| Aintree Hurdle (1977, 1978, 1979)|
Champion Hurdle (1978, 1979)
Welsh Champion Hurdle (1979)
|Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan|
Monksfield (1972–1989) was an entire horse Irish-trained National Hunt racehorse who won the Champion Hurdle in 1978 and 1979. He also won the Aintree Hurdle at Aintree Racecourse three times - including a dead-heat with Night Nurse, one of his two greatest rivals.
Monksfield's dam, Regina, was bred by the Aga Khan. His granddam was Tambara who won the Coronation Stakes at Ascot. His dam sire was the 1952 Derby winner Tulyar.
Monksfield cost his Irish trainer Des McDonogh only 740 guineas as a yearling, but he won five times on the flat to add to his hurdling triumphs. He won four times in his first season hurdling, as well as finishing second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. He was runner-up in the 1977 Champion Hurdle behind Night Nurse, but triumphed in 1978, ahead of Sea Pigeon and Night Nurse. The rivalry between Monksfield and Sea Pigeon reached its peak in 1979 and 1980 with Monksfield winning the 1979 Champion Hurdle, and the latter reversing the decision - by seven lengths - a year later. Monksfield died in 1989 after nine years at stud: his best winners included Lakendara, Garrylough, Judge's Fancy and It's a Snip.
Red Rum was a champion Thoroughbred steeplechaser. He achieved an unmatched historic treble when he won the Grand National in 1973, 1974 and 1977, and also came second in the two intervening years, 1975 and 1976. The Grand National is a notoriously difficult race that has been described as "the ultimate test of a horse’s courage". He was also renowned for his jumping ability, having not fallen in 100 races.
The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and ½ furlong, and during its running there are eight hurdles to be jumped. The race is the last leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling and is scheduled to take place each year on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Sea Pigeon (1970–2000) was an American-bred, British-trained racehorse who excelled in both National Hunt and flat racing. In a racing career which lasted from 1972 until 1981 he competed in eighty-five races, and won thirty-seven times. He was best known for his performances in hurdle races when he won the Champion Hurdle on two occasions. He was also one of the best flat stayers of his era winning major handicap races under weights of up to 140 pounds. As a gelding, he was ineligible to compete in the most prestigious flat staying races, such as the Ascot Gold Cup. On his retirement he was described as Britain's "best known horse after Arkle and Red Rum.
Istabraq is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse who was most famous for his hurdling. He won the Champion Hurdle on three occasions. He was trained by Aidan O'Brien and owned by John Patrick McManus. Jockey Charlie Swan rode him in all of his 29 races over jumps.
John Joseph "Jonjo" O'Neill is an Irish National Hunt racehorse trainer and former jockey. He is a native of Castletownroche, County Cork in Ireland. Based at the Jackdaws Castle training establishment in England. O'Neill twice won the British Champion Jockey title and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on the mare, Dawn Run who became the only horse to complete the double of winning the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. He won 900 races as a jockey.
Ted Walsh is an Irish amateur jockey turned racehorse trainer who was born and raised in Co. Cork but based in Kill, County Kildare, Ireland. Ted is also father to amateur Irish National Hunt jockey, Katie Walsh and professional national hunt jockey Ruby Walsh.
Charlie Swan is a former top National Hunt jockey in Ireland in the 1990s. He is associated with the great Istabraq, on whom he won three Champion Hurdles. He was twice top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival and was champion National Hunt jockey in Ireland for nine consecutive years. After retiring as a jockey he spent several years a trainer, based in Modreeny near Cloughjordan, County Tipperary.
Miles Henry 'Peter' Easterby is a retired British racehorse trainer. He was British jump racing Champion Trainer three times.
Tim Easterby is a British racehorse trainer based in North Yorkshire.
Golden Cygnet was a racehorse who was described in the 1979 Irish Racing Annual by legendary Irish trainer Vincent O'Brien as "the best hurdler I've ever seen." His hurdling career lasted less than 5 months, as a result of the fatal injury he sustained in the 1978 Scottish Champion Hurdle.
Night Nurse was an Irish-bred English-trained National Hunt racehorse. Night Nurse garnered 35 wins, winning a total of £174,507 viz. He won 3 races on the flat at 3 and 4-years old and placed 3 times; he also won 32 National Hunt races, 19 wins over hurdles and 13 wins in steeplechases from 64 starts. He was awarded the highest Timeform rating ever given to a hurdler and has been acclaimed amongst the greatest ever hurdlers.
Paddy Brennan is an Irish jump jockey. He was champion conditional jockey in the 2004/05 season and won the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup on Imperial Commander. As of 2021 he is based in Gloucestershire, where he is stable jockey at Fergal O'Brien's yard.
Birds Nest (1970–1994) was a British-bred thoroughbred racehorse. In a long career as a specialist hurdler he ran six times in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Racecourse, finishing second to Night Nurse in 1976 and third behind Sea Pigeon and Monksfield in 1980. He won 19 hurdle races including the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Bula Hurdle on three occasions each. He also won the Christmas Hurdle and two runnings of the Scottish Champion Hurdle, beating some of the best hurdlers of all time. He has been described as the best hurdler never to win the Champion Hurdle. Throughout his career, he was known for being a difficult and temperamental horse, with a tendency to veer left when under pressure.
Morley Street (1984-–2009) was an Irish racehorse. He was a specialist hurdler but also won steeplechases and races on the flat. In a racing career which lasted from November 1988 until December 1995, he ran forty-five times and won twenty races including the Champion Hurdle in 1991 and the Aintree Hurdle on four successive occasions. He won the title of American Champion Steeplechase Horse on two occasions, as a result of back-to-back wins in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase.
Edward O'Grady is an champion Irish National Hunt racehorse trainer. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, O'Grady was the leading Irish trainer at Cheltenham by number of winners. He was played by Pierce Brosnan in the 1980 film Murphy's Stroke.
Persian War (1963–1984) was a British National Hunt horse and a three-time winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. He is considered by many to have been the greatest hurdler of all time. He won the Triumph Hurdle in 1967, before progressing to dominate the hurdling ranks for the next three years, including winning the Champion Hurdle three times, until the emergence of dual Champion Hurdle winner Bula. He was rated as the best hurdler since Sir Ken in the 1950s, and described as “the ultimate champion” by trainer Colin Davis, and is considered to have heralded ‘a golden age’ of two mile hurdling that saw outstanding champions Bula, Comedy Of Errors, Night Nurse, Monksfield and Sea Pigeon. However, many observers felt that Persian War could have accomplished even more if not for the interference of his owner Henry Alper, who employed six trainers to prepare the horse during his career and often targeted unsuitable races.
Dessie Hughes was an Irish racehorse trainer and jockey. He was the father of British champion jockey, Richard Hughes, and won at the Cheltenham Festival as both jockey and trainer.
Silver Buck (1972–1984) was an Irish-bred racehorse who became a champion steeplechaser when trained in England by the Dickinson family. He was the winner of the 1982 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the 1979 and 1980 runnings of the King George VI Chase. He was voted National Hunt Horse of the Year in 1982.
See You Then was an English bred racehorse who won the Champion Hurdle three times. He is one of only five horses to achieve this feat. His career over hurdles consisted of fifteen races, of which he won ten. He had suspect tendons throughout his career which made it difficult to keep him sound. His lack of racecourse appearances eventually earned him the nickname in some quarters of 'See You When'.
Bregawn was an Irish-bred racehorse who developed into a top class steeplechaser. He is best known for winning the 1983 running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, when his trainer Michael Dickinson trained the first five runners home.