08/21/2014 10:28AM

English owner-breeder Parker dies at age 81

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Prominent English owner and breeder Sir Eric Parker died at age 81 after a lengthy battle with cancer, Racing Post reports.

Parker, a former accountant and chief executive for conglomerate Trafalgar House, owned racehorses for 43 years and operated Crimbourne Stud in West Sussex, England. He owned 1991 Grand National winner Seagram, and had other notable runners including Group 1 winner Havana Gold, Topsham Bay, and Indian Lodge.

Parker joined the Racehorse Owners Association council in 1994, and served as its president from 1998 to 2001.

"Everybody at the ROA is devastated to learn of Sir Eric's passing,” ROA President Rachel Hood told Racing Post. “His personal bravery in his fight against illness has been an example to us all and, no matter how unwell he felt, it never diminished his drive and determination to improve the sport he cared so passionately about. His greatest love was for his wife, Marlene, and his family, and our hearts go out to them all at this incredibly sad time."

Parker will have a private funeral with a memorial services on a date to be announced later.