Farewell to the horse world’s great and good

  • H&H reports the passing of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the horse world. Funerals and memorial details will be included where possible.

    Dessie Hughes

    Dessie Hughes 5410028The former jockey and top Irish trainer has died aged 71.

    In his time as a trainer, he sent out six winners at the Cheltenham Festival — including dual Champion Hurdle winner Hardy Eustace (2004-2005).

    He also won the 1979 Champion Hurdle as a jockey on Monksfield and the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Davy Lad.

    Dessie was the father of champion Flat jockey Richard Hughes.

    A minute silence was held at Cheltenham racecourse yesterday (Sunday 16 November) in his memory.

    Judith Draper

    The equestrian journalist died on 7 November, aged 71. She had been suffering from cancer.

    In her youth she worked in racing stables and spent two years riding second horses to the late Dorian Williams when he was Master of the Whaddon Chase.

    She was on the staff of H&H‘s sister title Riding magazine and wrote the Guinness Book of Showjumping in 1987 and was a source of knowledge and advice to many. She was also a contributor to H&H.

    “Judi had the perfect CV for an equestrian journalist, with a love of, and practical experience with horses, combined with an inquisitive mind, a skilful pen and a meticulous attention to detail when it came to editing other people’s work.

    No misplaced comma or incorrect semicolon escaped her, as I was to discover, and bless her for it,” said journalist Alan Smith.

    Hilary Payne

    The instructor and trainer passed away in hospital on 20 October. During her career she taught in many countries, including Canada and the USA.

    On her return to Britain she became national coach with the British Horse Society (BHS). She worked with the late Colonel Froud, training point-to-pointers and eventers.

    She underwent several back operations that left her unable to ride, but missed it greatly. She took up riding again with a Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) group in Shrewley, qualifying for the RDA National Championships this year at the age of 80.

    Antony Sandeman

    Antony Sandeman Crawley MFHThe hunting world is mourning the death of Antony Sandeman, who died unexpectedly on 14 October, aged 56.

    An active farmer, Antony was a joint-master of the Crawley and Horsham for 19 seasons, recently retiring at the end of the 2013-14 season.

    He served on the Masters of Foxhounds Association committee and has been both chairman and clerk of the course at the hunt’s point-to-point at Parham.

    A respected breeder and judge of hounds, he was the chairman of the South of England Hound Show and judged the doghounds at July’s Peterborough Hound Show.

    John Huntridge

    john huntridgeEvent horse owner John Huntridge died at home in Suffolk earlier this month, aged 94.

    Among his many successful horses were Burghley winner Kings Jester, Away With The Fairies, Marsh Heron, Pass The Buck, Just Another Buck and Mountain Warrior.

    The grey Connemara x Holstein, Romeo Z, was another star.

    Mr Huntridge rode the horse as a four and five-year-old and watched with pride as he went on to international three-day eventing with Alex Liddle.

    Last year his support, generosity and enthusiasm for eventing was recognised at the Event Horse Owners Association awards, where he received an award.

    “John lived for his horses and especially eventing,” said friend Caroline Bridge.

    The 11th Duke of Marlborough

    The 11th Duke of Marlborough, a great supporter of the Blenheim Palace Horse Trials, passed away peacefully on Thursday (16 October) aged 88.

    The Duke and his family have been closely involved in the three-day event at Blenheim Palace since it first started in 1990.

    “The Duke would often pop in to see who was entered and how our plans were going and Duke of Marlborough Blenheimalways wanted a pre-event tour of the course with a member of the team,” said event director Mandy Hervieu.

    British Eventing’s Mike Etherington-Smith said that the Duke “had a love of the equestrian world, particularly eventing,” and he was “especially pleased” when Blenheim Palace hosted the European Championships in 2005.

    The Duke hunted for many decades with the Heythrop and in Leicestershire. He became particularly involved with the Heythrop during Stephen Lambert’s mastership and the hounds met often at Blenheim even on shoot days.

    “He was a wonderful support and encouragement to us all when he rode with us,” said Stephen Lambert.

    A private funeral service is being held on Friday (24 October).

    Derek Liebenberg

    The FEI four-star judge, technical delegate, chief steward and course director died earlier this month (8 October) after losing his battle with cancer. He was 54 Derek Liebenberg - Zuluyears old.

    Known as Zulu, he was appointed as the FEI’s regional development officer for Africa in 1998 and worked to develop endurance throughout Southern Africa.

    He was FEI chief steward at the World Equestrian Games endurance test event last year, but was too ill to attend the games this summer.

    “Derek made a huge, life-long commitment to endurance and its community, and we will be forever grateful for this,” said Ian Williams, FEI director for endurance.

    “Zulu also played top-level rugby in South Africa before coming to equestrian sport. He will be sorely missed by those who witnessed his commitment to all types of sport.”

    Elizabeth Colquhoun

    The successful horsewoman died last month aged 90.

    She evented, played polo and was a leading figure in the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt throughout the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

    She was placed in the top ten on both the two occasions on which she entered Elizabeth ColquhounBadminton Horse Trials, and formed her own polo team at Kirtlington.

    She kept a pure bred Shales stallion, Silver Shales, inherited from her mother, standing at stud, and he was followed by Red Shales. With these two she did much to preserve the Shales line, the spectacular results of which were displayed to the Queen at Windsor in 1978.

    It was in that year that she suffered a catastrophic head injury after falling at Bramham Horse Trials — she remained unconscious for seven weeks.

    It ended her competitive career but she made a gradual recovery and was able to live back at her beloved Little Tingewick House later in her life.

    Andy Crofts

    Prolific showman and judge Andy Crofts died on Tuesday 23 September. He was 85.

    Together with his wife, Jane, Andy produced and owned many top-class show hunters, hacks and show ponies, and eventers ridden by Andrew Nicholson, William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell.

    Andy’s funeral will take place at Peaslake Church near Guildford on 14 October.

    This news story was first published in H&H magazine (2 October 2014).

    Robert Norman-Hall

    The former dressage coach for the British Olympic teams, Robert Norman Hall, died last month (13 September), aged 88.

    Mr Hall was coach at the 1956 games in Melbourne through to Mexico in 1968.

    Robert trained at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, before returning to Fulmer in England to teach the classical style of riding at his own riding school.

    The Fulmer school expanded to the US, and in 1980 Robert moved to Aiken, South Carolina, where he married his second wife, Laura Hatch. They taught the “Fulmer Way” together from then on.

    This news story was first published in H&H magazine (2 October 2014).

    John King

    John King, the premier sporting artist whose work was published frequently in H&H for many years, died on Monday of last week (Sept 8) aged 85.

    A keen and bold horseman across country, John rode after hounds in the many hunting countries he illustrated brilliantly in oils, water colour and pencil sketches. He was also an accomplished sculptor.

    John King sometimes accompanied former H&H Editor Michael Clayton in the hunting field to produce illustrations for Michael’s weekly hunting column “Foxford’s Hunting Diary”. They produced a book illustrating hunting throughout the UK, “The Golden Thread”, published in 1984.

    Born in West Tytherley, Hampshire, in the house he occupied most of his life – and in which he died – John King switched from an intended career in farming to become a sporting artist. He hunted with the Hursley, and rode in point-to-points, and was much influenced by the sporting artist Lionel Edwards who lived nearby and was a family friend.

    Prolific and highly talented, John King held one-man exhibitions in London of his work which included military ceremonial occasions, and superb portraits of horses and hounds. He became a major illustrator of hunting throughout the British Isles from the 1950s, and he achieved commissions to paint hunting, racing, polo and family portraits in the United States, South Africa, Belgium, Holland, Germany and France.

    John King is survived by his wife, Maryrose, his son David and daughter Fiona, and three grandchildren. A funeral is taking place at St Peter’s Church, West Tytherley on Saturday (September 20th) at 2.30 pm.

    This news story was first published in H&H magazine on 18 September 2014

    Roddy Armytage

    Former National Hunt trainer Roddy Armytage died on 31 August, aged 80. The father of H&H racing correspondent and Grand National-winning jockey Marcus, and his sister Gee, had been suffering from MSA (multiple system atrophy), a rare degenerative neurological disorder.

    Having been assistant to Neville Crump and Frank Cundell, Roddy began his training career in 1962 and for 32 years was based in East Ilsley, near Lambourn. His first winner, Fire Raiser, came in August that year ridden by the late Terry Biddlecombe.

    The trainer enjoyed back-to-back successes in the Scottish Grand National with Barona in 1975 and 1976, as well as recording victories in the Tingle Creek Chase, Fox Hunters’ and Feltham Chase, with his most successful season being 1971-72 with 37 winners.

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