One of horseracing's most prolific sponsors, George Ward, has passed away on Monday, aged 79 following a short illness.
Ward began supporting the Grunwick National Hunt Flat Race series and followed up sponsoring under the Bonusprint, Doubleprint and Tripleprint banners.
He believed strongly that racing and terrestrial television coverage could create the necessary exposure for his brand names and his events became a feature on many UK courses, as over 22 years he invested £25 million into sponsorship.
Amongst the courses he supported were Ascot, Aintree, Cheltenham, Sandown, Goodwood and Newmarket.
Races he sponsored included the Bonusprint King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, the Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham in December, the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle at the Festival, the Bonusprint Bula Hurdle and the Bonusprint Old Roan Chase at Aintree.
Ward was a key figure in the relaunch of the Horseracing Sponsors Association about 20 years ago. As president, he spent many years developing the Association, which represents the interests of all UK racing sponsors.
Ward leaves behind his wife Loretto and his two sons Anthony and Francis and their families.