David Quinn long-serving stalwart at Beckhampton yards dies aged 90
David Patrick Quinn, who for many years was travelling head lad for trainer Jeremy Tree at Beckhampton, has died shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday. He lived in Avebury Trusloe.
Quinn continued to work at Beckhampton after Tree retired and when his assistant trainer, Roger Charlton, took over the yards in 1989. Roger Charlton continues to train at Beckhampton - now with his son Harry as his Assistant Trainer.
Talking about Quinn, Roger Charlton told Marlborough News Online: "He was a huge part of the Beckhampton team."
Charlton remembers David Quinn travelling with Sanglamore to Chantilly in 1990 for the French Derby - which he won by half a length with Pat Eddery aboard. And then, four days later, Quinn took Quest for Fame to Epsom for the Derby - again with Pat Eddery. Quest for Fame won by three lengths.
Quinn, from Ballingary, Limerick began his career in racing as an apprentice to Curragh trainer Michael Collins. He moved to England in 1947 and worked for trainer Monty Smyth.
He started work at Beckhampton on 13 December 1960. His weekly pay was a bit over £17. His name is linked to some of the most famous horses Tree sent out: Danehill, Sharpo and Rainbow Quest - who famously, on his final outing, won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after a steward's enquiry. [See photo above.]
Steve Raymont, now the Charlton's head lad and who had worked closely with Quinn, described him as "A thoroughly nice, ordinary guy with no airs and graces. He was very straightforward and new his job inside out."
After he retired he still kept his interest in racing and would ask Steve Raymont how the horses were doing at the yard.
When Tree died in 1993 Quinn received a bequest of £5,000 - one of the key members of the Beckampton staff to be remembered in his will.
Quinn is survived by his daughter Teresa, son Sean and four grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service at 1.30pm on Monday, March 21 at St Thomas More Catholic Church in George Lane.
[Photo courtesy Roger Charlton - with thanks.]