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Reg griffin

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Reg Griffin[edit | edit source]

Reginald Frederick Griffin (14 February 1929 – 10 October 2008) born in Liverpool, England, spent most of his life in the world of horse racing, fifty years of it at Timeform ending up as Chairman.[1]. He also served on a number of racing committees and was a successful race horse owner[2]. He founded the Timeform Charity Day in 1971 which had in his lifetime raised £4.5 million for charity[3].

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Reg Griffin was born in Liverpool to James Frederick Griffin and Mary Agnes Griffin nee Fidal. When he was five years old his family moved out from Liverpool to Aintree where he first walked the Grand National course and his life-long passion for racing was born[4].

After leaving school at 16, he worked in the building trade training as a draughtsman[5] before being called up for National Service where he learned shorthand and typing[3]. Unusually, he was able to complete his National Service while living at home which allowed him to catch a train at 5am every Saturday to stables run by "Romp" Blake at Malpas in Cheshire, the nearest yard to Griffin's home[6]. On completing his National Service he joined Jack Fawcus at Ashgill near Middleham, for whom he rode as an amateur, before moving to Arthur Budgett at Whatcombe[7].

Timeform[edit | edit source]

Griffin joined Timeform in 1957 with the intention of staying for two years to learn the form book side of racing before moving on[8]. However, after two years he became a director and after ten years he was made managing director[9]. He was made Chairman in 1989[10].

Timeform Charity Day[edit | edit source]

Griffin originated the Timeform Charity Day in 1971 originally at Doncaster. On the first day, HM the Queen flew from Balmoral to watch her horse Charlton, trained by Dick Hern and ridden by Joe Mercer, win the day's big race, the William Hill Trophy[11].

In the second year the event was relocated to York, where it remained. It supported a number of cancer-related charities and in Griffin's lifetime raised £4.5 million[12].

In 1988 Griffin asked the Queen Mother to lend her name to a new race on charity day for lady amateur riders. The inaugural race for the Queen Mother's Cup was won by Princess Anne, riding Insular, a horse bred by her mother which had won races on the Flat in Her Majesty's colours and under National Hunt Rules for the Queen Mother[13].

In 2009 Betfair, which had bought Timeform[14], decided to withdraw sponsorship and Jim McGrath, the then Chairman of Timeform, resigned in protest[15]. McGrath was, however, able to salvage the event and retain the remaining sponsors and the day is now known as the Macmillan Charity Day[16].

Owner[edit | edit source]

Griffin was a successful owner, in partnership with McGrath who was quoted as saying, "I think together we had 40-50 wins."[17] Notable runners included: For Your Eyes Only[18], Beneficiary, Toogood To Be True, and Opus Maximus[19].

Administrator[edit | edit source]

Griffin was a member of the Horseracing Advisory Committee, subsequently known as the Industry Committee[20].

He also worked on behalf of the Lady Jockeys Association[21], which later merged with the Amateur Riders Association to form the Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain[22].

Retirement and death[edit | edit source]

Griffin retired as Chairman of Timeform in 2007[23]. In a farewell interview he was quoted as saying, "I have been totally committed to racing for 57 years – it has given me a wonderful passage through life."[24]

He died the next year on 10 October 2008, at the age of 79. A celebration and thanksgiving for his life was held at St Andrews Church, Bishopthorpe, York[25]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Important landmarks". Timeform. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  2. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Obituary: Ex-Timeform chairman Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-18.
  4. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  5. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  6. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  7. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  8. "Obituary: Ex-Timeform chairman Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  9. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  10. "Obituary: Ex-Timeform chairman Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  11. "Charity day remembers Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  12. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  13. "Charity day remembers Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  14. "Important landmarks". Timeform. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  15. "Charity day remembers Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  16. "Charity day remembers Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  17. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  18. "Obituary: Ex-Timeform chairman Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  19. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  20. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  21. "Timeform guru Reg Griffin dies aged 79; McGrath leads tributes to long-serving administrator. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  22. "About – Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain". www.amateurjockeys.org.uk. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  23. "Important landmarks". Timeform. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  24. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  25. "Reg Griffin". Retrieved 2018-04-19.

External links[edit | edit source]

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