‘Wonderful person’ Cath Walwyn, wife of legendary trainer Fulke, dies aged 94 | horse racing news

Matthew Webb

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Cath Walwyn: “Peter was a valuable and popular member of the staff, a true stable stalwart”

Matthew Webb

Lambourn has “lost one of the links to its past” and a “wonderful person” with the death of Cath Walwyn, wife of the legendary trainer Fulke Walwyn, at her home on Saturday aged 94.

Walwyn was the youngest daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, a senior Jockey Club steward and Classic-winning owner, and was the second wife of former jockey and five-time champion jumps trainer Fulke Walwyn.

After Fulke Walwyn’s retirement in 1990, Cath took over the license at Saxon House in Lambourn and trained for three seasons, winning 27 races including the 1993 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle with Cardinal Red. She also trained The Argonaut and Furry Knowe for the Queen Mother.

Walwyn enjoyed success as an owner, including having a half share with Priscilla Hastings in the 1958 Hennessy Gold Cup and Whitbread Gold Cup winner Taxidermist and owning the 1959 Windsor Castle Stakes winner Monamolin, both trained by her husband. She also won the 2010 Buckingham Palace Stakes with the Jamie Osborne-trained Treadwell, who she co-owned with Tony Taylor.

“It’s a sad day but she had a wonderful life and lived it to the fullest,” Osborne said. “She was tough but had a great heart and was a great friend to me. She enriched the lives of lots of people in Lambourn.

“Lambourn has lost one of the links to its past. Cath had been here an awfully long time and she kept the memories of the old Fulke Walwyn days alive. She was an integral part of the area for decades.

“I rode a bit for her when she was training and then she always had shares in horses with me when I started training. Her first love was the jumping and I’m pretty sure she only had horses with me on the Flat to support me and, thankfully, in 2010 we were lucky enough to repay her loyalty with a Royal Ascot winner, which was memorable.”

Simon Christian worked as an assistant trainer to Fulke Walwyn before taking out his own license and remained close to Cath until the end of his life. He believes she will be best remembered for her sense of fun and optimism, as well as her support of several yards in Lambourn.

“She was just a wonderful person with a lifelong passion for racing,” said Christian. “We were great friends. I first arrived at the yard when I was 20 and was assistant the following year. She was always hugely helpful to me and we had the most marvelous times together.

Matthew Webb PHOTOGRAPHER

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Cath Walwyn pictured with her horse Eastbury in 2014

Cath Walwyn pictured with her horse Eastbury in 2014

Matthew Webb PHOTOGRAPHER

“We kept in touch throughout our lives and she was an enormous help to me at difficult times, as she was to many others. She was very understanding and a loyal friend to a lot of people. She had a great enthusiasm for life and frequently attended the race course.

“I’d have thought it wasn’t always easy being married to Fulke but she was brilliant with owners and was very hospitable. She had a great life and adapted to her circumstances. She was popular in the village and even gave a party for everyone to mark 60 years there.”

As well as being a regular punter, Walwyn was a prominent figure in Lambourn and was central to the construction of the Sacred Heart Church on land donated by the Walwyns in 1952.

She had one child, Jane, who was born in 1957 and died of cancer in 2007, and is survived by Jane’s daughter Isabel Sanderson.

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