The Driving world has suffered yet another sad loss. John Dick was unwell for a short time before he passed away at the local hospital in Dunstable on 24th October, just one day before his 81st birthday.
John and his wife Christine were always a force to be reckoned with, whether in the show ring, as scurry drivers, or as event drivers. John was mostly seen as back up to Christine, but was a top whip in his own right, winning the National Pony Pairs eventing Championships on successive occasions in the mid 1970s.
Mention John?s name and people smile, one of the characters of the driving world at a time when characters are all too few. There was more to the jaunty gent than met the eye. A professional jockey from a well known racing family, he had a tally of over 70 winners to his credit, this at a time when there was much less racing.
Birds were important to the young John - pigeons that is - and he was widely recognised as a producer of top racing pigeons in what has always been a most competitive sport.
Film work and stunt riding followed the racing and his description of being run away with by a camel during the filming of Lawrence of Arabia enlivened many a party!
National Advisor to Spillers Horse Feeds for many years, John brought a wealth of experience to the then emerging world of compound feeds for horses. His matter of fact approach and sound principles of old school stable management were reassuring, his ability to put the new concept into context gave insight to the sharp intellect that was not always appreciated by those who only saw the hearty cheery front.
Life was for living and John took full measure, ?You only get one shot at life? he told me on a visit to see him just recently when it was apparent that he was not well. The family, John?s wife Christine, their daughter Caroline, and son Jonathan have much to be proud of, and they have the love and condolences of us all.
John, old friend, we mourn your loss, we salute your memory.
The funeral will be at Whipsnade Church, Dunstable, Bedfordshire on Tuesday 8th November at 12.00 noon.