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Pauling tribute to "most incredible man you could wish to meet"

Ben Pauling: death of Tim Finch leaves a massive hole
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Ben Pauling has paid full tribute to his father-in-law Tim Finch, who died on Friday after a lifetime in racing. He was 82.

Finch was a successful rider, trainer and owner and was also involved in bloodstock – as well as farming and foxhunting.

"He will be hugely missed," said Gloucestershire trainer Pauling, who married Finch's daughter Sophie in 2013. "He was the most incredible man you could ever wish to meet.

Huge support

"He was a massive help to me starting out. He and his great friend Mike Lance had a couple of horses with me at the start and they were both involved in Raven's Tower, who was one of our first flagbearers. And in more recent times Tim owned the nice horse Perfect Pirate.

"He quite clearly loved his racing. Most father-in-laws would be terrified if their daughter was marrying a racehorse trainer, whereas I think Tim was absolutely thrilled. He was a fantastic character, a giggle a minute and someone who I could always talk to. There will be a massive hole left in all our lives and a lot of other people's."

Varied career

Finch had himself been a successful trainer, based in Norfolk, having previously ridden as an amateur.

Pauling said: "He was a gentleman amateur, in the days when they got quite a few opportunities – he rode in Grand Nationals and Champion Hurdles and had a great time in doing it.

"He did everything. He moved on to train horses – he had up to 80 in training at one point – then had studs and was involved with some of the Queen Mother's stallions.

"He was master of the Exmoor Foxhounds, then 28 or 30 years ago he moved up to the borders of Scotland, where he was involved with the Jedforest Hunt and did a lot of bloodstock agency work under the name of Scottish Bloodstock."

Pauling added: "It's been a tough old time but he said to me not long ago, 'Ben, I have done more in one lifetime than most people do in three', which was a nice way of summarising it."

Finch leaves a widow Annie and daughters Sophie and Lucy. Funeral details will be released in due course.

There will be a service of thanksgiving at Bowden Kirk at 2.30pm on Monday February 27.

Most father-in-laws would be terrified if their daughter was marrying a racehorse trainer whereas I think Tim was absolutely thrilled
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