Farewell to long-standing Hickstead supporter ‘Pat in the Cupboard’

  • Pat Owens, the long-standing supporter of Hickstead died on 25 June, aged 93

    Mrs Owens was born in 1930, and just before the Second World War her family moved to a farm in Sussex. She went to Trevelyan School in Haywards Heath. She was on her way to her first Pony Club camp when war was declared, in September 1939.

    Mrs Owens was part of Hickstead from its inception. After working in London, she returned to Sussex and became the first ever show secretary to Hickstead, in the days when the show was run from the main house at Hickstead Place. She carried out this role for five years until her marriage to David, but she returned to Hickstead every year in a supporting role.

    Known affectionately as Pat in the Cupboard, she spent her time at Hickstead in the corner of the office, efficiently sorting rosettes, polishing trophies, updating results and preparing the flags for the Nations Cup parade.

    Mrs Owens was “undoubtedly one of Hickstead’s unsung heroes”, and in 2016 she was the recipient of the Dorian Williams Trophy for outstanding services to the Royal International Horse Show.

    A spokesman for Hickstead said the team was “incredibly sad to hear of the passing of dear Pat Owens”, and described her as the “gentlest of ladies, but with feist, sass and a wicked sense of humour.”

    She leaves a son Bob, daughter-in-law Henrietta, and grandsons Chris, Jamie and Oscar.

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