The British Horse Society has expressed its great sadness at the death of former South West Regional Chairman, Robert Sullivan-Tailyour, on 24 February 2015.
Born in Birmingham on 28 December 1930, Robert served as a Major in the Sherwood Foresters and then with the Worcester Foresters when the regiments amalgamated. His service included postings in East Africa and Asia before he left the Army in 1978.
Robert’s association with the BHS started in 1971 when he arrived in Wiltshire following an Army Posting. He immediately became involved with the Warminster Saddle Club where he grew the facilities and horse numbers, and it still operates as a thriving BHS Approved riding centre to this day.
He became District Chairman for West Wiltshire in 1979 and when the BHS reorganised committees a number of years later, he became Chairman of BHS Wiltshire.
Robert then went on to take over as Regional Chairman from Larry Moore in 1994 and continued in this role until 2010 when he was awarded the first ever title of Chairman Emeritus given by the Society.
On receiving this honour, Robert said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Regional Chairman and have learned so much over the years. I have been very fortunate in having such excellent County and Regional committee members who do so much work within the Region.”
Robert also received the Society’s Award of Merit in 1994, the Bodynfoel Award in 2004, and the President’s Award in 2007.
With involvement and interest all of the diverse remit of the Society, he actively campaigned for and promoted access, safety, welfare, training, exams, BHS Cross Country and TREC.
His association with The British Horse Society was known to all near to where he lived in Wiltshire as he was often seen driving around in his fully BHS-branded white van.
Julie Garbutt, South West Development Officer, paid tribute to Robert, saying: “It was a real privilege to have known and worked alongside Robert.
“His passion and enthusiasm for horses and the BHS was exceptional, and the Society in the region thrived because of it. He led by example and had the respect of everyone who knew him – a truly remarkable man and volunteer.”
Robert is survived by his wife, Sylvia; son, James and daughter, Sarah. A Service of Thanksgiving will be held on 23 April 2015 at 2.30pm at Sutton Veny Parish Church, Sutton Veny, Warminster, Wiltshire.