Horses in My Life - Broken Rail
There are so many to mention but there are always those that hold a special place in your heart.
I have been very lucky to ride many great horses in my time who have taught me humility and how to ride and most importantly how to stay on!
I was never lucky enough to own my own horse (hence a collection of over 800 models!) but I was privileged to ride to very special ones.
A horse whom I owe my last years of riding to and who taught me more about how to handle a highly strung animal was the late and great Broken Rail. Foaled in 1979 he was an ex racehorse by Busted out of First Huntress. He was a rather gangly and not overly pretty (Sorry BR but you made up for it in class!) 16:3HH bright bay gelding. His career was a rather illustrious one having been trained by the late Major Dick Hern (NOT the famous jockey turned writer!) who at the time trained the Queen’s horses so he may well have met her majesty! The Queen mother owned His Grandfather’s Sire Bustino and the Queen still breeds his bloodlines today with her 2011 Derby hopeful Carlton House being a half brother!!!
H was a middle distance horse of 1mile and 4 furlongs and was also a group 1 winner.
May Chester £3,200 1st
17th August York Melrose Handicap Stakes 1st
September Doncaster St Ledger 9th of 15 (winner Touching Wood)
May York Yorkshire Cup 3rd
May Sandown Henry II Stakes 2nd (winner: Ore)
He was ridden to victory on many occasions by the well known jockey and racing pundit Willie Carson, when he was put over hurdles he was ridden by the likes of Steve Smith-Eccles and Peter Scudamore. He won his last race but pulled up lame and that’s when his racing career ended. The treatment for damaged tendons back then was firing and I too had a similar treatment used on my own pelvic injury. My back injury sadly worsened and I was only really able to ride as long as I did because riding such a forward going horse meant I had to sit very quiet and still!
He was a joy to ride and taught me a great deal. He had some wonderful querks like cocking his head from the poll in canter whilst I tried desperately to get him to do a beautiful collected 20 metre circle. He used to squeal with delight at trotting poles but had no concept of how to get over a raised trotting pole except by hurdling it as he had only every been taught! I was amazed when he did it the first time, I felt like I was flying! He also used to give the letter ‘E’ a wide birth in the manage every third Thursday in the month.
Gone but never forgotten, it was a privilege to have had the opportunity to have ridden him.