Best Mate has gone down in the annals of history for his extraordinary racing talent, and now the racing legend’s name has been registered as a trademark in an attempt by owner Jim Lewis to prevent ‘pirates’ from capitalising on the horse’s success.
“I always thought that should he win a third Gold Cup, there would arise a valuable opportunity to use his name for charity”, says Lewis.
The owner was not the only one to have realised the value of Best Mate’s historic success in business terms, and a wealth of merchandise has developed – some of it unlicensed – which Lewis is determined should contribute, through royalties, to his charitable purpose.
“We are seeking to license and endorse products of all shapes and sizes and we already have a good number of enterprises supporting the cause,” says Lewis, “and while we hope, of course, that Best Mate will continue to provide entertainment for all his faithful followers, he can at the same time provide funds for caring where it is most needed.”
The charities that will gain from the name being officially registered include the St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, which is raising funds to build a new hospice, and The Gentleman’s Night Out Charity, which helps short-life children and their carers.
Matey rocks on
Elsewhere in the country, Best Mate has been turned into something altogether more playful. Fine rocking horse-makers the Stevenson Brothers have produced a limited edition Best Mate rocking horse.
“It all came together at Cheltenham, when he won for the third time,” says a spokesperson for the company.
“We’ve done several racehorses in the past, but this is certainly one of the most special,” she adds.
There are just 100 “Mateys”, with the first being snatched up in the bat of an eyelid, although surprisingly, not by owner Jim Lewis.
“You see the size of my house, and you’d realise that I’d have to have a separate stable to put it in. It could be in the pipeline for the future though…” he laughed.
The horse comes complete with his trademark Aston Villa FC-coloured browband, as well as a removable blanket and racing saddle. No silks for any National Hunt hopefuls this time, though. The horse, say the makers, “is too famous to need those to be recognisable.”