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Death of Tim Vigors, visionary bloodstock agent, at 82.

Byline: Jon Lees

JON LEES

TIM VIGORS, the bloodstock agent,

former owner of Coolmore and a veteran of the Battle of Britain, has died at the age of 82.

His death, after suffering ill-health for some time, was announced in the week after the 13th Cartier Awards, which

he was instrumental in establishing. A man of energy and vision, Vigors is best regarded in racing as a prime force in the internationalisation of the industry.

Jonathan Irwin, director of the BBA (Ireland), which evolved out of Tim

Vigors Bloodstock, said last night: "There are only two people I've met in my life who thought way ahead of their time, Tim and, latterly, John Magnier."

Vigors was born at Tullamaine Castle in County Tipperary, the stud then owned by his parents, but his early adult life was spent flying spitfires in the

Battle of Britain. Despite being shot down and feared lost over France, he survived with a highly distinguished record.

After the war he returned to racing and joined Goffs as an auctioneer and manager until setting up his own bloodstock agency in 1951.

In 1968, he inherited Coolmore from his father, who had moved there from

Tullamaine, laying the foundations of the stallion station it is now. Among the sires under his care were Rheingold, Thatch, Home Guard and King Emperor. He

became partners in the business with Vincent O'Brien and Robert Sangster

before he was eventually bought out.

As a bloodstock agent, he was a key player in the late 1960s and enjoyed close friendships with leading US figures Bull Hancock, whose family own Claiborne Farm, and Ogden Phipps. Among the horses he bought were Glad Rags and Fleet, who won successive 1,000 Guineas.

Latterly operating from Newmarket, he handled the stallion syndication of

Indian Ridge and helped secure High Chaparral's dam Kasora at auction for breeder Sean Coughlan.

Bob Lanigan, former manager at Coolmore and now owner of Tullamaine

Castle Stud, said: "Tim was the first to recognise the internationality of the horse. He was involved very early on in syndication and instrumental in

Nasrullah going out to Claiborne."

Irwin added: "The way he developed Coolmore helped it become the worldwide name it is now. He promoted his stallions in a way that perhaps stallions had never been promoted before."

Harry Herbert, who succeeded Vigors as Cartier's racing consultant, said: "Tim was so proud to have started the Cartier Awards and seen them grow and develop. He was a joy to work with."

Vigors is survived by his wife Diana and six children. There will be a private family funeral at Newmarket on Friday and a thanksgiving service at a later date.

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Tim Vigors Owned Coolmore
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 19, 2003
Words:452
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