Camrose Stud

Sporting Colour

Racing

 

 

The other side to Camrose Stud is National Hunt racing. We are fortunate to be involved with some fabulous horses and enjoy every aspect of this fascinating but sometimes frustrating game.

 

Robert rode as a hunter chase and point-to-point jockey from 1981 until 2005.  This sounds a long time, but trying to combine relatively short racing seasons with a full-time Army career – much of it spent overseas - proved very difficult.  Some years, there was no racing at all.

 

On more than one occasion he drove back from Germany on a Friday night to ride on the Saturday.  In March 1995 this tactic worked when he won a hunter chase at Hereford on Charden by a distance, leaving a certain Mr Richard Johnson (in his last season as an amateur before becoming one of the country's leading jump jockeys) out with the washing. 

 

Charden winning the Charlie Knipe Hunters Chase at Hereford

 

However, Robert is the first to admit that he had no idea of the winning margin as he was more worried about being blamed by the trainer, Seamus Mullins, for 'going too early'.  Another red-letter day was riding Charden in the Christies Foxhunters at the 2000 Cheltenham Festival where the pair went well before pulling up on the final circuit.

 

Charden (royal blue, red hoops) Cheltenham Foxhunters 2000

 

Sadly, commitments meant that Robert only managed about seventy five rides in public throughout his career.  However, these did produce five winners (and a host of placed rides), leaving him with a very respectable strike-rate.  Indeed, the record books show that in 2002 he was Sandown's leading National Hunt rider with two wins from three rides!

 

Probably Robert's finest hour as a jockey came in 2002 when he rode a hat-trick (three wins from three rides) on the notoriously tricky Ajar.  Over the space of five weeks he won the Ubique Hunters Steeplechase at Sandown by 2 1/2 lengths, the Dick McCreery Hunters Steeplechase at Sandown by 5 lengths and the Charlton Hunt Hunters Steeplechase at Fontwell Park by 1 1/4 lengths. 

 

 Ajar at Sandown

 

The time has at last come for Robert to hang up his boots, although he does admit to missing the incredible 'buzz' of race riding.  However, having trained runners in point-to-points and on the racecourse back in the 8Os, he has decided to start training again (in between a full-time job and helping with the Stud) and loves it.  He also finds time to steward both on the racecourse and at point-to-points.

 

Camrose Racing is the next chapter in a very busy life!

 

Ajar at Sandown