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Farewell to exceptional hunter with a ‘massive character’

Tributes have been paid to a “hunter of a lifetime” whose huge character and naughty reputation are remembered fondly across the country.

Sir Lynford spent seven years in hunt service, turning his talents to every job asked of him – while never losing his mischievous streak. He died on 8 October following an accident in his field at home.

The Welsh/thoroughbred started life as an eventer and was bought by Robert Jarrett as a youngster. They covered much of the biggest country together, spending several years at the North Staffordshire, Ledbury and Cottesmore, with the gelding proving his exceptional temperament to serve as whip’s horse, before returning to follow in the field under Robert’s partner Kat Robinson, and finally hunting hounds back with the North Staffordshire.

“He was exceptionally naughty,” said Kat. “He was meant to be an eventer and he took great pleasure in trying to drop everyone by bucking. When Rob went to try him, he pointed him at anything he could see and Lynford jumped it all. Rob fell in love with him.

“There’s not a lot of horses that would go from being in the field, to going up front, and then back again.”

After a year following in the field, Lynford spent two years under Rob as an amateur whip at the North Staffordshire, a further two years as a professional whip for the Ledbury, before moving up to the Cottesmore last season, when Kat took on the ride.

Lynford, who memorably once jumped 16 fences round the Golden Button while supposedly on horse catching duty (“it was a bet for a Mars bar…”), delighted in keeping everyone on their toes.

Aged 12, he still decided to test Kat’s stickability on hound exercise last month, bronking down the drive, and his stamina was seemingly never-ending.

“He was like a naughty puppy — he was so easy I could do everything with him on my own. He loved his food and if he ever did get loose, he would only really go as far as the grass before his stomach took over,” she said.

“He did a lot of jobs and was never sick or sorry in his life, he was a real tough cookie.

“Last year was my first season on him and we hunted him all day, every Tuesday — I don’t think he ever missed a Tuesday — and he would jump anything.

“My favourite memory on him would probably be Cottesmore opening meet last year. He was a bit unruly autumn hunting and I said to Rob ‘I can’t hold him!’ He replied: ‘just wait until opening meet’ and he was a legend. We carried on all day, past second horses, and jumped some huge fences — including a spell where we followed Rob slightly off-piste and there was no other option. Lynford and I ditched him as soon as we found the field again!

“He just surpassed all my expectations and really looked after me when I never thought I was going to be able to ride one side of him.

“He always did what we asked.. and mostly with a smirk on his face. He will never leave our hearts, never be forgotten, and we will remember him forever. Kick on up there with the hounds of years past. You were the best steed I could ever have asked for.”

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