ONE of the great gentlemen of jump racing will be celebrated at Wetherby’s season-opening meeting next Wednesday when a race is run in memory of 1993 Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Peter Beaumont.
Twelve horses have been declared for the two-mile Peter Beaumont Handicap Chase – and his daughter Anthea Leigh, York’s head of racing, hopes many friends of her father, from Brandsby, will join her to celebrate his life.
Fittingly, the winning connections will receive the trophy presented to the then 16-year-old Beaumont when he won the Bramham Moor Men’s Open point-to-point race on April 23, 1951, for his father Alfie in front of 15,000 spectators.
This day would go on to have further resonance – it was the day that Beaumont, the last Yorkshireman to saddle the Gold Cup winner following Jodami’s success, married and the day that his grandson, Henry Morshead, was born.
Equine artist Jane Wills will produce a painting of the victorious horse while the successful jockey and trainer will receive hampers from Wensleydale Creamery – further recognition of Beaumont’s love of the countryside and Yorkshire life.
“We lost Dad 11 days into the original lockdown and we weren’t able to give him a proper send-off – the funeral, as it was, was 10 minutes long and only six people were allowed to attend,” said Leigh.
“Dad had planned a big funeral but, 18 months down the line, it seems that that moment has passed. It seems more fitting to celebrate his life and this, I hope, is a fitting way to do so. It is a chance for his friends, owners, racing staff and staff at Springhill Court, Easingwold, where he was so happy and looked after so well, to come to the races, share their memories and raise a glass to him.”
Those hoping to win the Beaumont race will include 2020-21 champion jockey Brian Hughes who described Beaumont as “a gentleman steeped in farming and the sport”.
“You would struggle to find anyone without nice things to say about him, a proper gentleman,” he added.