Dick Hern

Last updated

Dick Hern
Occupation Trainer
Born20 January 1921
Holford, Somerset, England
Died22 May 2002
Major racing wins
British Classic Race wins:
2,000 Guineas (2)
1,000 Guineas (2)
Epsom Oaks (3)
Epsom Derby (3)
St. Leger Stakes (6)
Honours
Champion Trainer (1962, 1972, 1980, 1983)
Significant horses
Hethersett, Provoke, Highest Hopes, Brigadier Gerard, Sallust, Highclere, Bustino, Dunfermline, Troy, Ela-Mana-Mou, Henbit, Sun Princess, Petoski, Minster Son, Unfuwain, Nashwan, Alhaarth, Dayjur, Harayir.

William Richard Hern CVO CBE (20 January 1921 – 22 May 2002) was an English Thoroughbred racehorse trainer and winner of sixteen British Classic Races between 1962 and 1995, and was Champion Trainer on four occasions.

Thoroughbred Horse breed developed for racing

The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

Horse racing Equestrian sport

Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport, typically involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity.

Horse trainer person training horses for racing, riding, show or work

A horse trainer is a person who tends to horses and teaches them different disciplines. Some of the responsibilities trainers have are caring for the animals’ physical needs, as well as teaching them submissive behaviors and/or coaching them for events, which may include contests and other riding purposes. The level of education and the yearly salary they can earn for this profession may differ depending on where the person is employed.

Following his early career in the Army (Major), he became a riding instructor, including a spell as instructor to the Olympic gold medal winning team in 1952. His first training licence was as private trainer to Major Lionel Holliday in 1958, at La Grange Stables in Newmarket, before moving to West Ilsley at the end of the 1962 season to take over from R. J. "Jack" Colling.

Newmarket, Suffolk Market town in Suffolk, England

Newmarket is a market town in the English county of Suffolk, approximately 65 miles north of London. It is generally considered the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing and a potential World Heritage Site. It is a major local business cluster, with annual investment rivalling that of the Cambridge Science Park, the other major cluster in the region. It is the largest racehorse training centre in Britain, the largest racehorse breeding centre in the country, home to most major British horseracing institutions, and a key global centre for horse health. Two Classic races, and an additional three British Champions Series races are held at Newmarket every year. The town has had close royal connections since the time of James I, who built a palace there, and was also a base for Charles I, Charles II, and most monarchs since. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, visits the town often to see her horses in training.

Hern became a St. Leger Stakes specialist, winning the event six times. He produced three Epsom Derby winners in Troy (1979), Henbit (1980) and Nashwan (1989), who also won the 2,000 Guineas and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Hern trained Brigadier Gerard who was only beaten once in eighteen races. Other major winners include Sun Princess, Dayjur, Hethersett, Bireme, Bustino, Longboat, Little Wolf, Petoski, Highclere, Provoke, Prince of Dance, Minster Son, Unfuwain, Dunfermline and Cut Above.

Epsom Derby Flat horse race in Britain

The Derby Stakes, officially the Investec Derby, popularly known as the Derby is a Group 1 flat horse race in England open to three-year-old colts and fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards, on the first Saturday of June each year.

Troy (horse) Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Troy was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from 1978 to 1979, he ran eleven times and won eight races. He is most notable for his form in the summer of 1979, when he won the 200th running of the Derby and subsequently added victories in the Irish Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup. He was retired to stud at the end of the season. His career as a stallion lasted only four years before he died in 1983.

Henbit (horse) American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Henbit was an American-bred and British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse, best known for winning the Derby in 1980. After winning one minor race as a two-year-old he showed improved form in 1980 to win the Classic Trial Stakes and the Chester Vase. He won the Derby in a fast time but sustained a leg injury in the race which ruled him out for the rest of the year. He failed when returning as a four-year-old and was retired to stud, where he had limited success as a sire of winners.

In December 1984 Hern was seriously injured in a hunting accident, after which time he used a wheelchair.

In 1988 he was controversially sacked from his position as trainer for Queen Elizabeth II at West Ilsley by her racing manager 7th Earl of Carnarvon – Hern was recovering from heart surgery at the time. Later a compromise was reached whereby Hern shared the stable with the new incumbent – William Hastings-Bass (later Earl of Huntingdon) for a year before moving to Hamdan Al Maktoum's Kingwood House Stables in Lambourn.

West Ilsley a village located in West Berkshire, United Kingdom

West Ilsley is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. The population of the village at the 2011 Census was 332.

Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, was a British peer and racing manager to Queen Elizabeth II from 1969. He was the only son of the 6th Earl of Carnarvon by his first wife Catherine Wendell.

William Hastings-Bass, 17th Earl of Huntingdon English Earl

William Edward Robin Hood Hastings-Bass, 17th Earl of Huntingdon,, is an English hereditary peer, and former racehorse trainer to Queen Elizabeth II.

Dick Hern died in 2002 at Oxford, England at age 81.

Oxford City and non-metropolitan district in England

Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of approximately 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, and it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county. The city is 51 miles (82 km) west-northwest of London, 61 miles (98 km) from Bristol, 59 miles (95 km) from Southampton, 57 miles (92 km) from Birmingham and 30 miles (48 km) from both Swindon and Reading.

Major wins

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain

Highclere (1971–1992) was a British thoroughbred racehorse owned by Queen Elizabeth II. In a racing career lasting from summer 1973 until October 1974 she ran eight times and won three races. Highclere won one minor race as a two-year-old but improved to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse and Prix de Diane at Chantilly. She later finished second to Dahlia in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. She retired at the end of the season to become a highly successful and influential broodmare.

Harayir American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Harayir was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from June 1994 to October 1995 she ran thirteen times and won six races. As a two-year-old she won two races, including the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York. The following spring, Harayir became the first horse to win a Classic on a Sunday, when she was victorious in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket Racecourse after being rejected by her regular jockey Willie Carson in favour of her owner's other runner Aqaarid. Her success gave her trainer Dick Hern his fourteenth and final classic winner. Later in the year, Harayir competed successfully against colts and older horses, winning the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, the Celebration Mile at Goodwood and the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket. She was retired from racing to become a broodmare.

Nashwan American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Nashwan was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. After winning both his starts as a two-year-old, he developed into an outstanding performer in the spring and summer of 1989, completing a unique four-timer when winning the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, Eclipse Stakes, and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. After sustaining his only defeat in the Prix Niel in September, he was retired to stud where he was a successful sire of winners.


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Terimon was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. His most successful year was 1991, when he won the International Stakes at York and was named European Champion Older Horse at the inaugural Cartier Racing Awards. He is best known, however, for his performance in the 1989 Derby in which he finished second at odds of 500/1, the longest ever recorded for a placed horse in the race.

Ela-Mana-Mou (1976–2008) was a British Thoroughbred race horse and sire. In a career which lasted from 1978 until October 1980, he ran sixteen times and won ten races. He was one of the best British two-year-olds of 1978, when he defeated Troy in the Royal Lodge Stakes. At three, he won the King Edward VII Stakes and was the beaten favourite for The Derby. Ela-Mana-Mou had his most successful season as a four-year-old in 1980 when he won his first four races including the Eclipse Stakes and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He later became a highly successful sire of winners before his death in 2008.

Dunfermline (horse) British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Dunfermline (1974–1989), was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and Broodmare. In a career which lasted from July 1976 until August 1978, she ran twelve times and won three races. In 1977, the year of her owner, Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee, she won two of the five British Classic Races. She won The Oaks against other fillies in June and in September added St. Leger Stakes, beating the double Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Alleged. She raced without winning in 1978 before she was retired to stud.

Height of Fashion was French-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Owned and bred by Queen Elizabeth II, was undefeated in her three races as a two-year-old in 1981, winning the Acomb Stakes, May Hill Stakes and Fillies' Mile. In the following year she added a win in the Lupe Stakes before a record-breaking victory in the Princess of Wales's Stakes. She ran poorly in her two remaining races and was retired to stud at the end of the season. Height of Fashion proved to be an exceptional broodmare, producing the major stakes winners Unfuwain, Nashwan and Nayef. She died in Kentucky in 2000.

Light Cavalry was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire best known for winning the classic St Leger Stakes in 1980. After winning his only race as a two-year-old, Light Cavalry was one of the best three-year-olds in Britain in 1980, winning the King Edward VII Stakes and being placed in the Chester Vase, Gordon Stakes and Great Voltigeur Stakes before winning the St Leger by four lengths. He remained in training in 1981 and won the Princess of Wales's Stakes, but his season was restricted by injury problems. After his retirement from racing he stood as a breeding stallion in the United States and Argentina with limited success.

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Niniski was an American-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a racing career which lasted from October 1978 until October 1980, he ran fourteen times and won six races. After showing some promise in his early races he emerged as a top-class stayer in the autumn on 1979, winning the Geoffrey Freer Stakes, Irish St Leger and Prix Royal-Oak. In the spring of 1981 he won the John Porter Stakes and the Ormonde Stakes but was beaten in his three remaining races. He was retired to stud where he became a very successful breeding stallion.

Boldboy was an Irish-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He raced for eight seasons in the 1970s and was one of the most popular and successful racehorses of his era. As a two-year-old he showed ability, but his ungovernable temperament led to his being gelded. In the following year he won the Greenham Stakes, Prix de la Porte Maillot, Diadem Stakes and Challenge Stakes. In 1974 he won the Lockinge Stakes and recorded the first of his four wins in the Abernant Stakes. After failing to win in 1975 he returned to form in 1976 to win the Abernant Stakes and the Sanyo Stakes. He reached his peak in 1977, when he repeated his previous wins in the Abernant Stakes, Sanyo Stakes and Challenge Stakes as well as taking the Vernons Sprint Cup. He won a fourth Abernant Stakes in 1978 and was retired in the following year. Apart from his wins he was placed in many important races but, as a gelding, was unable to compete in European Group One events under the rules which prevailed at the time.

Busaca was a French-bred, British-trained Thoroughbred racehorse and broodmare. Racing only as a three-year-old she won five of her eight races and was rated one of the best British fillies of her generation over middle and long distances. After winning three minor races in spring she finished second in the Ribblesdale Stakes and then recorded her first major win when taking the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park in July. In the following month she moved up to the highest class to win the Yorkshire Oaks over a field which included The Oaks winner Dunfermline. She was retired from racing after finishing fourth in the Prix Vermeille but had no success as a broodmare.