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Derrick Naylor, founding father of Naylors Equestrian, dies aged 92

  • Derrick Naylor, the founder of retailer Naylors Equestrian, died on 9 June, aged 92

    Born in Rochdale in 1929, Mr Naylor became involved in horses through his grandfather. After school he helped a local man with his ponies and when he was a teenager his grandfather found him a job looking after hunters in North Yorkshire for Sir Alfred Hammond Aykroyd.

    Sir Alfred noticed Mr Naylor’s interest in racehorses and he got him a job working for a trainer. Later Mr Naylor returned to Rochdale and started renting stables and land. He would travel to Ireland and source horses to hire out for hunting, and went on to train point-to-pointers, enjoying a few winners.

    Through his connections Mr Naylor began taking orders from trainers for tack. He also attended shows with a tent, before he opened his first tack shop in 1950. His wife Kate, who he met at the Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, helped run the business.

    In 1965 he founded Naylors Equestrian, then known as Naylors Saddlery. The business grew and became one of the most well-known and respected equestrian retailers in the country. In 2007 the business was sold to Ben Atkinson who asked to keep the family name, and Mr and Mrs Naylor remained in touch with the Atkinsons, visiting the new superstore when it was built in 2012.

    Mr and Mrs Naylor enjoyed travelling around the world on holidays, and also business trips for Kate to promote the Derryn magnetic system she had developed to treat horses. The couple also owned racehorses trained by Norma Macauley. Their first winner was Joyful Times in 1995.

    His daughter Amanda said her father helped “so many people” over the years.

    “He was a gentleman through and through. We did everything as a family and wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for him,” she said.

    Kate added Mr Naylor was in good health until a few months ago, following which the family cared for him at home.

    “He was always surrounded by love,” she said.

    Mr Naylor is survived by Kate, his daughter Amanda, and grandsons Andrew, Christian and John.

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