“He had a special bond with many of his customers.”

Carl Stocks, Equine America distributor and a hugely popular figure in the trade, died suddenly on Friday, 22 March. He was 62.

Carl covered huge swathes of the north of England for the company and was unwaveringly enthusiastic about visiting and supporting retailers. 

Equine America’s managing director Lee Middleton has paid tribute.

Equine America distributor Carl Stocks: his loss will be sorely felt

“We are deeply saddened and devastated to announce the untimely passing of our colleague and friend, Carl Stocks. 

“Carl was our first distributor, with us right from the beginning when [my parents] Phil and Julie Middleton started Equine America in 1997 – so it was hardly surprising that Phil and Carl became best friends.

“If they weren’t talking about Equine America, they were talking about their racehorses or at least a dead cert at the races!

“Anyone who knew Carl, knew how hard he worked at delivering the best service to his customers. In the words of his wife, Catherine: “He really did the work of ten men.”

“Carl was extremely passionate about his work and horses, and had a special bond with many of his customers with whom he had worked for many years. 

“This news must have come as a huge shock to them as it did to us here at Equine America. 

“Carl was a larger-than-life character who was on the phone to us every day. Never one to be messed with, we usually made sure his orders went out first!

“His loss will be sorely felt by all of us here at Equine America. Our heart goes out to his wife Catherine and daughter Beatrice, and we will do everything we can to support them at this distressing time. 

“We will be handling all of Carl’s orders and customers from Equine America head office for the foreseeable future.”