Michael Hendrie, the much-loved stalwart of the showing community and respected judge died on 20 July, aged 78 from cancer.
Mr Hendrie was born in Selby, North Yorkshire, in 1945. He developed an early interest in horses, which became a passion that went on to shape his adult life.
He met Richard Tomkinson, and they moved to Sykehouse, South Yorkshire, and founded the Westhill Stud. Over time, Mr Hendrie became an expert in his field, breeding and training show horses. He was respected and loved for his knowledge, and how willing he was to share this with others.
Mr Hendrie was self-taught and learnt about animals by spending hours of time getting to know them, and they responded to his calm nature. He developed an eye for a good animal, and at the height of his success, Westhill Stud was recognised as one of the top pony studs in the country, with buyers visiting from as far as Australia. He took great delight in seeing the progeny of the stud’s two stallions, Lechlade Quince and Westhill Integrity, go on to win in the UK, USA, and Australia, including two supreme champions at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) – Chagford Lewis and SHT Charn Secret Legend.
His gift for training led to many victories in the show ring, including winning at HOYS on three occasions, with Ainsty Merry Maid, Culross Maid Of Honour and Huttons Ambo Camelia.
He was a respected judge, having started at small local shows, including the Sykehouse Show, and became a regular on the circuit. This year, he had been due to judge the Price family in-hand final at HOYS.
Mr Hendrie was one of life’s characters. His friends say he was a “one-off and there will never be another – they broke the mould when they made Michael”.
He is survived by his brother Paul and sister-in-law Anne.
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