We have lost a great friend and supporter with the sad death of Antonia Cole at the age of 90, just shy of her 91st birthday.

Charming and intelligent she quickly became part of the family when we first rented her yard next to her home at Potwell.

From day one Antonia took a great interest in our horses, treated our children Harry and Hattie as her own and loved talking to our owners.

She had been a model in her younger days, working in Paris and New York, she enjoyed all country pursuits which inevitably led to her owning horses of all disciplines.

Antonia quickly became the best of neighbours and when Rachael was still riding often joined her in the car on long trips to race meetings in the north.

She liked to see young people get on in life and six years ago encouraged us to buy her yard and home.

Antonia felt it was an arrangement that suited both sides. She knew we were ambitious to expand and in turn we were able to keep a close eye on her in her final years.

Until her recent illness she still loved being out in the yard most days, talking to our staff & owners as well as always taking a keen interest in our horses.

We couldn’t have asked for a better friend.


  1. Very sorry to hear this sad news of Antonia a lovely lady who took such a keen interest and had a zest for life I know how much she had meant to the family

  2. To an extremely beautiful and kind lady. A trustee in the hunting field in her younger days.
    A lovely lady who would help anyone if it was possible for her to do so.

  3. So sorry to hear this news. She was a wonderful lady and I remember that move up to Potwell so well. Sending love to you all.

  4. Such a lovely Lady who holds lots of special memories and kindness to so many in Hawkchurch during her time living here xx ❤️ xx

  5. I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. Antonia was a remarkable lady. She was always friendly, often, it seemed, with a mischievous glint in her eye! I didn’t know her well but I really liked and admired her. She will be missed by many, I’m sure.

  6. Donald Campbell

    I was so sad to hear today from Abby that Antonia had passed over on the 14th. Only on Monday I sent her a birthday card for her birthday. We were the same age, she being a month older. I have known Antonia since 1957 when she was married to Michael Birkin and I was just staring out on my chosen career. She was one of my first clients and I well remember the clothes that I made for her. We did not see so much of each other when she moved from London, but whenever she was in the city, we would meet up. She always made the effort to attend my varios landmark bithday parties but alas, not my 90th last May. We spoke on the telephone before Christmas and went down memory lane. I will really miss her.

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