Wednesday 10th June, 2020

Many thanks for all the wonderful messages following the sad passing of Mick Barnes.  All are very much appreciated and it’s obvious he made a huge impression on many people.

Sadly another local legend passed away recently.  Ben Leigh was a wonderfully entertaining character who unfortunately contracted meningitis on a trip to India in February.  Despite beating covid-19, he succumbed to the illness last week.  In today’s Racing Post, his great friend Nicky Henderson makes a wonderful tribute to his ‘old mucker.’

As many will know, his family will ever be associated with Stoneleigh Abbey and Adlestrop and the Honourable Benjamin Chandos Leigh was some character.  It was safe to say he was not the tallest, however he was assistant to Tim Forster and rode a military Gold Cup winner at Sandown.

He trained in Lambourn for a while surrounded by his great friends Barry Hills and Paul Cole.  He was witty and engaging company and always fun to play golf with.  He loved a party and I savour our days when on the Doncaster Bloodstock sales golf trips in Scotland, where he would hold court and hold glasses.

As a bloodstock insurer, he was known to many since his retirement from training.  He and his wife Jennifer were a special couple and our thoughts are with Jen and his daughter Samantha and all his family at this sad time.  I am sure the fact that Ben led such a colourful life in his 77 years, will bring them great comfort.  RIP old boy.