Tributes were today being paid to Bramham International Horse Trials pioneer George Lane Fox following his death at the age of 81.
Mr Lane Fox was the ninth generation of his family to live at Bramham Park, which is near Wetherby, Leeds.
The annual equestrian event he started in 1973 is now the largest of its kind in Yorkshire.
Mr Lane Fox also helped put the Bramham estate onto a modern business footing, developing its farming and forestry enterprises.Today praise for his achievements was led by his eldest son, Nick.
He said: “I will always remember Dad taking me, as a boy, to choose trees to turn into his cross-country fences and I’ll keep a picture in my mind of him sitting at the marquee door, greeting every guest, at the Bramham Cocktail Party.
“His tenacity in keeping the horse trials going for the first 10 years, when it cost him money, is an example to me and everybody else.”
The horse trials began as a one day event, with Mr Lane Fox acting as director and course designer.
A year later they returned as a three day event and, after another seven years, they were given international status.
A horse trials spokeswoman said: “George never missed a prize-giving and was always smartly attired in his bowler hat and suit, adding tone to the occasion.
“He had great satisfaction following his competitors and their horses in their careers on from Bramham, to four star and then to international teams, knowing that his home event had played its part in their success.
“Equally, he loved to see amateurs venturing to Bramham for the biggest test of their lives and made a point of trying to talk to every one during the event.”
* Mr Lane Fox’s funeral will take place at All Saints Church in Bramham at 11.30am next Wednesday, October 17.