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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Cumbria horse racing boss dies

THE family of a successful horse owner and prominent Cumbria businessman who died from a heart attack have described him as a “dynamic, driven genius”.

‘dynamic’ Maurice Chapman had a passion for farming and horse racing and was elected president of Cartmel Show in 2011

Tributes have been paid to Maurice Chapman MBE following his death two weeks before his 74th birthday.

Mr Chapman died while shearing sheep on his farm near Cartmel last Saturday.

He leaves behind sons Ian and Marcus, daughter Melissa Harrington and her children Lucia, 14 and Alex, 12 as well as his partner, Jane Barnes and brother, Ken.

Born in 1940, on Walney, Mr Chapman attended Barrow Grammar School – later his horses raced in the school’s navy and gold colours.

Mr Chapman worked in advertising in London before moving to Bermuda in the 1960s. He played for the national rugby union team and raced sailing boats.

Ian Chapman, 52, said: “He was extremely dynamic, always busy, always all-systems-go.”

Returning to Cumbria with their young family, Mr Chapman and his wife Anthea bought Chapels manor house in the Whicham Valley, developing it into Brockwood Holiday Park.

After selling up, he bought Acrastyle, an electrical engineering company in Ulverston, where he spent 24 years as managing director. He was awarded his MBE in 1986 for services to British exports.

Mr Chapman began breeding award-winning pedigree Hereford cattle and, after retiring from Acrastyle in 1997, turned to farming full time.

After venturing into the racing scene his successful horses included Sea Storm and Brown Eyes Blue, who still hold course records, plus Cheltenham winner, Chief Dan George.

Mr Chapman also supported the artistic talents of others. His son Marcus, 42, said: “Dad had really good taste in music and loved watching live bands. He will be sadly missed in the local music scene”.

A respected member of the farming community, Mr Chapman was elected Cartmel Show president in 2011. This year he was due to be chairman, a position left open as a mark of respect. A trophy will be dedicated in his name.

Dr Harrington, 50, said: “He was a dynamic, driven genius, but he also loved being with his extended family. He was proud of our achievements and always there for us.

“We will miss him terribly but he achieved his dreams, made an impact on many people and is remembered with much fondness.”

Mr Chapman’s funeral will be held at Cartmel Priory at 11am on Monday, June 30 followed by cremation at Barrow crematorium and a reception at Cartmel Racecourse.

Family flowers only, donations to Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Injured Jockeys’ fund.

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