‘Fitting tribute’: Lambourn opens its doors in honour of Many Clouds

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  • This year’s Lambourn open day is to be renamed the Many Clouds Lambourn Open Day in celebration of the legendary chaser’s life.

    The racing town will open its doors to the public on Good Friday, 14 April, in honour of the 2015 Grand National winner, who died on 28 January just after he pipped Gold Cup favourite Thistlecrack to the post at Cheltenham.

    Many Clouds was trained by Oliver Sherwood from Rhonehurst, Lambourn.

    “Many Clouds had been the apple of Lambourn’s eye for many years,” said a spokesman for the open day. “After first winning the Hennessy Gold Cup, and then unforgettably the Grand National, he became a household name.

    “The scenes of adulation as thousands lined the streets of Lambourn when he was paraded the day after winning the Grand National will live long in the memory.”

    Mark Smyly, chairman of the open day’s organising committee, feels the renaming is a fitting tribute.

    “What Many Clouds achieved for Oliver Sherwood was remarkable,” he said.

    “He was everything a top chaser should be; a bold, impeccable jumper who stayed for ever.

    “The affection with which the team at Rhonehurst held him epitomises why people work in racing. The Lambourn open day is a day for everyone that works in the village to show off their yards and horses to the public; they are an essential part of Lambourn and the people involved with Many Clouds exemplified that.

    “The day raises valuable money for two charities. One of these is the Lambourn Valley Housing Trust which provides welfare for both our retired and working stable staff; thus naming the day after Many Clouds this year makes perfect sense.”

    More than 30 racing yards and horse exhibitions will open at 8.30am on 14 April to “give the public the opportunity to get first-hand experience into the running of top trainers’ yards such as Nicky Henderson, Warren Greatrex, Clive Cox, Charlie Hills and of course, Oliver Sherwood”.

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    Visitors will also be able to see the facilities at the Lambourn Valley Equine Hospital and the Injured Jockeys Fund’s rehabilitation centre Oaksey House.

    There will also be “equine shows” and demonstrations of “country skills”, with AP MCoy and John Francome among the famous faces taking part.

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