8th August 2016
Point-to-pointing is well known for its vast array of characters, but on Monday the 25th July it lost one of its finest, as Ray York sadly passed away aged 80-years-old. He was a successful rider in his youth, mixing racing with all manners of equestrianism, with a particular flair for show jumping. He had a passion for breeding his own horses, and many of them were successful in point-to-points, especially when his son Philip got involved in riding them. He also loved to spot a bargain as Ascot sales and said he’d prefer to buy ten horses at £1,000 each than one horse at £10,000, and as such he provided more runners in point-to-points than many other people who made similar sized investments. He held a professional licence but, still maintained his links with point-to-pointing and he notched up his final winner in the South East when he saddled Gersjoeycasey to win her maiden at Peper Harow in May. He still rode out and often spoke of how he would still be able to ride in a point-to-point if only those in charge would allow him. By trade he was as a farrier but, he was also a natural businessman, and worked hard to own a reasonable sized farm in Surrey. His entrepreneurial spirit shined through at early age; as a young boy he owned a stallion pony and he would loan out its ‘services’ to anyone who needed a pony mare covered. Young Ray would hitch his pony up to the trap, and as the pony knew exactly what would be waiting at the other end, Ray would be hanging on for dear life as the stallion and trap would hurtle through the country lanes. Once the pony had reached the destination and had carried out his duty, the ride back was much more sedate. As a man he was kind and fair but, did not suffer fools gladly, if he wasn’t happy with you then it wasn’t for no reason. He had a superb way with people that meant he treated everyone just the same; whether he’d known you for fifty years or all of five seconds, Ray would always be up for a chat.