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Bloodstock agent and TBA member Derek Christopher passes away aged 88

In 2004 he received the Dominion Award for his contributions to the industry

Derek Christopher (left): was regional representative of the East for the TBA for over 20 years
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Bloodstock agent and Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) member Derek Christopher died peacefully at home earlier this month after a long battle with cancer. He was 88.

Christopher was involved with horses from a young age, working as a pupil to trainer John Goodgame once he left school before joining the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and training as an army farrier.

He then joined Hertfordshire Police Constabulary in 1951 and during that time he was part of the Regional Crime Squad where he specialised in horse and tack theft as well as liaising with the Jockey Club on racing-related crime.

After retiring from the police, Christopher took on Upperwood Farm Stud - owned by Halsey and partners - near Hemel Hempstead. 

Christopher was involved heavily with the TBA, operating as a regional representative for the East for over 20 years and helping to organise TBA regional events. He served time on the TBA's education and employment committee as well as being a key figure in the setup of the NVQ training programme, aimed at getting young people into the breeding industry.

The TBA's stud staff award was instigated by Christopher as a way to recognise and reward those who working in the industry and in 2004, Christopher was presented with the TBA's Dominion Award for his contributions to the bloodstock industry.

Caroline Turnbull, education and welfare manager for the TBA, said: "Derek was a true friend of the TBA and a great support to the team Stanstead House. He worked tirelessly to promote the association and encourage new members and his regional days were organised with military precision, but were also great fun and informative.

"Probably his biggest contribution to the TBA and the industry was his involvement in training and education. As an assessor and verifier for industry qualifications he had scrupulous standards, but was always encouraging and positive, particularly towards young people taking their first steps in the industry. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Stanstead House and throughout the TBA."

Details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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He worked tirelessly to promote the association and encourage new members and his regional days were organised with military precision
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