‘Racing art was his great love’: Sir Peter O’Sullevan’s art collection to go on display

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  • Racing fans will be able to catch a glimpse into the life of legendary racing commentator Sir Peter O’Sullevan next month.

    Artwork and memorabilia from the private collection of “the voice of racing” are set to go on display at a London gallery.

    Sir Peter, who called more than 14,000 races over 50 years, was also a dedicated art collector.

    The Osborne Studio Gallery in Belgravia, of which he was chairman for 17 years, will host a celebration of Sir Peter’s life from 9 March until 1 April.

    As well as paintings and sculpture, it will feature photographs and items such as racing commentary cards and his script from his appearance on the Morecambe and Wise show.

    Racing art was his great love but, beyond that, he collected works from his travels, particularly from North Africa, seeking out artists in remote places, said gallery director Geoffrey Hughes in a personal memoir.

    “Interestingly, subjects incorporating Pierrot are well represented in his collection.”

    Some of the artwork will be on sale, with some of the funds going to the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.

    The six charities supported by the trust are Blue Cross, The Brooke, Compassion in World Farming, World Horse Welfare, Racing Welfare and the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre.

    Over the past 19 years, the trust has raised more than £4m for charity.

    Sir Peter, who died peacefully at home in July at the age of 97, commentated on the Grand National 50 times for the BBC.

    One of his most memorable moments was calling Red Rum home to his third Grand National victory in 1977.

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    “[Sir Peter’s] natural modesty forbade it, but every indication I had from our conversations in the latter part of his life suggested he would love others to share some of these memories,” added Mr Hughes.

    “I also think that he would have appreciated how appropriate it is that the period of the exhibition includes the four days of the Cheltenham Festival.

    “It is no secret that this was his favourite time of the year.”

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