The Coniston Hotel & Country Estate has launched a racing club in memory of the hotel’s managing director Tom Bannister, who was killed in a car crash in June 2012.
Bannister was a well-known supporter of Point-to-Point Racing in Yorkshire, as the Northern representative of the Point-to-Point Association, clerk of the course at Pendle Point-to-Point and Master of Pendle Forest & Craven Hunt. He was previously manager of Cartmel Racecourse.
His parents Michael and Ethne Bannister and his brother Nick, who own the property, said The Coniston Hotel Racing Club will support Point–to-Point Racing, owning a small number of racehorses, and providing its members with visits to race meets, stable visits and social gatherings.
Michael Bannister said: “The prime purpose of the Racing Club is to continue Tom’s great love of Pont-to-Point racing. He would have wanted the Club members to have fun and the follow the horses the way that he did – with passion and commitment”.
Menbership has been set at £250 and is limited to 200 members. The club will have several horses in training with the Easterby family at Sheriff Hutton, and they will be ridden by their Point-to-Point stable jockey Harry Bannister, who is Tom Bannister’s nephew.
The first new horse to join The Coniston Racing Club will be Banny’s Lad – named after Tom Bannister by the hotel’s head chef Chris Oakden, who suggested the name in a competition open to all hotel and estate staff.
Three other horses, My Old Piano, Classinaglass and Billy Two Tongues, all of which were owned by Tom Bannister, will now also be owned by the Racing Club.