By Charlotte Passey
The passionate hunt supporter Michael Passey died at home on 19 February, aged 84, following a short illness.
Mr Passey grew up on the family farm at Church Farm, Buildwas, Shropshire. He started riding, aged 10, when his dad bought him a pony for shepherding. He went from competing successfully in gymkhanas and showjumping to hunting with the Wheatland and the South Shropshire.
At Walford Agricultural College he achieved numerous City & Guilds qualifications, before returning to run the family farm. His son, Nick, was born in 1966 and Mr Passey was extremely proud of his showjumping success at national level.
Mr Passey enjoyed team chasing and was part of a team that qualified for the national championships. One day he joined friends hunting with the North Shropshire and while out on point, he was asked by joint master Norman Crow to whip in for him as he was due to take the hounds on the following season – this was a very proud moment for Mr Passey, as he very much admired and respected Mr Crow.
The family farm ties meant he could not commit to the role, prompting Mr Crow to suggest a job share. This led to Mr Passey whipping-in with his good friend Chris Everall for six seasons; the pair had many escapades over these years. He was asked to hunt many people’s horses – in one season 14 different horses. Hunting remained his great passion throughout his life.
In 1981, he moved to Newport with his wife Monica where they built up a very successful horse-backing yard with his son, Nick. They backed hundreds of horses a year, as well as foaling mares and taking injured horses for recovery. There was a constant waiting list for horses to be sent to them from all over the country, such was their reputation. Mr Massey’s stepdaughter Maxine was also part of the team.
He was a member of the Newport and District Driving Society for a time with his Hackney stallion Whitney Wayside George. He also enjoyed showjumping success and fun with his daughter Charlotte, who was born in 1982. He enjoyed many seasons as a starter at point-to-points and latterly as a foot follower with the Albrighton and Woodland.
Mr Passey will be hugely missed by his family and friends.
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