider pilot spent six months flying in the USA in the early 1980s. On her return to the UK in 1984, she started B&R International Horse Transport in partnership with Brian Ringrose, establishing a successful business alongside the stud, moving horses for the army, polo teams and racehorse trainers? all over Europe.

    In 1998 she suffered a major stroke, and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She continued to run the whole operation for the next 20 years, supported by Brian, and will be greatly missed.

    Her knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the horse world, especially breeding and racing, often led to her being the first person to be called if there was a question to be answered.

    Her funeral was well attended by friends and family on the 9 September.

    Patricia (Trish) Brook-Lawson

    A stalwart of Leicestershire’s equestrian community who became a Pony Club district commissioner (DC) aged 21, Mrs Brook-Lawson has died aged 87.

    Her love of horses stemmed from a young age — she was just about born in the saddle and as a child would drive her pony and trap, loaded with her sisters and dogs, from their family home at Queniborough Hall over to her grandmother’s at Ingarsby Hall.

    At the end of the summer holidays, she would load her pony on to the train and meet him at the other end in Malvern, where she was at boarding school.

    After the war, she became DC of the Quorn Hunt branch of the Pony Club aged 21. Her two children, Andrew and Fiona, were both members and by 1963, the branch had grown so large that she joined forces with a fellow Pony Club mother, Jennifer Saunders, to form a new branch — the South Trent.

    Mrs Brook-Lawson was a subscriber to the Quorn for more than 60 years, before handing over her subscription to her hunting-mad granddaughter, Hannah.

    Her beloved hunter Earwig would follow hounds through the winter and in the summer serve with the Riding for the Disabled Association, of which Mrs Brook-Lawson was an avid supporter.
    She also played a key role in running the Leicestershire Agricultural Show for more than 15 years.

    Mrs Brook-Lawson passed away on 29 August. Her funeral was held on 13 September at St Leonard’s Church, Swithland, and was attended by her family and close friends.

    Simon John Rodgerson

    A top competitor and leading trainer, Mr Rodgerson died on 28 August in Italy aged 77.

    A revered and colourful figure in the equestrian world, Mr Rodgerson moved from Strowan in Crieff to Barskimming before setting up home in Irvine with his long-term partner, Jane Henderson.

    He had a successful eventing career, competing at events including Badminton and Burghley, and was also a leading international showjumper, riding on winning British Nations Cup teams.

    He had numerous wins throughout the UK and Europe on horses such as Savannah and latterly the stallion Dutch Falco.

    Mr Rodgerson was also a talented teacher, taking part in many lecture demonstrations. He moved to Italy to teach in 1997 and returned to Scotland twice in the last year to meet up with friends and clients.

    Many will remember what it was like to be ‘Simonised’ and will never forget his words of wisdom or the laughter he brought.

    He is survived by his daughter Nikki, sons Peter and William and his wider family. Mr Rodgerson was cremated in Italy on 2 September and his ashes will return to Scotland to be spread by his family.

    Mary Bromiley

    A pioneering physiotherapist, Mrs Bromiley has died aged 88.

    She was appointed MBE for services to equine sport in the 2011 New Year Honours list. Her career paved the way for chartered physiotherapists to work with both horses and riders.

    Mrs Bromiley was team physio to the New Zealand equestrian squad at three Olympics and worked with many others over the years. Mark Todd’s 1994 Badminton winner Horton Point, 1994 Grand National victor Minnehoma and 2010 Champion Hurdle winner Binocular were among the horses Mrs Bromiley treated.

    Her Downs House base, founded in 1984, was the first in the world to specialise in rehabilitating injured horses and riders.

    She established the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy, a professional network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, which represents the interests of those professionals working in animal therapy.

    Mrs Bromiley was the inspiration behind the Equine Sports Massage Association, which was formed by some of her students.

    She was also a prolific author, writing books including Equine Injury, Therapy and Rehabilitation, Massage Techniques for Horse and Rider as well as Natural Methods for Equine Health and Performance.

    Willie Snaith

    A top jockey in the 1950s who rode a Group One winner for The Queen, Mr Snaith died on 14 June aged 91.

    Born in Newcastle, he started his career with Sam Armstrong in Middleham aged 14, before moving to Newmarket in 1946.

    He took the champion apprentice title in 1949 and the major wins of his career included the Northmberland Plate on Fol Ami, the July Cup, Nunthorpe Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes and the Sussex Stakes, the latter of which came aboard The Queen’s horse Landau in 1954.

    Mr Snaith also had much success abroad, while the last of his 747 wins in Britain came in 1971. He continued to ride out until he was in his 60s and was also a popular figure around Newmarket.

    Mr Snaith was appointed MBE fin 2004 or services to horse racing and the Newmarket community and he has a road in the town named after him.

    His funeral took place on 3 July, where hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their last respects and The Queen’s colours adorning his coffin.

    Roger Clark

    A stalwart of the equestrian world, Mr Clark died on 19 May aged 72.

    A leading figure in the heavy horse community, Mr Clark was also a fellow of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, former master of the Essex and Suffolk and a founder the East Anglian Bloodhounds.

    Suffolk Horse Society chairman, George Paul, was among the many to pay tribute to the former chairman and president of the society.

    “Roger has done so much to help preserve and promote the Suffolk horse over the past 50 years or so,” he said.

    “He was one of the best men at showing any animal — particularly Suffolk horses — that I have ever seen.”

    Mr Paul added Mr Clark had a “magnetic personality” when it came to handling a difficult horse and showing him off to his best advantage.

    “Fortunately Roger imparted so much of his skill and knowledge to other people,” he said.

    “I believe that he trained well in excess of 20 apprentice farriers, most of whom are still in practice. He taught many people, including me, to drive horses and he was so experienced in veterinary matters that he diagnoses were invariably accurate. So often a horse’s lameness was in the foot, and there was no better man at curing foot problems.”

    More than 700 people attended Mr Clark’s funeral, which took place at Stoke-by-Nayland on 18 June.

    Ghita Jago

    One of the showing world’s best known, loved and respected supporters, Mrs Jago has died aged 95.

    Born in Katanning, western Australia, she was sent to live with an aunt in England at the age of four following the death of her mother.

    Her love of ponies started soon after and she was passionate about encouraging her children to ride, who all went through Pony Club and hunted with the Surrey Union.

    Producing the ponies from home for her daughters, Mrs Jago’s genuinely amateur yard took on the professionals to great success.

    She teamed up with her daughter, Penny Carvosso, to form a formidable partnership and win countless times at the Royal International, Windsor and Horse of the Year Show.

    They were particularly successful in the 12.2hh classes at the Royal International, including winning three years on the bounce with three different ponies — Courtway Actress, Cusop Junior and Chinook Happy Talk.

    Mrs Jago loved looking after the scores of children who competed for her and for whom Marelands in Sussex — and the horsebox at shows — was a second home.

    Tiny Clapham, Chloe Chubb, Nicola Baldwin, Louisa Gordon Lennox, Sam Roberts, Joseph Thurston, Shelly Dixon are to name a few who wore her colours.

    Her determination not just to compete but to win meant she was totally involved and active until the end — remaining in charge of feeding the ponies and continuing to attend shows until three weeks before she died.

    Her favourite show was Royal Windsor and she never missed it. This year was particularly special as she celebrated her 95th birthday watching her 128cm Whitelease Secret Charm crowned champion in front of The Queen.

    Mrs Jago was looking forward to this year’s Royal International, but passed away peacefully in hospital surrounded by six of her eight children.

    Her husband of 67 years, David, passed away in 2012 and they leave behind their children and 16 grandchildren.

    Captain Lucy Horner

    The racing world is mourning the loss of the former champion amateur, who died on 29 June aged 42.

    A talented rider, she rode a total of 28 winners under Rules in Britain as well as point-to-point winners. She represented the UK racing abroad in Ireland, France and USA and also took part in the 2010 Fegentri series.

    She served as a captain in the Royal Irish Regiment and was a great supporter of military racing, winning Sandown’s Grand Military Gold Cup in 2000 aboard her own Noyan.

    Her best season came in 2008/09, where she was crowned champion lady amateur National Hunt jockey with 11 wins under Rules and was runner-up in 2010/11.

    A serious eye problem brought her riding career to a premature end in 2011 and most recently she had been managing Worsall Grange Stud in Yorkshire.

    “She will always be remembered as a talented lady jump jockey who helped to forge a path for the betterment of future female weighing room colleagues,” said a spokesman for the Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain.

    Ruth Rogers

    The Irish equestrian community is mourning the loss of journalist and Connemara Pony expert Ruth Rogers, who died on 2 July.

    Born into a racing family, her early career was spent assisting her father George and uncle, CA Rogers.

    It was through her family’s involvement with the sport that she went on to become a photojournalist, capturing Ireland’s racing and sport horse scene for more than 50 years, and she was also highly involved in the world of greyhound racing.

    Her work was published in leading publications across the world, including Throughbred Record, British Racehorse, Paris Turf and The Irish Field.

    She won numerous awards for her work, including a special recognition award for her contribution to the industry at the 2019 Irish Field Irish Horse World awards in Co Kildare.

    She was a dedicated supporter of the Connemara pony, with an encyclopedic knowledge of breeding, and was a respected member of the Midlands Connemara Pony Breeders group. In 2004, she rejuvenated the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society’s annual publication name> along with Ann Reade and wrote extensively on the breed.

    Her funeral took place on Monday (8 July) and she leaves behind loving nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, grand-nieces, relatives and friends.

    John McCririck

    The racing world has paid tribute to one of its icons, John McCririck, who died on 5 July aged 79.

    An award-winning investigative journalist and a passionate broadcaster, he was the flamboyant face synonymous with Channel 4’s racing coverage for many years.

    Born in Surrey in 1940, he attended Victoria College in Jersey and Harrow. From there, he undertook a stint in the catering industry, with work experience at The Dorchester among others, before he switched to racing.

    Alongside bookmaking and tipping, Mr McCririck started working as a journalist at Sporting Life, winning British Press Awards for specialist writer of the year and campaigning journalist of the year.

    He joined ITV racing shorltly before the sport’s coverage switched to Channel 4, moving with it and becoming a well-known figure in the betting ring, but was cut from the channel in 2012.
    A spokesman for the British Horseracing Authority said the organisation was saddened to hear of Mr McCririck’s passing.

    “Throughout a lengthy and colourful career, one thing was always clear — his enduring passion and love for the sport of horse racing,” he added.

    Five-time champion trainer Nicky Henderson described Mr McCririck as a “marvellous and intelligent man” and said he will be “extremely missed and it is without doubt the end of an era”.

    “To say he was a larger than life personality is an understatement and I was really, really fond of him,” said Mr Henderson. “He’d often come to our lunches and we always had terrific banter, which was great fun, and his passion for the game was immense. He was a brilliant ambassador for racing and he should be credited for the amount of excellent charity work he did as well, much of which went under the radar. I think racing owed him a lot because he brought racing into people’s living rooms and was the face of our sport for so long.”

    Broadcaster Nick Luck said he was a “magnificent journalist first and a great showman” who was so very kind to both him and many others.

    Mr McCririck leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Jenny, whom he affectionately nicknamed “The Booby”.

    Richard Barber

    One of pointing’s greatest trainers, who helped launch the careers of many in the point-to-point and racing worlds, Mr Barber died recently aged 77.

    He saddled more than 1,000 winners in British point-to-points as well as four victors of the Cheltenham Foxhunter and a winner of the Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase.

    Mr Barber frequently had 50 winners in a season and would have been champion point-to-point trainer numerous times, but the title was only introduced six years ago. His grandson, licensed trainer Jack Barber, became champion point-to-point trainer the following two seasons.

    Hundreds turned out for his funeral, held at St John’s Church in Seaborough, Dorset, which was adjascent to Mr Barber’s Manor Farm. It was standing room only in the church, and hundreds more mourners packed into a nearby marquee to watch proceedings on a screen.

    Born into a farming family in 1941, he saddled his first winner, Gerry Doyle, at Nedge in 1986 and his last, Whataknight, at Bratton Down in 2014.

    Among his many achievements were a seven-timer at the 1998 Mendip Farmers’ meeting and six-timers at the South Dorset in 1994 and 2011.

    He was also involved in the production of a number of National Hunt stars, including the likes of See More Business and Rushing Wild, later running a satellite yard for Paul Nicholls.

    Under his guidance and support, five riders won 11 national point-to-point championships — Justin Farthing, Polly Curling, Polly Gundry, Rachael Green and Will Biddick. He was also instrumental in the careers of many others working in racing and pointing today.

    He instigated the point-to-point track now known as Littlewindsor, and his uphill all-weather gallops are used daily by licensed trainers Harry Fry and Anthony Honeyball as well as Mr Barber’s grandsons, Jack and Christopher.

    His long-term friend Tim Frost gave tribute at Mr Barber’s funeral and readings were given by Jack and Sally Barber and Harry Fry. At the end of the service, his coffin was taken to his final resting place at the top of his gallops for a private family committal.

    He leaves his second wife Viv, four children, Jeremy, Charlotte, Jason and Vicky, and grandchildren.

    Dorothy Johnson

    A fellow of the British Horse Society, Mrs Johnson died on 26 June aged 96.

    Mrs Johnson and her husband, the late Cyril Jonson, ran the Northern Equitation Centre in Aughton, Lancashire, for many years before turning freelance.

    Mrs Johnson taught many people to ride across Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire, including the mounted section of Merseyside Police, whom she taught for 30 years, retiring aged 88.

    She also penned the book All About Riding, which was based on the television series of the same name in which she featured with Yorkshire Television.

    She leaves behind her daughter Janet, son-in-law Alan, and granddaughter Ellie.

    Trevor Jones

    Tributes have been paid to the renowned racing and sport photographer, who died on 5 June aged 72.

    In a career spanning more than 40 years, he covered racing and sporting events across the world, including Olympic Games, World Cup football and Wimbledon. He was also the first official photographer of racing’s Dubai World Cup at its inception in 1996.

    “Trevor was a very modest man but he was recognised among his colleagues as being an outstanding photographer which was reflected in his long, successful career,” said Marcus Townend, president of the Horserace Writers and Photographers Association.

    “He was respected and very popular in the press room and he will be sadly missed.”

    Photography had always been a part of Mr Jones’ life and his career started with a job in a camera shop in Eastbourne. Before focusing on horseracing, he covered events for Allsport and one of his photographs of Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup, featured on the front of Sports Illustrated in America.

    His work also featured in the pages of Horse & Hound and his photographs were seen in Pacemaker International magazine for more than two decades.

    With his wife, Gill, Mr Jones ran a freelance agency, Thoroughbred Photography Limited, from the mid-1990s until Mr Jones retired in 2015.

    Fellow photographer Pat Healy was among the many others to pay tribute to Mr Jones, describing him as a “master of his craft”.

    A spokesman for Juddmonte Stud, with which Mr Jones worked closely, taking many photos of the superstar Frankel, added: “All of us at Juddmonte were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Trevor Jones, a lovely man and legend of the racing photography world.”

    Tommy Robinson

    A horseman, soldier and a gentleman, Mr Robinson has died aged 95.

    Born in London in 1924, he spent his lifetime with horses. At the age of 13 he started a five-year apprenticeship with Lambourn-based trainer Charles Pratt before he was called up to join the army in 1945.

    Mr Robinson joined the airbourne division of the South Staffordshire regiment, but was captured at Arnhem and spent 10 months working in the mines as a prisoner of war. After the end of the war, he ran an army riding school in Germany and in 1951 he founded Nightingale Riding School in Wanstead.

    The riding school later moved to Buckhurst Hill and Mr Robinson ran it until his 85th year.

    “Rich in equine knowledge, he taught countless people to ride over the years and was renowned for his ability and love for his horses,” said a tribute from his niece, Jane Willis. “Quiet and unassuming, he will be remembered fondly as a true horseman and a total gentleman.”

    Karl Mikolka

    A leadign figure in dressage across the world, Mr Mikolka died on 12 May aged 83.

    Born in Vienna, Austria, his first job worth horses came in 1950 at a harness racectrack and he had his first riding lesson aged 15.

    He joined the Spanish Riding School in 1955 as an elévé, the lowest rank of rider-employee at the school, and became the last student of Bereiter Alfred Cerha.

    Mr Mikolka worked his way up and was promoted to chief rider in 1967, before moving to Brazil in 1968.

    He went on to found the Massachusetts Dressage Academy in the US and was among those at the official founding of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), going on to serve as a judge and sitting on judging panels at Olympic selection trials.

    Mr Mikolka spent 17 years working with the Lipizzaner stallions at Tempel Farms before moving back to Massachusetts in 1997 where he continued to teach the principal of classical dressage.
    In 2003, whe was inducted into the USDF Hall of fame and has written for many publications to promote classical training.

    Joan Tice

    A philanthropist and stalwart of the equestrian world, Mrs Tice died at home surrounded by family, friends and a loyal spaniel on 26 April aged 86.

    Brought up in Grafton country, she studied at Moulton Agricultural College and her family home was at Vale Farm in Ashton, Northants, home to a dairy and some top racehorses.

    These included Clear Profit, who ran in her father’s colours to finish third in the 1960 Grand National and who Mrs Tice rode in point-to-points. She married hop farmer James Tice in 1959 and the couple had three children.

    In 1972, she moved to Teeton Hall in the heart of the Pytchley Saturday country, becoming joint-master in 1990 and serving for 12 years, walking hound puppies until recently. She is remembered as a quiet but effective master who ran a happy, successful hunt.

    She enjoyed team chasing and also loved carriage driving.

    Mrs Tice spent seven years as district commissioner of the Pytchley Hunt branch of the Pony Club, and hosted its annual camps.

    She bred many point-to-pointers with the Teeton prefix, including Teeton Kato, who won a week before her death.

    As a trustee of the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, she gained enormous pleasure in supporting charities and community projects, distributing millions of pounds, and was appointed OBE in 2014.

    “She was a remarkably generous lady with enormous spirit and enthusiasm for life and will be much missed by the hunting and racing world and the wider community,” said her daughter, Judy.

    She leaves her daughter, two sons, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

    Roy Burek

    The equestrian world is mourning the loss of a pioneer in rider safety after Mr Burek died in his sleep from a heart attack aged 61.

    Mr Burek was the chairman and managing director of riding helmet manufacturer Charles Owen and a leading light in research into head injuries and protection.

    He was an instrumental part of the company, which was founded by his grandfather in 1911, and his life’s work was dedicated to making riding safer and saving lives.

    He was integral in developing international safety standards and research into the science of head injuries, whichled to him being appointed as honorary professor at Cardiff University in 2017.

    British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) executive director Claire Williams told H&H“the trade is in shock” at his passing.

    “Roy played a key role in the development and improvement of safety standards, and his death leaves an enormous gap,” she said.

    “He was a person who always had time for others and was incredibly patient and generous with his knowledge and expertise.

    “Roy was a loyal supporter of BETA and its work to promote rider safety. His enthusiasm for education was second to none and he would always do his best to assist with our training courses and awareness-raising initiatives whenever asked.

    “Roy was held in high regard by everyone in the equestrian industry and he will be sorely missed.”

    A spokesman for the company said Mr Burek’s “legacy will live on” in the safety products he committed his life to designing.

    “Roy’s tireless passion for creating a safer world brought Charles Owen to the forefront of equestrian safety innovation and his dedication to offering help and advice to colleagues and to riders of all levels will be missed,” he told H&H.

    A multitude of riders and businesses from across the equestrian world have paid tribute to Mr Burek and his work.

    Mr Burek’s son, Owen, will continue with the company’s work and maintain “business as usual” for the employees and customers.

    Jamie Warneford Robertson

    A popular instructor and talented rider, Mr Warneford Robertson has died aged 40.

    Hailing from a strong equine background, his gradfather Franics Warneford trained horses and riders as part of his business at Cuckfield, his grandmother Pat Warneford bred show ponies and was a British Show Pony Society judge and his mother, Tilly, has taught riding all her life. Mr Warneford inherited the family’s love of horses and from a young age was an active member of the Crawley & Horsham branch of the Pony Club.

    He went on to represent his branch on teams at area level and eventing up to intermediate on his horse Knight Invader. In his teens he took up western riding with Britain’s top reining family, the Sternbergs, and also rode in the John Smith’s People’s Race at Aintree on the day of the 2007 Grand National.

    Mr Warneford Robertson was a very popular coach, teaching both Pony Club rallies and privately.

    He leaves his widow Jo, children Jonah and Georgia, and mother, Tilly.

    Sally Munden

    A Dedicated eventing supporter and inspirational coach, Mrs Munden died on 3 April aged 70.

    Her passion for hunting led her into the eventing world as an owner, breeder and as organiser of Bricky Horse Trials in West Dorset, which supports the Fortune Centre for Riding Therapy. She founded the event in 2001, running it with her husband Michael and latterly Liz Hills.

    Mrs Munden was also a coach and trustee for the Stella Hayward Riding for the Disabled Association.

    Friend and fellow event organiser Helen West said she was a “hugely supportive owner” to many young riders in the west country.

    “Her valued pragmatism and realistic expectations enabled her to enjoy close relationships with them,” she said.

    “Sally understood the sport and the ups and downs that owning horses brought with it. Even on the worst days Sally always managed to bring an element of humour to proceedings and see the funny side of things.

    “She successfully bred numerous horses and took great pride in watching them compete. She leaves some promising youngsters as a legacy for the future.

    Mrs Munded died hours after two of her young horses, ridden by Tim Cheffings and Poppy Douglas-Johnson, jumped double clear at Portman Horse Trials.

    “ The news relayed to Sally and her carers at home at Bricky, was just what she had awaited over the previous days, despite heavy sedation. She kept her incurable acute myeloid leukaemia at bay for a year,” added Ms West.

    “Sally will for ever be remembered for her wise words and support she brought to a multitude of people.”

    Catherine (Kate) Moir

    A devoted driving force within the Pony Club, Mrs Moir died on 12 March.

    She is fondly remembers as the highly efficient national secretary, taking over from Jean Sansome in 1973 and remaining in post for 23 years.

    With an encyclopaedic knowledge of Pony Club conventions and the rules at her fingertips, she also had the great ability for remembering people’s names and recognising voices on the telephone. This was no mean feat with the thousands of members, branches, area representatives and parents she dealt with.

    Michael Auld, a friend and former district commissioner of the East Hertfordshire branch, remembers she “almost single-handedly” organised programmes and rotas for the national championships.

    “When it came to the final results sheet you didn’t have to wait long before Kate had them typed up and run off on a mimeograph machine,” he said. “You had to be deadly accurate as corrections were difficult to make and Kate rarely, if ever, made a mistake.”

    Her grasp of running the Pony Club office allowed chief executive Bill Lithgow to continue his other role as chef d’equipe of the British eventing team, including trips to the Mexico, Munich and Montreal Olympics.

    Her dedication is remembered annually in an award given to the best branch secretary in the UK.

    Peter Stoddart

    A respected senior master and huge contributor to field sports, Mr Stoddart died peacefully on 19 April.

    He was a joint master of the Whaddon Chase and latterly the Heythrop. Along with Albert Buckle, Dorian Williams and others, Mr Stoddart provided wonderful sport to the subscribers of the Whaddon. His friendship and leadership with hunt staff, fellow masters and subscribers alike earned him huge respect.

    When he moved from the Whaddon to the Heythrop country, he was invited to join the mastership. He held Anthony Adams, Julian Barnfield and Richard Sumner in high esteem through the good years of great sport.

    He was not afraid to chastise anybody including family and close friends who stepped out of line in the hunting field and would always have a bottle of whisky in his car for a tolerant or intolerant farmer.

    Among his many contributions to field sports, he was proud to serve for many years as a deputy governor of the Hunt Staff Benefit Society, for which he organised many charity events.

    A service of thanksgiving will be held on 26 June in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, at 12 noon.

    Gwen Stockegrand

    The US grand prix dressage rider died from cancer on 19 April aged 64.

    She competed at the 1979 Pan American Games and the 1980 “alternative Olympics”, due to the boycott of the Moscow Games, on Bao. She also roe at the 1982 World Championships in Lausanne on Casino.

    After starting out in eventing, she switched to dressage and was one of the youngest riders on the US team when she made her senior debut at the Pan American Games in 1979 aged 23.

    Mrs Stockebrand won numerous national titles and was an active part of the Californian dressage scene as a rider, trainer, judge and organiser.

    Dr Elfrida (Elfie) Monteith

    A dedicated volunteer and stalwart of the equestrian world, Dr Monteith died on 20 March aged 87.

    Dr Monteith loved riding and grew up hacking to rallies with the Belvoir Hunt branch of the Pony Club as well as Belvoir and Cottesmore Hunt meets in south Lincolnshire.

    She followed hounds in great style along with her children and her sister, Jo, for 34 seasons. Her medical expertise was often called upon out hunting and she hung up her boots in 2005, but continued to enjoy car following.

    Dr Monteith competed for Melton Mowbray Riding Club and actively supported her family as they grew to become talented riders.

    She was proud to have helped her son Angus and daughter Fiona compete as part of the Pony Club Open Eventing Championships for the Belvoir in 1977. She was also a big support to her younger daughter, Helen Scholl, in her riding career, co-owning Helen’s top event horse Danbury Hill, who competed at Bramham and Burghley.

    Most recently she enjoyed watching granddaughters Amelia and Lucy Scholl compete.

    Dr Monteith was generous with her time and expertise — in 1999 she was awarded the prestigious Pony Club Cubitt Award in 1999 by Princess Anne for more than 20 years of volunteering with the Belvoir, serving as branch secretary for many years and running the eventing side of the club.

    She also provided medical cover at events in the East Midlands, including Belton, Buckminster and Oasby Horse Trials, for more than 30 years.

    Her funeral will take place at Grantham Crematorium on 17 April at 1.30pm.

    Clem Tompsett

    A long-serving event organiser, Mr Tompsett died on 22 March aged 80.

    Mr Tompsett was the landowner and organiser of Isleham Horse Trials for more than 30 years.
    A hugely successful farmer, Mr Tompsett started his career aged 15 and his company, Tompsett Burgess Growers, now produces more than 75,000 tonnes of carrots and 9,000 tonnes of parsnips a year.

    He was also committed to caring for the environment, creating areas of natural beauty, reservoirs and planting acres of woodland.

    Mr Tompsett was a long-serving district commissioner of the Soham and District branch of the Pony Club and also served as chairman of the British Carrot Growers’ Association.

    Through the running of Isleham Horse Trials, Mr Tompsett and his team raised a large amount for charity and in 2010 he was appointed MBE by The Queen for services to agriculture and the local community.

    “Tears will flow but will be lots of laughter too, as Clem loved to banter and smile and, of course, give encouragement and time to those competing at his beloved event,” said a tribute from his family.

    Clarissa Dawson

    Three-time national ladies’ side-saddle rider of the year, Ms Dawson died from cancer on 9 March.

    She lectured for more than 20 years at Warwickshire College’s Moreton Morrell base, where she was previously a student.

    As a BHSI (stage 5 performance coach in complete horsemanship), she combined her work with freelance coaching and side-saddle clinics across the UK and abroad.

    Ms Dawson was a stalwart supporter of the BHS assessment system, examining up to BHSI-level (stage 5) across the world. Even during her illness, she insisted on sitting and passing the Equestrian Qualifications standardisation test, what’s this, does it need caps? which she passed with flying colours.

    In the competition arena, she enjoyed success in showing, side saddle and affiliated dressage up to advanced level with her two beloved greys — Blue Button and Shadow Of Doubt — and most recently with her “very precious mare” Primiende. She also won the national ladies’ side-saddle rider of the year title in 1992, 1994 and 1997.

    Ms Dawson was diagnosed with terminal leukemia last summer and endured many rounds of chemotherapy. Despite this, she made a triumphant return to the saddle to compete and win at advanced medium with Primiende, who she has had since a three-year-old. The pair continued competing until the end of last year, with their final class the advanced medium freestyle at Onley on 23 November, where they finished second.

    Her funeral will be held at 11am on 1 April at North Chapel, Oakley Wood Crematorium, Lemington Spa, and it was her specific request colourful clothing should be worn.

    Diana Stidworthy (nee Close)

    The former head stud groom at Cayton Park Stud, Mrs Stidworthy passed away on 25 January aged 71.

    She started her career preparing show ponies, polo ponies and hunters before moving into racing; firstly, at Three Ashes Stud for Martin Bourdett-Coutts and then to Cayton Park near Wargrave in the 1970s.

    At the time Mrs Stidworthy worked there, Cayton Park was owned by one of Britain’s leading throughbred breeders, the late Gerald Leigh. It was later sold and became the original Juddmonte Farm.

    Mrs Stidworthy was particularly renowned for her forensic approach to feeding and expertise in preparing yearlings.

    She leaves behind a loving family.

    Katherine (Kate) Borer-Weir

    A talented vet and specialist in anaesthesia who made huge contributions to teaching, research and the understanding of laminitis, Mrs Borer-Weir died from cancer in February.

    Dr Borer-Weir was a lecturer in veterinary anaesthesia at the Royal Veterinary College and was part of a team who paved the way for the current cardiopulmonary open-heart surgery programme at the RVC. She also played a key role in educating and assessing on the subject.

    In 2011, she completed her PhD in laminitis and insulin resistance in ponies and undertook a range of studies, which resulted in five peer-reviewed publications, making a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in this area.

    Dr Borer-Weir rode across the world, taking part in a British Horse Society-sponsored ride across Jordan and also riding in Africa and Spain.

    She leaves behind her husband, Peter, and two young children.

    Nina Gromova

    Top Russian dressage rider, trainer and judge, Mrs Gromova died on 28 January aged 97.

    She was awarded the government medal for her work in defending Moscow in 1941 and worked as a translator at the first United Nations meeting in London in 1946.

    Mrs Gromova is famous for competing the same horse, a thoroughbred named Dida, across multiple disciplines at top level. The pair were also travelling reserves for the Russian dressage team at the 1956 Stockholm Olympics.

    She served on the FEI dressage committee and was also behind the success of the Russian team at the 1968 and 1972 Olympics as well as the 1970 World Championships.

    In 2017, she became the first honorary president of the Russian equestrian federation and was also awarded the title of “honoured master of sports of Russia”, which was presented by Russian sports minister, Pavel Kolohkov.

    A memorial service was held at Moscow racecourse on 30 January.

    Calvin Mcdonald

    The equestrian community is mourning the sad loss of a well-known figure in the showjumping world.

    Leading owner and former top rider, Mr Mcdonald died in January aged 73.

    Born and raised in Northern Ireland, his riding career took him across the world and he spent many years in Canada and California.

    He returned to Ireland 12 years ago following a fall in which he broke his back.

    Mr Mcdonald continued to be strongly involved in the sport, owning a number of top horses and was a key supporter of Irish rider Jessica Burke and members of the Whitaker family.

    His horses included Hickstead star Glenavadra Brilliant. Bred by Frank Fahy and owned by Mr Mcdonald and Ian Whitaker, the Irish sport horse won the 2016 Hickstead Derby with William Whitaker in the saddle, as well as last year’s Queen Elizabeth II Cup ridden by James Whitaker.

    John Stocking

    A regular supporter and volunteer across the southern eventing circuit, Mr Stocking died on 16 January aged 72 following 18 months of illness.

    He helped at many events over the years, including Blenheim and he was also a games maker at the London 2012 Olympics.

    Friend and fellow volunteer Siobhan Grenyer paid tribute to Mr Stocking.

    “He fought hard against his illness and still managed to visit events even during his treatment, the last time at Tweseldown last year,” she said.

    “Easily recognised by fellow fence judges and competitors alike, leaning on his rake wearing his leather hat greeting all with a cheery ‘morning’, John has been regularly judging most weekends for the last 25 years.

    “He will be missed and remembered fondly by all his fellow fence judges, organisers, officials, and his brothers Mike and Geoff.”

    Bill Martin

    One of Irish racing’s longest-serving supporters, Mr Martin died on 29 January aged 97.

    A life-long racing fan, it is believed that he had attended Galway racecourse’s summer festival for 90 years and followed the sport at courses across Ireland.

    Mr Martin was a member of the Irish National Stud and Michael O’Callaghan racing clubs and many will remember him for his passionate interview after Perfect Soldier won at Galway in 2015.

    He leaves behind wife Bridgid (Birdie), sons Eddie, Declan and Bill as well as many grandchildren and extended family.

    Richard Williams

    The landowner and an integral part of Stafford Horse Trials, Mr Williams died from cancer on 4 January aged 63.

    A tribute from the event’s organisers said Mr Williams had been a “wonderful host” over the past 13 years, doing everything he could to make the fixture the success it is today.

    “From ground care, to painting jumps, to delivering hot flasks to volunteers, no task was too big or too small,” added the tribute.

    “Richard was a loved and valuable member of our team and a great support to us. We will miss him dearly, and we know that many of our team and competitors will also be deeply saddened by this news.”

    It was his wish that the event continue and preparations for the March fixture are under way.

    Angela Miles

    A stalwart of the hunting world who encouraged countless people to enjoy days following hounds, Mrs Miles died on 24 December aged 83.

    Born in Hertfordshire, she was educated at Queenswood School in Hatfield, followed by finishing school in Versailles and finally secretarial college, where she trained in journalism.

    Her first job was with British Showjumping, where she met and married Raymond Brooks-Ward. After the couple divorced, she became secretary to an MP in Sussex, before retuning to Hertforshire and spending time working for the British Horse Society and the Royal Agricultural Society.

    She also spent time working for Hambros Bank and Hertfordshire County Council and served as honorary secretary of the Enfield Chace.

    In 1974, she moved to Suffolk to become Paul Rackham’s hunt secretary — one of her first tasks was to compile a list of some 750 farmers, their boundaries and attitude towards hunting, which is how she met her husband Rowley Miles.

    The couple are remembered as a “true team”, hugely supportive of each other and renowned for their generous hospitality.

    As well as the usual duties of a hunt secretary, Mrs Miles’ dedication extended to writing pantomimes, running balls, and running the Suffolk Sugar Beets team chase squad.

    In March 2017, the Miles family and the Suffolk Hunt hosted a testimonial meet for her in recognition of more than 40 years of service as secretary and latterly as a joint master.
    She is remembered for her wit, enthusiasm and generosity.

    A private service and committal was held at Great Ashfield church on 9 January.

    Hugh McIlvanney

    Legendary sport journalist Mr McIlvanney died on 24 January aged 84.

    Born and raised in Kilmarnock, his career started on the local paper — the Kilmarnock Standard.

    From there he went on to join the nationals, including The Scotsman, Daily Express and Sunday Times, and also wrote books on football, racing and boxing.

    He covered many of the most defining moments in sport during his distinguished career, such as the 1974 fight between Muhummad Ali and George Foreman. He was awarded an OBE in1996 and retired in 2016 after 60 years in journalism.

    He interviewed the great and good of the racing world, and many will remember his voice on the opener for ITV Racing’s coverage of the 2017 Grand National.

    AP McCoy was among the many to pay tribute to him, describing him as a “genius writer” whose tone “always left the most lasting impression”.

    Broadcaster Ed Chamberlin added he was the “finest sports writer of his generation”.

    Captain Christopher Coldrey

    An instrumental figure in equestrian sport across the world, Captain Coldrey died on 9 December aged 90.

    Educated at Sherborne, he then joined Kings College Cambridge as a choral scholar, where he read history.

    On leaving university, Captain Coldrey signed up to join the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars and fought in the Korean War, serving at the 1951 battle of Imjin River in a centurion tank.
    It was during his time in the Army that Captain Coldrey took up riding seriously. When he settled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) he showjumped at the top level. His jacket was made in the Rhodesian colours and was worn at Captain Coldrey’s funeral by eventer Gavin Connell, who rides for the Coldreys.

    In 1961, he started the Chinhoyi Derby, based on the Hamburg Derby — which is also the inspiration for its Hickstead counterpart. The event was restarted last year, using Captain Coldrey’s original course plans.

    He later moved to South Africa, where he started the major indoor showjumping show in Johannesburg and also spent time working as a course-designer, commentator and in the media.

    He met his wife Victoria in 1971 and the couple moved to the UK, first settling in Lancashire where Captain Coldrey was a driving force behind the formation of Arena North. The show, popular for its parties as well as the competition, ran during the 1970s and held the “grand national of showjumping” among other major classes.

    The family moved to Suffolk and founded the pre-training yard Herringswell Bloodstock Centre in 1979, where they started a number of listed group and Classic winners for the likes of Sir Henry Cecil and Sir Mark Prescott.

    Captain Coldrey also wrote a number of books on training horses, was a director of the British Horse Society and an expert witness in equestrian legal matters.

    His funeral took place on 11 January at St Margaret’s, Chippenham, and his most recent event horse, Captain Nolan, and his Doberman were led behind the coffin in the procession, wearing the regimental colours of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars.

    He leaves his wife Victoria, children Charles, Mark and Kate, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

    Natasha Galpin

    Tributes have been paid to the talented young event rider, who died in an accident on the gallops on 16 January.

    Miss Galpin, 22, ran her own livery yard and was an accomplished horsewoman.

    She rode out for racehorse trainer Iain Jardine, and was riding on the yard’s grass gallops when the horse she was on suffered a ruptured artery, resulting in the accident.

    Miss Galpin was a frequent competitor at events across Scotland and the north of England. In 2017, she took the Scottish and Northern Novice Championships aboard her own Miss Contender, who she produced from BE90 to CCI1* (now CCI2*).

    British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust was among the many to pay tribute to her.

    “While such incidents are extremely rare, there is an element of risk every time a rider sits on any horse and as such we must never take for granted the bravery and commitment of our workforce,” he said. “Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends and the yard of Iain Jardine.”

    Lady Rothschild

    A leading owner and breeder of racehorses, Lady Serena Rothschild died on 13 January aged 83.

    She ran Waddesdon Stud in Buckinghamshire, which bred the 2011 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Nathaniel. The horse, trained by John Gosden, finished second to Frankel on his debut and won four of his 11 starts, including the 2011 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the 2012 Coral Eclipse.

    Her other top horses included 2012 Irish Oaks winner Great Heavens, full sister to Nathaniel, 2009 Breeders’ Cup victor Pounced as well as prolific winner Thistle Bird.

    Frank Morgan

    A stalwart of racing and point-to-pointing in the Welsh Borders, Mr Morgan died from cancer aged 69.

    Born into a farming family, he started his career as an auctioneer, valuer and agricultural specialist under the guidance of Geoffrey Chambers at Russel, Baldwin & Bright, which later became Brightwells.

    Mr Morgan remained with the firm for close to 54 years, retiring at the end of December 2018.

    He served as a point-to-point and National Hunt steward for almost three decades and was a regular at Ludlow and Hereford racecourses. As well as this, he served as fixture secretary for the North Herefordshire and took over the role of Point-to-Point Secretaries Association area chairman in the early 1990s.

    Mr Morgan also enjoyed the sport as an owner, with his homebred mare Highland Way, who was trained by Steve Flook.

    “The word ‘gentleman’ is often over-used, but there really is no other to describe Frank,” said friend and Welsh Border Area public relations officer Stella Havard.

    “A naturally kind man, he was genteel to the bone, but always in command of himself, and those around him.

    “There are no words that could do Frank Morgan justice, and his passing will be felt keenly by all who knew him.”

    Bill Elsey

    The dual Classic-winning trainer died on 2 January aged 97.

    He took over the licence from his father, Charles, at Highfield Stables in Malton in 1961 and went on to enjoy victories in the 1967 Oaks with Pia and 1073 St Leger with Peleid.

    The Yorkshire trainer saddled many other major race winners; his CV included victories in the Eclipse at Sandown, Ebor at York and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

    Mr Elsey retired in 1996 and leaves six children, six grandchildren, and his second wife, Susie.

    Jim Chapman

    A dedicated hunt servant, Mr Chapman died on 11 December aged 98.

    His career started in the 1930s and spanned decades, working with packs across the country.
    These included the Fernie, Oakley, Burton, Meynell, Blankney, Goathland, Suffolk, Worcestershire and Cleveland.

    Mr Chapman’s funeral was held on 15 January at St Michael’s Church in Great Gidding.

    Sheena Hilleary

    A double Olympic skier who dedicated much of her life to encouraging young riders, Mrs Hilleary died on 13 December aged 90.

    She ran Logie Farm Riding Centre near Inverness from 1974 to 2010, which was one of the first establishments in the north of Scotland to gain approval from the British Horse Society.

    Mrs Hilleary taught hundreds of children and adults to ride and was known for her love and kindness to all animals.

    She was a great supporter of the Pony Club and was presented with a Cubitt award in 1991 for her work and dedication to the Moray & Nairn branch.

    But her talents did not simply lie in equestrianism, she was British ladies ski champion in 1951, competed at the 1948 and 1952 Olympics and was one of only two women to compete in the 1947 inferno, the longest downhill ski race in the world at the time.

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