‘Supreme champion mum’: farewell to ‘second mom‘ to many younger riders


  • Valerie Clark, mom of displaying producer Sam Darlington, and the “supreme champion mum”, has died aged 76 after a brief sickness.

    Val, as she was all the time recognized, grew up in Fulham, London, and labored as a secretary; her solely connection to the equestrian world was her father’s horse and cart. She met Mick Clark when each had been youngsters and so they had been collectively ever since.



    Mick and Val had two kids, Justin and Sam, and it was Sam who launched Val to the horse world when she began having classes aged six.

    Sam rode at an area driving college and have become hooked, so her mother and father purchased her a pony; it was when somebody noticed Sam driving at an area present, complimented her driving and urged displaying that the household’s lives modified.

    “Between us, we discovered to have a great eye for a pony,” Sam stated. “We’d go and purchase ponies within the tough and my dad would say ‘What do you two see in that?’ She had such a great eye, and it got here from us each entering into it on the identical time. She could be in command of the feeding and getting the ponies trying proper once I was youthful.”

    Val turned extremely concerned in displaying, a stalwart of ringsides throughout the nation, and she or he served on British Present Pony Society space committees. She was additionally recognized for being unable to look at when Sam, and later Sam’s daughter Georgia, jumped in working hunter courses.

    “She by no means noticed both of us bounce a spherical; she was famend for hiding within the bathrooms once we jumped!” Sam stated.

    “Between me and Georgia we have now had various Horse of the Yr Present (HOYS) and Royal Worldwide (RIHS) wins however one in all her favorite horses was Georgia’s present horse, her intermediate working hunter Jara. We’re so grateful she obtained to see their successes; a win at RIHS and HOYS and being a part of the England working hunter pony crew on the Scottish Worldwide final 12 months. She was immensely proud.”

    Val additionally mucked out and cared for ponies, and have become a second mom to the numerous small jockeys who rode the ponies Sam produced.

    “She cherished lovely ponies and horses however displaying is sort of a massive household and she or he was a part of it,” Sam stated. “She was so variety and caring, and would do something she may for anybody.”

    Val is survived by Mick, Sam, Justin and three grandchildren.

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