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Industry mourns death of Llety Stud's Hodge

TRIBUTES have been paid to Will Hodge, the owner of Llety Stud, who passed away yesterday following a long illness at the age of 77.

Hodge established Llety Stud in the heart of the Vale of Towy, Carmarthenshire, in 1951 and went on to develop it into a successful stallion farm and nursery, latterly alongside his sons David, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the stud, and Charles.

Today, the stud encompasses 250 acres and is adjacent to the Dyffryn Tywi Equine Clinic, which was built by the Hodges to provide on-hand veterinary facilities. Home to Challenge Stakes winner Stimulation, the stud suffered a blow last month with the death of their other stallion, Auction House.

Hodge was a keen equestrian competitor in his youth, a talent he passed down to David and Charles, both of whom showjumped for Wales. He was also a gifted rugby player and was offered the opportunity to play for Bradford Northern Rugby League, only to turn it down due to the amount of training involved. The stud was formed shortly after.

The first stallion to stand at Llety was Stephen George, a multiple-winning sprinter who was followed in later years by the Listed winner Bold Owl, sire of Jack Berry’s Cammidge Trophy winner Amron, and Merdon Melody, who sired the Llety-bred Grade 2 winner Melody Queen.

The Listed-placed pair Fratellino and Fifth Ave are other smart horses to have flown the Llety flag in recent seasons.

Tony Morris yesterday paid tribute to Hodge, whom he knew for over 40 years. He said: “Will was a valued friend to me and an engaging character who will be sorely missed. Although he was never able to compete with the major studs, he always had high standards, being a stickler for good conformation and he had a profound knowledge of pedigrees.

“His Llety Stud effectively put South Wales on the map as an outpost of thoroughbred breeding, and over the years he stood a number of stallions who proved popular with small breeders.

His enthusiasm for the sport and the industry over more than six decades was infectious, happily passed on to son David, who has managed the farm during his father’s long illness.”

Hodge was one of DBS’s earliest clients and the auction house’s managing director, Henry Beeby, also paid tribute. He said: “He was someone we enjoyed plenty of success with. He had a great sense of humour and was great to do business with. He had a very positive outlook.”

Hodge’s wife Jackie passed away several years ago and he is survived by sons David and Charles. Funeral plans will be
announced at a later date.

 

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