Showjumping world bids sad farewell to long-standing supporter

  • The world of showjumping has been greatly saddened that after a short illness, John Carpenter, died at home on 20 December, aged 75.

    From an early age, Mr Carpenter was heavily involved in sport, but more recently, he was a familiar figure on the junior showjumping circuit watching his grandsons Morgan, Iwan and Owen compete.

    Mr Carpenter was a proud Welshman through and through, his parents Frederick and Zilla owned Sun Valley holiday camp on the North Wales coast. His first memories of ponies was riding his own pony to and from school. However, although competitive, it was horsepower of a different nature that Mr Carpenter first excelled at as he used to drive high-end go karts and until around 10 years ago, he held the lap record on the Isle of Man.

    He married Sue in February 1967 and both of their children David and Clare, rode ponies and competed from the age of nine, with David especially inheriting his father’s competitive spirit.

    The Carpenter team was strengthened further when David married Amanda Potts who was also a successful showjumper.

    In addition to managing his firm Cats & Pipes (catalytic converters), Mr Carpenter remained a constant source of support at the ringside. He supported the British Showjumping area 19 committee, hosted shows at Holywell and through Cats & Pipes.

    He was a generous sponsor at local and national level, particularly of the small pony debut series, and he supported the Scope Festival for more than 20 years.

    It was hardly surprising that David and Amanda’s three sons Morgan, Iwan and Owen followed their parents into showjumping and it was Mr Carpenter, affectionately known as Taid or Grandad John, who guided their journey from national to international level and from ponies on to horses.

    No show was too far, or journey too long, if the boys wanted to jump, Mr Carpenter was there to drive, support, advise and walk every course. Nor were his words of wisdom merely confined to his grandsons, but to every rider who asked his advice.

    Mr Carpenter was a fount of all knowledge and apart from Brookhall Glimpse, who was a very established pony, he preferred to buy a young or novice pony to let the boys bring on. He found the key to quirky ponies and loved watching them progress. Lots of successes followed and there was hardly a qualifier or championship Morgan, Iwan and Owen did not win. Mile after mile, day after day, inside or out, in fair weather or foul, Mr Carpenter was never happier than at the ringside and he was particularly proud when Morgan was a member of Great Britain’s children-on-horses team in Austria in 2012, with Iwan following suit at Fontainebleau in 2018.

    Mr Carpenter was popular and approachable with family, friends and officials and his familiar figure and sense of humour will be sadly missed at shows.

    Sadly, due to Covid restrictions in Wales, attendance at Mr Carpenter’s funeral at St Mary’s Church, Ysceifiog, on 5 January was severely restricted, but many a glass would have been raised that day.

    The family would like to thank everyone who donated to the Marie Curie nurses Just Giving page in memory of Mr Carpenter, which has raised already over £2,000 pounds.

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