The launch of a new Hackney club in Wales was paradoxically marred by the death of one of the UK’s most famous hackney horses, Ashingdons Ellens Boy at the age of 34 years.

Believed to bethe oldest registered hackney stallion in the world, Ellen’s Boy had spent his retirement at Hirwaun Hackney Stud, Maesteg, South Wales, where he enjoyed the tender loving care of Alan Hill.

Just days after Hackney horse enthusiasts in Wales joined together to form the new hackney club earlier this month, they had news of Ellen’s Boy’s death. “According to the hackney horse stud book he was the oldest Hackney in the world,” said Alan James, secretary of the new club. “He outlived his owner Arthur Spurling, who retired to Carmarthen 15 years ago.”

The Welsh Hackney Club under the chairmanship of Tom Young of Swansea, will carry on the work of the former Wales and West Hackney Club which was run by Kevin Toombs of Gloucester who is now acouncil member of the Hackney Horse Society.

The new club is planning an inaugural drive on August 12 at the home of David Broome at Mount Ballan Manor, Crick. It is open to all carriage drivers and will commemorate former Olympic show jumper David Broome’s late father Fred, who was a keen carriage driver.

There are also plans afoot to hold a Hackney Championship Show at Mount Ballan in 2002.