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Type Ref Cost
Day Tkt. 36.00
Day Tkt. 36.00
Show Reg. 42.00
Total114.00

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Valerie Kemp - 1958-2020

    11 Nov 2020   

It was with her renowned refusal to take a negative view on anything that Valerie fought the battle with her illness right up to the end marking dates in her diary for meetings and functions well into next year. Formidable, determined, successful, generous, kind, fiercely loyal are all attributes that immediately come to mind when looking back over knowing Valerie for the last 30+ years. Born in Devon to a non horsey family she attended Ingsdon Convent school and on leaving she was offered the chance to attend the London School Of Music where her love of all things musical and her talent as a pianist could have taken her down a completely different avenue however it soon became evident that equestrianism in all forms was to become the core of Valerie’s life. Her lifetime friendship with Colin and Joan Evans from Sigford started her down the equine route and her journey started with various appointments within the South Devon Moorland Pony Club.
In 1981 she took on the role of South West Regional Co-ordinator for the then British Fields Sport Society. In 1985 she moved to the British Show Jumping Association as it’s development officer. During her time in office with the BSJA she met her late husband Fergus Graham and they moved back to Devon and started the Cross Park Stud. With her usual appetite and natural eye Fergus and Valerie found, produced and stood a number of influential stallions including the Advanced Eventer Just Zulu, the Grade A Ganton Rufus as well as established stallions such as Le Panto, Sunley Builds, Sula Bula and Lyphento. Her interest in racing led her to training a few Point to Pointers the most successful of which was Sol Music who won 9 Hunter Chases as well as multiple wins Point to Pointing. In Eventing she was influential in the early success of the now Advanced Thoroughbred Stallion Sula Blue bred by the Fenley family. Valerie judged many shows around the country and bred her own Challacombe who stood Champion as a 3 year old at the National Hunter Show.

From 1998 Valerie served on the Equine Committee of the Devon County Show and together with Wendy Spiller worked tirelessly to bring the Show jumping classes up to the recognition that they now enjoy with many top riders traveling down to Devon in order to compete. She was known to commentate from time to time and her encyclopaedic knowledge made her reports both humorous and informative.

She was a very generous and talented host, holding many parties and functions where her culinary skills were renowned and an invite to supper was never refused. Over the last few years she has added Christmas cakes to her baking skills and supplied many of her friends and family over recent festive periods.
Hunting, racing, showing, Eventing and Show Jumping were all equal in her passion but nothing was more dear to her than her love of hunting. Her many roles over the years include being Chairman of the South Devon Hunt, organiser of hunt shows, hunter trails, and Point to Points for both the South Devon and the Taunton Vale.
In 2011 she married Robin Kemp, another remarkable horseman and lifelong hunting man and together they enjoyed their mutual love of all things Country and rarely missed a meet or a Point to Point enjoying their ownership of Point to Pointers Annwyl and Minella Rising.


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