For Big Jos (Bompa)

As your nickname suggests you, Grand Jos, were ‘Grand’ in every sense of the word. Of course it was initially intended to indicate whether we were talking about Grandson Jos or Grandfather Jos (also known as Bompa), but it actually has a lot more meaning.

 The first time I met you was over 17 years ago. I was instantly welcomed into the family with a warm smile, plenty of humour and with sparkle in your eye that showed more than a hint of mischief. You were the master of knowing exactly what to say, putting all at ease with your charisma and charm. You were also an incredible supporter of ‘little’ Jos and I. You liked winning and were very competitive, but most of all you believed in us. If you were at competitions everyone would sit down around you; the original entertainer and the person to whom everyone was drawn towards.

 In more recent years you followed everything closely via the livestream, with the same intensity and passion you have always had, jumping every fence with us. Because of your drive, you managed to bring out the best in us, and time and time again you were enormously proud when we returned home with our prizes. If our competitions didn’t go to plan you would soon put things into perspective, often saying ‘well, let’s go for a good dinner’. This was the essence of you, living life to the full and keeping to your motto of ‘it’s better to laugh than cry.’

 You have also been the founder of Eurohorse's success. The owner of Regina Z. I will never forget when we were trialling her for the first time and you were watching from the bench. The rest of us could hardly judge her at that moment, but you had already seen it. You had such a special gift. You took the owners to your terrace, opened a bottle of champagne and within an hour it was settled. Everyone else was skeptical, but you were right, as always, with your passion, vision and unwavering belief.

But what I love most of all is that despite your business success you have never forgotten the essence of life. You would always enjoy the little things. For example, when I told stories about my children, I saw that laugh and twinkle in your eyes again. You would like to experience everything again and it was these moments that were the important ones in life. Pure class.

Every input you gave was with the absolute best intentions. Because of your foresight you were practically always right. Even at the end, you said "once I get to the hospital I will never leave". But you enjoyed life so much, and we have so enjoyed you being a cornerstone of ours. I have so much respect and admiration for everything you stood for, a revelation that many understand but few are truly able to live by. Grand Jos, in all your actions and in everything you believed in. As you always put it, ‘’Life is beautiful.”

Good journey, my friend.