Watch as Labrador follows in the foosteps of Champion jockey owner to glide over fences
Yet, while Malton remains renowned as one of the great centres of horse racing, there’s a new four-legged champion who is taking the jumps obstacles by storm.
She’s a three-year-old Labrador called Harley who has been described as a “natural” by her owner Paul Hanagan, the 2010 and 2011 champion jockey on the Flat.
Hanagan is no stranger to jumps – he actually started out as a National Hunt jockey with the late Malcolm Jefferson before switching codes and teaming up with Richard Fahey to form one of the Flat’s most successful alliances.
But the rider, who has been recuperating from hip surgery ahead of the 2022 campaign, has always had a soft spot for Labradors and his Instagram feed is invariably a tribute to either Harley or his beloved Liverpool Football Club.
And even he was taken aback earlier this week where Harley cleared a near four feet fence with great athleticism before landing full of running to use racing parlance.
Appropriately, the music accompanying Hanagan’s footage on social media was the theme tune to Champions – the now iconic film that saw the legendary actor John Hurt portray North Yorkshire jockey Bob Champion’s 1981 National win on miracle horse Aldaniti after conquering cancer.
But Harley’s leap was also a jump that would have pleased local trainer Brian Ellison if it had come from his Grand National hopeful Windsor Avenue who lines up in Kelso’s Premier Chase this Saturday ahead of a date with destiny at Aintree on April 9.
Have you any videos of Labradors or dogs with as much prowess as Harley? Send them to [email protected]