Successful jumps owner Mead killed in farming accident
Derek Mead, father-in-law of trainer Nigel Hawke and owner in recent seasons of winners including Tokyo Javilex and Samingarry, was killed in a farming accident on Sunday.
The 70-year-old, a prominent businessman and dairy farmer who once challenged unsuccessfully for the presidency of the National Farmers Union, was crushed by a farm vehicle on his farm near Weston-Super-Mare.
Described on Twitter as a "legend of Somerset and UK agriculture" and a "straight talker with a heart of gold", Mead's business interests included Yeo Valley yoghurts, the Junction 24 conference and meeting centre at Bridgwater, which also incorporates the Sedgemoor Auction Centre for livestock sales, and the Puxton Park countryside attraction. He was also heavily involved in local politics.
Hawke said: "Derek was a very hard-working farmer who built his business from nothing. He always had a lot of young horses around the place and set us up in the business we have now. He was a great help to me and we will always be very grateful for all he has done for us. His death has come as a great shock to us all."
Mead leaves a partner, Geri Gallen, two sons and a daughter, Hawke's wife Katherine.