Farewell to point-to-point legend

  • David Turner, the eight-times national point-to-point champion, died on the 22 December at his Suffolk home, aged 59, after a long battle with cancer.

    David still holds the record for the highest number of winners between the flags, 343, and also rode around 50 winners under rules.

    Modest in success and gracious in defeat, David’s enthusiasm for the sport never waned. He retired from race riding in 1989 but continued his association with the racing industry in the capacity of a steward, and he was on the panels at Fakenham, Huntingdon, Newmarket and Yarmouth.

    When David was racing, there was no Sunday racing and the point-to-point season did not get underway until February, so while his total of winners is now under threat, his record of eight national titles looks safe.

    David was highly respected in racing circles for his experience and his family have had connections with East Anglian racing for more than 50 years. His father raced in point-to-points, as well as being the leading owner last season. David’s 4,000-acre farm in Suffolk is home to the Ampton point-to-point course and his daughter Zoë’s achievements as the reigning East Anglian women’s champion were a source of great pride to him.

    A minute’s silence was observed at Cottenham in respect of his memory and also that of his brother-in-law Gurney Sheppard, who died in October. Both men, who gave so much to point-to-pointing, will be sorely missed.

    The Injured Jockey’s Fund has benefited from donations in their memory and a blanket collection at the end of the meeting, together with the proceeds of a raffle held at a pre-meeting gathering, contributed a four-figure sum.

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