John Spencer Youngs was an esteemed Hickstead official who served for many years. He died in 2023 at age 89.
Mr Youngs was born in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and educated at King’s College School in Wimbledon. He left school aged 18 to serve two years’ national service.
Starting as a management student, he had a successful career in the John Lewis Partnership that spanned more than 40 year. He was a central purchaser of dress fabrics at the head office. This position took him around the world. Later, he was offered a management position in the John Lewis Reading Store, where he worked until 1997.
Mr Youngs’ main interest outside business was showjumping, and he had a special love for Hickstead, with which he was associated for more than 40 years. He began judging outside rings, and was then asked in 1976 if he wanted to assist John Farmer as the assistant show director in the International Arena. This role he held in for almost 30 years. After the death of Maggie Griffin Mr Youngs took over the role of president of the International Ground Jury, a position he held until he was barred by the FEI due to his age. He was made president of ground jury from then until his retirement in 2014