Farewell to much-loved showing judge Rosemary Young

  • Mrs Young has died aged 76, having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

    Born Rosemary Sarah Trevor, to David and Kaye, she lived in Stanmore and spent holidays and weekends on the family farm in Hertfordshire, where she was a member of the Puckeridge Western branch of the Pony Club and enjoyed following the Puckeridge hunt. Aged 14, she won the Gosling Cup individual eventing championship and she had many notable successes in junior showjumping with her brilliant grey Arden Davy Crockett.

    Mrs Young attended the North London Collegiate School and the Pensionnat Juat in Switzerland, where she acquired fluency in French and German, and a passion for skiing. On leaving the Swiss college she worked briefly for the music industry in London, then joined British Overseas Airways Corporation as a stewardess. Her charm and happy personality were instrumental in being chosen as a stewardess for royal flights.

    In 1972, she married James Young, a Boeing 747 pilot. They had two children, Heather and David, and settled in Wheathampstead where Rosemary ran a small farm with sheep, cattle and ponies. Heather had many successes in the show ring including the Royal International (RIHS) show pony championship in 1985 with Harwoods Tristan.

    After her children finished competing, Mrs Young became a judge for the British Show Pony Society (BSPS). and quickly established a reputation as a fair and knowledgeable master of her craft, never too busy to help people. She ran BSPS Area 15A for many years, set up the Mid Herts County Show and tutored many young judges.

    In 1992, Mrs Young moved to Nairn, Scotland, buying a modest golfing hotel and going on to become widely recognised in Scottish tourism. Her volunteer work as part of the Government’s welfare-to-work scheme led to her being appointed OBE in 2006.

    Her judging calendar remained full even after her move to Scotland. Always keen to fulfil her judging engagements, she would be delighted to accept, at the local riding club show or travelling hundreds of miles to large prestigious shows. She was invited to judge at, among others, Royal Windsor, RIHS, Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), Royal Highland and, in 2011, the Barastoc HOYS in Melbourne.

    Mrs Young was happy to roll up her sleeves to help any way she could when it came to running an equestrian event. For years she led a team of ladies with great humour and merriment, running the buffet lunches at the BSPS championships at the East of England Showground. She officiated and stewarded at many occasions including the main ring at the Scottish Game Fair.

    In the Highland working hill ponies class she spoke to The Queen’s ghillie and, illustrating her breadth of knowledge, was invited to view the ponies at Balmoral. Unfortunately, time never allowed this, something she very much regretted.

    In the past few years Mrs Young turned back to competing, this time after teaching her beloved granddaughters to ride. She threw herself back into the world of children’s ponies as part of the Inverness-shire branch of the Pony Club. They took part in showing and jumping, fancy dress and mounted games at Blair Castle.

    Mrs Young was a multitalented woman with many strings to her bow. As well as being an accomplished horsewoman, she enjoyed competitive tennis and played as a single-figure golfer for years. She was an energetic and dedicated individual, exemplified by the fact she judged for two days in the searing heat at the 2021 RIHS weeks before receiving her devastating diagnosis.

    Mrs Young’s varied and active life spanned many spheres and in all she brought warmth, humour and friendship to the many people who will now greatly miss her.

    A memorial will be held in Nairn in 2022 to celebrate her life and many achievements.

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