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Popular northern owner Tom Topping has died

Tom Topping, a long-time supporter of point-to-point racing in the northern region has passed away after a suspected farm accident in Larne, Co. Antrim.

Through his company Topping Meats, Tom sponsored a number of races at point-to-point fixtures, but was particularly well-known within the sport as an owner.

His Southsea Native defeated the subsequent Aintree Grand National winner Bindaree in a five-year-old maiden at Loughbrickland in February 1999, before following-up in a Farmacaffley winners event.

Tom had refused offers to purchase the horse as he made the switch to the track and that was rewarded when he made a winning rules debut, narrowly denying subsequent Irish National winner The Bunny Boiler in a Fairyhouse bumper, whilst he also won a Down Royal maiden hurdle that Christmas before being fatally injured later that season.

More recently, his bright green colours have been carried to success between the flags by Better Blue, Gauppo Boy, Rowdy Rascal, Fast Gun and Gris Lord.

Southsea Native was trained by Billy Patton who trained many of his other point-to-pointers over the years, whilst more recently, Stuart Crawford has been responsible for preparing his horses- sending out The Sad Sheperd to win an adjacent maiden at Largy in April.

Tom’s final runner between the flags was Josies Dylan, who finished second in an adjacent maiden at Broughshane in May.

Pre-deceased by his late wife Rae, Tom is survived by his sons Kenneth and Alan and his daughter Louise, and a service of thanksgiving will be held at his house in Maheramorne, Larne, will take place at 2.30pm on Saturday August 13th.

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