Peter Cawood, a former chairman of the Mashonaland Turf Club, kept a low profile but achieved a great deal.
He died peacefully in Harare on Thursday after a long illness, bravely borne, and will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues. Paul Rugg, who succeeded Mr Cawood in 2009 as MTC chairman, said, “Peter Cawood was an amazing and intelligent gentleman. He loved to have a bet and knew everything about form and punting. He understood the operations of the Tote better than anyone in Zimbabwe and was aware of exactly what a punter and the Racing Operator needed.
“His commitment to the Turf Club was second to none, and its continued existence was due in many ways to his knowledge. All round he was a magnificent man to work with – never stressed – and if things went wrong, he simply said ‘Stop – just let’s apply ourselves to the problem.’”
Peter was MTC Chairman from 2004-2007, having been brought on board as a steward in the early 2000’s, mainly to sort out the TOTE, introduce commingling, and deal with LOTTO. Off the course he was a senior partner and tax consultant at Price Waterhouse.
Henk Leyenaar says it was an honour and privilege to have known Peter. “He was my mate, through racing, for over 50 years – a boffin with figures and a shrewd and successful punter who only bet when it was worthwhile. Strangely he never owned a horse, and when I offered him a share in a syndicate, for free, he said ‘No’.
“Peter was a dedicated family man – he lived for them – and he was the kindest person.”
Rest in peace, Peter Cawood. You were an integral part of racing in Zimbabwe, and we will remember.
Deepest sympathy to Peter’s family and friends.