Royal racing legend dies

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  • One of the top trainers of the last century, Dick Hern, has died at the age of 81

    Dick Hern, one of the greatest trainers of the 20th century, died earlier today (Wednesday) at the age of 81. The former royal trainer spent the past 18 years of his life in a wheelchair following an accident in the hunting field.

    Few trainers have had such an illustrious record in British classic races as Dick, who won the Derby on three occasions with Troy, Henbit and Nashwan. Another highlight of his career was saddling Dunfermline in the Royal colours to win the Oaks and St Ledger in 1977, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year.

    A horseman through and through, Dick enjoyed nothing more than a day’s hunting during his time in the saddle.

    Dick was the bravest man you could meet,” said fellow trainer, friend and great admirer John Dunlop today at Goodwood. “He had many health problems following his hunting accident but came back from it all to train top-class horses.

    “I shall always remember his strength, courage, charm and good humour. He was a great party man who enjoyed singing and reciting poetry with a drink in his hand. He had such enthusiasm for life.”

    Read full tribute to Dick Hern in Horse & Hound (30 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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