Death of Chequers founder Jim Campin

New Zealand has lost one of its most successful and versatile horsemen with the passing of Cambridge breeder Jim Campin.  He was 76.

“Dad went peacefully,” his son Mark Fraser-Campin said.  “He did things a bit differently at times, but more often than not they came off.”

Campin established Chequers Stud with his first wife Ngaire in 1970.  Three years later, champion colt Vice Regal announced his arrival with five juvenile victories up to Group 1 level in the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes.

A son of Chequers sire Bismark (Relic), he went on to win 21 races under Campin’s guidance including the NZ 2000 Guineas and his talents were also showcased in Australia where he was G2 winner of the MVRC John F Feehan Stakes, MVRC Freeway Stakes and VATC J J Liston Stakes.

Retired to Chequers, Vice Regal produced G1 winners Vite Cheval, Sapio, Prolific, Reganza, Helene Star, Eva Grace and All Glory and also made his mark as a broodmare sire.

Stallions to follow at Chequers included Prince Echo (Crowned Prince), Western Symphony (Nijinsky), Bakharoff (The Minstrel), Green Perfume (Naevus) and Ishiguru (Danzig).

Chequers was also home to Deputy Governor (Master Willie).  He was 29 and suffering the effects of old age when the decision was made to put him down in February.  Campin bought him as a replacement for Prince Echo in 1989 and he has sired the winners of 1,120 races.

The breeding honours board at Chequers features 36 Group 1 winners including Roysyn (Bakharoff), Clear Rose (Deputy Governor), Zirna (Deputy Governor) and Hades – Helene Vitality (Zabeel).  The most recent Chequers black-type came on April 6 when homebred filly Kisses (Iffraaj) won the Listed NZ Bloodstock Air Freight Stakes at Riccarton.

Campin’s sons Mark and Chris took over the reins in 2010 and operate the stud in conjunction with agistment farm Domino Park.  The brothers have also followed their father’s lead as licensed trainers.

“Dad had been ill for some time,” Mark Fraser- Campin said.  “But he got to see Kisses win the stakes race at Riccarton and that was really nice.”