Roy Eckstein (71), first chairman of Gold Circle and long-time former steward of the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club, died in a scooter accident at his Camps Bay home in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon.
A colour holder of long standing, owner and breeder, Roy was passionate about his racing.
He owned a number of top class racehorses in his time including crack sprinter Shoe Express and more recently Investec Cape Derby winner Top Seller and Tales Of Bravery both trained by long-time friend and trainer Vaughan Marshall. Marshall started training for Eckstein back in 1981 and their last winner together was with Twitter in the Godolphin Barb Stakes at Clairwood last week.
Eckstein hailed from a prominent Pietermaritzburg family and made his fortune in the shoe business with Jaguar Shoes and Reebok.
Eckstein was elected the first chairman of Gold Circle when the three KwaZulu-Natal race clubs, namely the Durban Turf Club, the Clairwood Turf Club and the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club, merged into Gold Circle in December 1998.
Prior to that Eckstein had been a long-serving steward of the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club where he was head of the Marketing and Promotions portfolio of the club that was renowned for their innovative ideas including the Interprovincial Jockey’s Challenge and the racing “Skins”.
He is a huge loss for the racing industry and all our sympathy goes out to his family and friends.