We’ve have just heard the sad news about Laurie. Only last night we were talking about the generation who had forged the character of racing as we used to know it, Laurie Jaffee, Eric Gallo, Graham Beck, Ronnie Napier and Cyril Hurwitz. Of course there have been others, but by any standards anywhere, these were the stalwarts and they stayed the whole course.
To Cheryl and I and the rest of the Summerhill team, the Jaffees were our role models. They bred and owned horses for the fun of the sport and with the style and grace of few others. Importantly, and unlike most, they took winning and losing the same way. In the end though, they had more fun because they knew that it wasn’t a matter of life and death, and that while racing was to be competed for earnestly, it was there to be enjoyed. Besides they never forgot that there were others who also wanted to play the game.
They both developed happy and enduring relationships and we shall forever count ourselves lucky at Summerhill, not only to have known the two of them, but to have enjoyed the great benefits of their friendship, their patronage and their loyalty, for so long.
By any definition Laurie was a “mensch”, and every one of us can take a lesson from his life. I was fortunate to have travelled with him and to have enjoyed his vibrancy, his generosity and his energy, and I can only hope that when my time comes, I will be able to say I lived half of Laurie’s life.
Cheryl and the entire Summerhill team join me in wishing Jean, Richard and Lloyd and their respective families, long life and every strength at this time.