David Thompson, joint-owner of Cheveley Park Stud, has died, aged 84.
Along with wife Patricia, Thompson purchased Newmarket’s oldest stud farm in 1975 and the pair have enjoyed huge success both on and off the track.
Big-race winners in the easily identifiable red, white and blue colours include the brilliant sprinter Pivotal, who now stands at Cheveley Park as a stallion, the top-class Medicean, multiple Group One-winning mare Russian Rhythm and Breeders’ Cup heroine Queen’s Trust.
In 1992 Thompson purchased Party Politics as a present for his wife, just two days before he won the Grand National.
In recent years, the Thompsons have reignited their interested in National Hunt racing, with the Cheveley Park silks carried to Cheltenham Festival glory by A Plus Tard, Ferny Hollow and the unbeaten Envoi Allen.
A Plus Tard provided Cheveley Park with their latest top-level success when securing a thrilling victory in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown last Monday, setting himself up for a tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
A statement released by the family on Monday confirmed Thompson died of renal failure the day after A Plus Tard’s victory.
Cheveley Park’s managing director Chris Richardson said: “David Thompson was a very generous, meticulous, sometimes unpredictable man, who always had a certain charm.
“He inspired everyone with his insatiable enthusiasm for business which, thankfully, included a love of racing and breeding, alongside his wife, Patricia and their family. He had tremendous foresight and would often ask a question, knowing full well the answer.
“I always tried to be prepared, as one never knew when the thrill and challenge of another equine adventure would catch his imagination. His latest venture into National Hunt racing proved a huge success and gave him so much pleasure.
“DBT’s recent visit to the Cheltenham Sale held in Newmarket, and to the stud, gave him and all here so much joy. He certainly enriched the lives of all those he met and who knew him. He will be much missed.”
David and Patricia Thompson were recognised for their philanthropic work last year by each being awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Thompson Family Charitable Trust has become one of the largest charitable foundations in the United Kingdom, having already donated over £70million to a wide variety of medical, educational, social, artistic and other charities, whilst maintaining an endowment for future donations of more than £100million.
As well as his wife, Thompson is survived by three children, Richard, Rosalind and Katie, and seven grandchildren.