Maureen Haggas, the wife of Willie, who trained the winner of the 1996 Epsom Derby, is an accomplished horsewoman in her own right.
One of the daughters of Lester and Susan Piggott, she made her mark on the eventing world before turning her attentions back to Thoroughbred racing.
“One of the routine pieces of tack in our yard – as in most racing yards – is the bib martingale. ”
“By eventing standards, many of our horses are broken and cantering in a relatively short space of time, and a martingale helps to lower the head if it is thrown up above the angle of control. It has exactly the same action as a running martingale, except that the rings that the reins run though are attached to a leather bib rather than straps.”
“This is mainly to prevent colts getting the straps hooked through their mouths, as they often grab at things. The bib is also less flexible than the straps on a running martingale and helps to keep the reins together. The neck strap on these martingalesis also necessary.”
“The horses are ridden by a variety of different people, and the neck strap just helps the rider not to hang on to their mouths too much, especially as they are riding with very short stirrups.”