Remarkable horsewoman celebrates 90th birthday

  • A dedicated horsewoman who ran a central London riding school for 45 years celebrated her 90th birthday with a party at the Dorchester hotel.

    Lilo Blum opened a stables in Hyde Park during the Second World War at the age of 16 and ran it for 45 years.

    The showing enthusiast also ran a yard in Richmond and was a successful racehorse owner.

    Over the years Lilo took out a variety of famous faces out riding, including Pavarotti, Zsa Zsa Gabor, JFK’s children, Paul Newman and Muhammad Ali.

    She also provided horses for film and television projects.

    Lilo reflected on her busy equestrian life.Lilo Blum

    “With horses it’s seven days a week, 12 hours a day starting at 5:30am,” she said.

    “Often, I would have just locked up and put all the horses away and a whole lot of people would come down, but I would never refuse them.

    “I would unlock the door again, get the horses out and show them all around Hyde Park. It’s nice when people appreciate what you do for them.”

    A Facebook page has been set up by Lilo’s family for memories of her stables to be shared: www.facebook.com/LiloBlumsRidingStables/

    Lilo marked her birthday with the party in London on 28 January, with more than 100 guests.

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    “It has been an interesting life I must say,” she added. “You’ve got to make the best of it.

    “I made money and blew money like everybody else. I was lucky I always worked for myself, which is a great thing. I’ve done all right. I can’t complain!

    “If I see a horse I like out in the park from my window, I still think ‘That one’s nice, that would have done me nicely’.”

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