Remembering our Chairman: Lord Vestey GCVO

It is with very great regret that we have to report the death of our Chairman Lord Vestey on the 4th of February this year.

Lord (Sam to his many friends) Vestey became the chairman of RASC in 1998 succeeding the Duke of Westminster. Lord Vestey was to be the chairman for almost a third of the existence of RASC and presided over big changes in the way the Society was run. He was a very active and enthusiastic chairman attending all the Commonwealth Agricultural Conferences and chairing quite a number of them. He was a strong supporter of the RASC’s new initiatives notably the setting up of the Next Generation Group in the early 2000’s and attended a number of their events.

 He was a trusted friend of The Royal family and played a key role in securing the agreement of HRH The Princess Royal to become our President on the retirement of the Duke of Edinburgh in 2011. He was a regular attender of the Sydney Royal Easter Show and always took the opportunity of visiting member societies when he was on his world wide travels with the Vestey group. In spite of his wealth and titles he was a thoroughly down to earth person who would always have time to talk to all the delegates at a Commonwealth conference. Sam always enjoyed the social side of the conference and would often be one of the last people to leave the bar for bed!

Sam Vestey was born in 1941 the only son of the 2nd Lord Vestey who killed in action in 1944 whilst serving with the Scots Guards in Italy. He inherited the titles from his grandfather on his death in 1954. After serving in the Scots Guards he joined the family business the Vestey Group becoming a director and then chairman.

A Horse owner and breeder, racing was his passion and it was through the sport he was to become a Steward of the Jockey Club and a friend of the Royal family. He went on to become “Master of the Horse” and a permanent Lord- in- Waiting to the Queen. He was also Chancellor and Lord Prior of the Order of Knights of St John. Very sadly his wife Celia died suddenly in November 2020. They leave two sons and a daughter.