HomeHorse Racing‘An adventurous, brave horseman’: farewell to much-loved countryman

‘An adventurous, brave horseman’: farewell to much-loved countryman

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  • Michael Roberts, the countryman, prolific team chaser and former hunt master died on 8 December following an accident, aged 80.

    He started life as a salesman for Guest Keen and Nettlefold, and progressed to starting TR Fastenings with Mike Timms. The business went public 30 years ago and now manufactures and sells millions of nuts, bolts, fasteners and gadgets of all kinds throughout the world.



    Mr Roberts’ farms in East Sussex have been the envy of the county; well-fenced and managed pasture, pristine ancient hedgerows, tidy woodlands, footpaths and accesses, landscaped streams, ponds and gardens. His love of animals and wildlife was taken to extremes, with dogs, friendly peacocks and alpacas – but above all his horses.

    He was an amateur jockey who bred and rode his own horses, as well as having a trainer’s licence. His immaculate yard at Summertree produced many famous local horses. Trainers would send him youngsters to bring on because he was exceptionally sympathetic and believed in teaching a horse to enjoy racing. His horses were his friends.

    Mr Roberts was a very adventurous, brave horseman. He competed in the biggest cross-country ride in England, the Melton Hunt Club Ride, in most years and won it in 1988 and 1991. His team chase team, the Trifast Allstars, won the UK Team Chase Championships in 1999 and 2000.

    His biggest equestrian achievement was on 10 October 1983 when he successfully completed one of the world’s toughest races, the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase in the Czech Republic, which is four miles and two furlongs long, over 31 obstacles.

    He was master of the East Sussex and Romney Marsh for many years. He also was a member of the Mid Surrey Farmers’ Draghounds for most of his riding career, and he regularly hunted in Leicestershire and all over England.

    Mr Roberts was an all-round sportsman, a brave and loyal friend – but above all, a kind gentleman. He was an entirely self-made man and used his wealth to benefit the world and inspire all around him. This world needs more like him.

    He is survived by his wife Sue, his son Jon and daughter Jess, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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