Famous Race Horses - Desert Orchid Part Three
This article is about the final days of one of the most famous race horses who had raced fervently in UK and Ireland, the Desert Orchid.
This is the final article about one of the most famous race horses to grace our race courses around the UK and Ireland, Desert Orchid.
Dessie Retires And Shows Courage ... Yet Again
After that final race in 1991, Dessie went into a well deserved retirement, and no one could deny that he'd earned it.
In fact, when his trainer David Elsworth relocated from Whitsbury, to Egerton House Stables in Newmarket, Dessie went with him as if he was part of the family. In fact, just after the move, Newmarket racecourse held their annual press day, which happened to fall on Dessie's 27th birthday in April 2006. He was greeted by a huge crowd and in typical fashion he acknowledged and appreciated the attention that he got.
As Dessie got older, naturally his public appearances became less and less, and he spent more and more time relaxing at his new home. In fact his last public appearance was on 1 October 2006 at his fan club open day. The great horse was determined not to let down his fans for one last appearance.
In the coming weeks, it appeared that Dessie was becoming more and more frail, but he never complained and his fighting spirit kept going and going. On 6 November 2006 he appeared to be losing coordination, and all around him feared the worst, but the great horse kept on fighting.
He was last seen by someone in the early hours of 13 November 2006, lying down nibbling on some hay, determined not to make a fuss. Just about one hour later, at around 6am this magnificent horse had passed away, as quietly and as gracefully as he had jumped fences for most of his career.
Dessie's ashes were buried at Kempton racecourse in a private ceremony. Fittingly, they were buried near to his statue and now anyone that visits the racecourse can see the legend for themselves.
All in all I shall remember him for the fact that as a grey, he stood out amongst the other horses. But one shouldn't under estimate that if he had not had class and ability, then despite his striking colour he would not have stood out at all.
He was truly one of the greats, both on and off the race track. The appearances that he made in public to raise money are a testament to this most fabulous of horses.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cliff Thurston is the owner of Grosvenor Racing Club, which provides horse racing tips to its members. You can also read his renowned horse racing blog for up to date views and news. Cliff has also interviewed several high profile racing experts and these can be accessed via his sites.