Three Unlikely Celebrity Racehorse Owners

With horse-racing punters already looking for early tips for the Cheltenham festival, despite the event not being held till March 2015, it appears that the enduring popularity of this British institution has no end in sight. Horse-racing is a prestigious sport, with Cheltenham being one of the most highly-attended sporting venues in the UK, therefore it is unsurprising just how far people will go, and just how much money and time they will invest, in finding that glorious stallion that will cross the finish line first. However, what may be surprising to some is just how many of these winning horses are owned by celebrities, and not always the ones you would suspect. So, in honour of the upcoming Cheltenham festival, here are three unlikely celebrity racehorse owners.

Ronnie Wood

It is not that surprising that the flowing alcohol, flashy fashion and thrilling atmosphere of the racecourse would appeal to Ronnie Wood, who is not exactly know for turning down opportunities to party. However, the ageing rocker may not be the first person you would imagine enjoying the challenge of overseeing the breeding and training of a racehorse. However, the Rolling Stones guitarist did indeed see his first prize specimen gallop to victory in 2014. Wood’s Sandymount Duke, which was rode by jockey Jessica Harrington and trained by Kate Harrington, was a 40-1 outsider to win at Lisowel yet still romped her way to victory on the 17th of September. Wood, who was naturally delighted to see his five-year-old bay gelding race to victory, was not understated with his celebrations, exclaiming on twitter “My horse Sandymount Duke just won at Listowel 40-1!! Well done #sandymountduke Jessica &Kate Harrington.” More shockingly, Wood’s love of horses does not end merely with his love for racing. The 68 year-old is also an avid painter of these animals, regularly travelling to Sandymount stable, where his prized stallion is kept, to relax and immortalise the stable’s various horses upon the canvas.

MC Hammer

It is difficult to say what is more surprising, the fact that colourful 80’s novelty rapper MC Hammer owns a stable that has produced a staggering nineteen thoroughbred racehorses or that the ‘Can’t Touch This’ singer has somehow released 11 studio albums since despite his last hit being nearly 30 years ago. Hammer established the Oaktown stable in 1991 which produced back-to-back Kentucky Oaks champion steeds Lite Light and Dance Floor. Moreover, the aforementioned Dance Floor won the Breeder’s Futurity Stakes and the Grade 11 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in 1991 and the Fountain of Youth Stakes in 1992. Whilst, much like his mainstream pop career, MC Hammer’s success as a racehorse owner was limited to these two outstanding years, he is still a regular spectator at various events and still oversees the running of Oakwood stables.

Queen Elizabeth II

Whilst it isn’t the most startling revelation in the world that the Queen of England owns horses, it is still impressive that the Queen, as breeder, has produced several winning horses. Although, it has to be said, it is very doubtful she did alone. The Queen presently keeps around 30 horses at London’s Royal Mews and is rumoured to have up to 20 horses being trained at any one time. Moreover, Elizabeth II is actively involved in the development of these horses. A regular reader of the Racing Post, her majesty is known to be incredibly hands-on when the training of her thoroughbreds is concerned. Therefore, it is a testament to the Queen’s methods that her horses have collectively won all of the major British classics, including Cheltenham, except the Epsom Derby. However, her bay colt Carlton House did come third in this event in 2011. The Queen’s best known horses are Pall Mall, Dunfermline and Highclere which have all won several events during their active years.

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