Thrills and (almost) spills at Lambourn's Betfair Open Day
Where else would you see legendary jockey AP McCoy struggling to stay atop a camel thundering down the gallops?
WHERE else would you see legendary jockey AP McCoy struggling to stay atop a camel thundering down the gallops?
The bizarre sight was just one of the many attractions that drew around 10,000 racing fans to Lambourn’s big day out on Good Friday - the Betfair Lambourn Open Day 2015.
The event drew huge crowds despite the patchy weather and Newbury MP Richard Benyon said: “Lambourn is really thriving at the moment, as today shows. I come each year with my family and it’s always nice to see people from all over the country come to meet their heroes... even if most of them are four legged.”
For many, it was a chance to meet AP McCoy, a man regarded as the greatest ever jump jockey, who announced his impending retirement this year.
The 40-year-old, who attended the event with toddler son Archie, was good nature itself as he was repeatedly mobbed by autograph hunters.
He told Newburytoday.co.uk: “This won’t be my last year here. I’ll certainly be coming back and back. I’m a local to Lambourn, so I’m not going anywhere.”
In the morning, visitors toured the yards of Lambourn Valley’s top trainers, including Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows.
Mr Henderson said: “We had great crowds, a great turnout - and great fun. Most came to see ( 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero) Bobs Worth and Sprinter Sacre.”
The event is a big earner for local charities including Lambourn Riding for the Disabled and raises tens of thousands of pounds for good causes.
For a full report plus pages of pictures, pick up a copy of next Thursday’s Newbury Weekly News.