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End of an era as legendary horse trainer Peter Walwyn dies

Community bids sad but fond farewell to the 'King of Lambourn'

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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End of an era as legendary horse trainer Peter Walwyn dies

THE horseracing community, and Lambourn in particular, is in mourning following the death of Peter Walwyn.

The legendary trainer died last Thursday, aged 84.

In 1965, he moved to the stables at Seven Barrows, where he spent the majority of his career, before moving to Windsor House stables.

Mr Walwyn, the cousin of trainer Fulke Walwyn, enjoyed success with Grundy, which won the Derby at Epsom in 1975, as well as the Irish Derby and Irish 2000 Guineas.

In the mid-1970s he was British flat racing Champion Trainer twice and in 2012 he was appointed an MBE by the Queen for his services to horseracing.

He became chairman of the Lambourn Trainers Association (LTA) in 1989, before retiring from training in 1999, but remained deeply involved in the sport and village life, regularly attending meetings of Lambourn Parish Council.

His wife, Virginia – universally known since childhood as Bonk – died in 2014.

Trainer Nicky Henderson, who currently operates from Seven Barrows, described his friend as “the King of Lambourn” and told the Newbury Weekly News: “Peter was a remarkable character, larger than life.

“People joke that he was the self-appointed mayor of Lambourn, and he certainly deserved to be – he was passionate about the place.

“In fact he was passionate about everything he did, field sports in particular.

“He could be very fiery on the subject of field sports and the ban [on hunting foxes with dogs] but it was all done with great good humour.”

Mr Henderson added: “He was a fantastic trainer and bought the place we’re lucky enough to train from now.

“He made it into a great training establishment and we will look after it until it’s our turn to pass it on.

“He and Bonk were an amazing team.

“When he lost her, a lot of the life went from him. We can only hope they are now reunited.”

Mr Walwyn is survived by his children, Edward and Kate.

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