Founder of popular saddlers dies

  • The founder of a well-known saddlers has died.

    Geoff Charley, who founded Townfields Saddlers, passed away at Kineton Manor Nursing Home on 21 June following a long illness. He was 75.

    Geoff was known to many in the equestrian and shooting worlds through the family business, which he set up with his wife Gill in 1963.

    He was very involved in equestrian sport from a young age where he was took part in gymkhanas and showjumping.

    Geoff later developed a love for hunting, team chasing and point-to-pointing and also set up a riding school where he started selling second-hand saddles.

    In his competitive career, he qualified several times for the working hunter of the year final at Horse of the Year Show.

    Alongside his family, Geoff ran the saddlers, which is based near Coventry, for more than 50 years.

    The saddlers was an established sight on the equestrian event circuit.

    Geoff leaves behind his wife, their children Adrian and Sarah, Adrian’s wife Julie and four grandchildren: Ben, William, Tom and Harry.

    Sarah told H&H: “He built Townfields to what it is today because he loved horse sport and adored working alongside his family.

    “In fact spending time with family especially his grandchildren was one of his great loves, alongside fishing and shooting and being part of the equestrian fraternity.”

    A minute’s silence is set to be held at the Hickstead Derby on Sunday (28 June) in honour of Geoff.

    Badminton Horse Trials’ director Hugh Thomas said: “Geoff will be sadly missed by all the show organisers — he was a real character who contributed hugely to the atmosphere in a successful trade stand village.”

    A private family funeral will take place on 7 July 2015 at Moreton Morrell Church.

    Following this, a service to celebrate Geoff’s life will take place at 3pm at Walton Hall Hotel & Spa, Warwickshire, followed by afternoon tea.

    Family flowers only. Donations can be made to the British Heart Foundation at www.bhf.org.uk

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