Who are Wetherby’s all-time racing greats?
WETHERBY Racecourse is to create an outside Wall of Fame to celebrate the West Yorkshire course’s rich jump racing history.
The innovative concept will consist of a permanent outside exhibition, to be installed ahead of the 2015/2016 season, with huge photographs and information highlighting the role that people and horses have played since Wetherby first staged racing in 1891.
Racegoers are being given the chance to vote for their favourite Wetherby champions from a shortlist of 14 contenders at the William Hill Yorkshire Winter Festival on Friday and Saturday.
All those voting through the forms in the racecard will be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets for the 2015 bet365 Charlie Hall Chase meeting in November.
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Two horses and two people will be selected to become the first inductees into the Wall of Fame, with the winners announced at Wetherby’s Wear A Hat Friday raceday on March 27.
Jonjo Sanderson, chief executive at Wetherby, said: “Wetherby’s commitment to jumping is resolute and longstanding even though Flat racing commences here for first time next year.
“We are keen to celebrate the heroes, both human and equine, who have enjoyed success at Wetherby.
“Rolls of honour have already been introduced at Wetherby to remind racegoers of the winners of our main races.
“The Wall of Fame takes the project a stage further with huge photographs being displayed of people and horses who have made the most impression on Wetherby racegoers over the years.
“While we have drawn up the shortlists, the votes of our customers will decide the people and horses to be the first inductees into the Wall of Fame.”
The Wetherby Wall of Fame is partly funded by the British Horseracing Grant Scheme.
The contenders are – Horses
A real Wetherby specialist, winning 10 times at the course including the 1998 Castleford Chase. Rattled off four successive wins at Wetherby in the autumn of 1997 and enjoyed a second career as an eventer following his retirement from racing.
Eight-time winner at Wetherby, headlined by a pair of superb victories in the Castleford Chase. Captured the Byrne Group Plate at the Cheltenham Festival in 2008, having finished third at the same course in the Queen Mother Champion Chase two years earlier.
Grade One-winning chaser with a tremendous record at Wetherby, winning the Towton Novices’ Chase before going on to make five appearances in the Charlie Hall Chase. He triumphed in the Wetherby highlight in 2005 and 2007 and made the frame in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Hugely popular grey who enjoyed a pair of victories in the Charlie Hall Chase in 1996 and 1997. Twice successful in Kempton’s King George VI Chase and a spectacular winner of the 1998 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
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Dual winner of the Charlie Hall Chase, (1999 and 2000) on his only two starts at Wetherby and helped to launch the career of eight-time champion jump trainer Paul Nicholls, who described the chaser as “a horse of a lifetime”.
Achieved nine wins in hurdles and chases at Wetherby between 1967 and 1974. The Arthur Stephenson-trained gelding beat Red Rum at the course in a handicap hurdle in 1970, despite giving the future three-time Grand National winner 29lb, and gained a cult following with his electric jumping.
One of the great chasers of the 1980s, winning a total of 28 races at 16 courses. Twice captured the Charlie Hall Chase (1983 and 1985) with superb jumping displays. Became the first horse to win the King George VI Chase three times.
Legendary Middleham handler who was twice champion Jump trainer and saddled the winner of the Grand National on three occasions. Won almost every major chase during a career that spanned 52 years including three victories in the Charlie Hall Chase with Arcturus (1969), Goolagong (1977) & Sparkie’s Choice (1979).
The Dickinson Family
Racing dynasty, consisting of Tony and Monica Dickinson, their son Michael and daughters Hazel and Anne. Formidable force in the 1970s and 1980s, saddling close to 100 winners at Wetherby including Wayward Lad and Badsworth Boy.
Champion trainer in 1955/1956 and sent out a phenomenal 169 winners at Wetherby from his stables at nearby Towton. His Clear Cut won at the course 10 times, while Doorknocker scored at Wetherby before winning the 1956 Champion Hurdle on his next start.
William Temple Lipscomb
Pivotal figure at Wetherby for over 60 years, including negotiating the freehold purchase of the course in 1953. Took over as clerk of the course from Rowland Meyrick at the age of 66 and was also a director and patron of Wetherby well into his 90s.
Sent out almost 2,000 winners from his stables in Cumbria including Grand National victors Lucius and Hallo Dandy. Enjoyed four successes in the Charlie Hall Chase with Tamalin (1974), Set Point (1976) and the outstanding One Man, who scored in 1996 and 1997.
Sent out nearly 3,000 winners, including 264 at Wetherby, in a prolific training career that spanned six decades. Also won at the course as an amateur jockey and was particularly associated with Wetherby winners The Thinker, also successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Durham Edition, a dual Grand National runner-up, and course specialist Supermaster.
The joint-most successful trainer in the history of the Charlie Hall Chase with four victories - Tipping Tim (1992), Young Hustler (1994) and Ollie Magern (2005 & 2007). Twice successful in the West Yorkshire Hurdle twice and has trained over 1,400 winners so far.