Wednesday, 24 July 2013

MY LIFE IN GLOBAL HORSERACING BY DESMOND (Des) CULLEN



MY LIFE IN HORSERACING
By
Desmond (Des) Cullen

THE LIFE AND TIMES of Desmond (Des) Cullen  pioneering top professional global lightweight jockey horseman of the highest calibre with a true empathy with every racehorse he partnered.


IN THE BEGINNING

I was born in Dublin in 1940 and started work in 1954 when I was 14 years old.
I was working as a messenger boy in Dublin, delivering carbon ribbons for typewriters, for customers. It was through that job that I met Mr McCarthy, who was a friend of licensed Irish Flat Turf Trainer Kevin Kerr, Clonee, County Meath Ireland. It was Mr McCathy who introduced me to his friend the racehorse trainer Kevin Kerr. I soon started on apprenticed to Kevin Kerr where I learned to handle and ride racehorses in training. Mick Tully was put on to teach me to ride.


Ref: Kevin Kerr 1915 - 2005
An Irish soccer player during the 1930s and 1940s and a noted horse racing trainer as well.


Following on from this my Mum wrote to three racehorse trainers in Newmarket, and  in June 1956,  my brother Peter and I travelled to England apprenticed to  Captain Cecil Boyd-Rochfort Freemason Lodge in Newmarket. where we lived and worked for the next six-months.


My life in (GB) started in 1956 when I came over to Newmarket apprenticed to  Boyd-Rochford. I moved on to Royston and W Stephenson in December 1956. I also lived in Epsom for a short time.


Ref: Sir Cecil Boyd Rochfort  1887 -  1983
RED GOD
 I rode a promising  two year old  RED GOD out every day.
Ref: Red God (1954-1979)  http://www.ask.com/wiki/Red_God?o=2802&qsrc=




ALCIDE
 And later ALCIDE when he came in as a yearling
Ref: Alcide (1955-1973) a British Thoroughbred racehorse.

Ref: Bruce Robertson Hobbs 1920 - 2005 Assistant to Boyd-Rochfort

A friend got me a job apprenticed to William  Stephenson  Royston Hertfordshire.
I moved there from Rochford's in December 1956.  I had my first ride for
W Stephenson at Lincoln in 1957  aboard ANTHONY THE FIRST .

Ref: William Stephenson 1911 - 1988 Royston Hertfordshire

Mr William ('Willie') Stephenson, the only surviving Englishman ever to have saddled a winner of both the Derby and the Grand National, died on November 29 1988. He was 77.

His achievements in capturing the biggest prizes on the Flat and under National Hunt Rules are, nevertheless, over-shadowed by the deeds of the horse that must be judged by far his most popular and successful: Sir Ken, thrice Champion Hurdler between 1952 and 1954. Sir Ken very much illustrated a staple ingredient in Stephenson's success: an unerring eye for a likely young horse before anyone else.

In my time  with Stephenson  I rode OXO out every day over the six weeks prior to his win in the 1959 Grand National at Aintree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rE6jPZWor0 




1957  FIRST RIDE: ANTHONY THE FIRST  for Willie Stephenson Lincoln Racecourse


I rode my first winner for my boss W Stephenson at Newmarket (Rowley Mile) in 1958 The Caxton Handicap over 5f partnering TUDOR FLASH.

I also rode winners in New Zealand, France, Ireland, Belgium, Trinidad  America (USA). I had a ride for our Queen at Newbury.

Desmond Cullen


 SIR CECIL CHARLES BOYD-ROCHFORT
1887 – 1983
Sir Cecil Charles Boyd-Rochfort CVO (1887 – 1983) was a British thoroughbred racehorse trainer who was British flat racing Champion Trainer five times.

He was educated at Eton College and served with the Scots Guards during World War I, winning the Croix de Guerre reaching the rank of captain. Boyd-Rochfort's brother, George Boyd-Rochfort, also served with the Scots Guards during World War 1 and won the Victoria Cross.

He trained for King George VI and then Queen Elizabeth II from 1943 until he retired in 1968, the same year in which he was knighted. His biggest royal wins were Pall Mall in the 1958 2,000 Guineas, Hypericum in the 1956 1,000 Guineas, Aureole in the 1954 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Canisbay in the 1965 Eclipse Stakes. He trained at Newmarket's Freemason Lodge stables from 1923 to 1968. Brown Betty's 1933 Epsom Oaks win was his first classic, but his particular flair was for training stayers: Boswell's 1936 St. Leger triumph was the first of six final classic wins (from 13 entries). Boyd-Rochfort's only success in the Epsom Derby came in 1959 with Parthia. He was champion trainer in 1937, 1938, 1954, 1955 and 1958, and other top successes for his stable were the Ascot Gold Cup wins of Precipitation and Zarathustra, and in the later stages of his career he won the Goodwood Cup four times between 1962 and 1966. He was the stepfather of racehorse trainer Henry Cecil.






RED GOD
1954 - 1979
Red God (1954-1979) is a Thoroughbred race horse foaled in Kentucky who competed in England and the United States but who is best known as the sire of Blushing Groom who prominent turfman Edward L. Bowen calls one of the great international sires of the 20th Century.

At age two, Red God won the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse and was second in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster Racecourse after which he was brought back to the United States with plans to enter him in the American Triple Crown series. He won his American debut but was injured and out of racing for the rest of 1957. He returned to the track in 1958, with his best result a win in the Roseben Handicap at Belmont Park.

Retired from racing, in 1960 Red God was sent to stand at Loughton Stud in County Kildare, Ireland. Here he sired 10 stakeswinners for 13 stakeswins with over £1 million in earnings.[1]



Red God  sired  Blushing Groom  out of the mare Runaway Bride.


Blushing Groom


(1974–1992)

 A  French Champion Thoroughbred racehorse. He was bred by American businessman John McNamee Sullivan and was raced by HH Aga Khan IV. A descendant of Nearco, Blushing Groom was sired by Red God and out of the mare Runaway Bride.

Racing record

Conditioned by Francois Mathet, Blushing Groom raced six times in 1976 at age two. He finished third in his debut, then won the next five races, including four Group One events, capturing the Prix Robert Papin, Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre, and Grand Critérium. His performances earned him French Champion Two-Year-Old honors.

As a three-year-old, Blushing Groom extended his win streak to seven, winning the 1977 Prix de Fontainebleau and the GI Poule d'Essai des Poulains. Sent to England to compete in the Epsom Derby, he faced a 1½ mile challenge, a distance fifty percent longer than he had ever run before. He finished third to winner The Minstrel, a son of Northern Dancer. In his final race, Blushing Groom finished second in France's GI Prix Jacques Le Marois

[edit] Stud record



Although Blushing Groom met with considerable success in racing, he became an even greater as a sire. He was sent to stand at stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, where he sired winners at major tracks in Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. Like his sire Red God, Blushing Groom had been a champion miler but many of his offspring are renowned for their stamina and have been able to win consistently at longer distances.[1]

Blushing Groom has sired 92 stakes winners.


Some of his notable progeny include:



Blushing John - won Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Hollywood Gold Cup, 1989 U.S. Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Male Horse

Leroidesanimaux, and 2006 American Horse of the Year, Invasor
Crystal Glitters - won Prix d'Ispahan (1983 & 1984)
Gold Splash - won Coronation Stakes, Prix Marcel Boussac




Rahy - sire of U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee Serena's Song, 2001 European Horse of the Year, Fantastic Light, Mariah's Storm, Noverre, Champion 3 yr old in England, and Dreaming of Anna, 2006 U.S. 2-Year-Old Champion Filly & Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Rainbow Quest - won Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Coronation Cup, the Leading broodmare sire in Great Britain & Ireland in 2003 & 2004

Sky Beauty - 1993 United States' Filly Triple Crown winner voted 1994 Champion Older Female Snow Bride - won Epsom Oaks













DESMOND CULLEN 1958


In 1958  Desmond Cullen aged 18, rode his first winner Tudor Flash at Newmarket for Royston trainer Willie Stevenson.  He  completed his apprenticeship with Willie Stevenson in 1961 aged 21,  the year he won the Northumberland Plate partnering Utrillo for  Bill O'Gorman. The first of many big handicap triumphs that were to follow on.




In 1971 the minimum handicap weight was raised from 7st to 7st 7lb's which was the beginning of the end for  several established lightweight riders. The same year that Desmond Cullen aged 31 won the Cambridgeshire partnering King Midas for trainer, Derrick Candy, father of Henry, reaching a career best 45 winners that year..




"KING MIDAS FINDS IT ALL SO EASY


 By Robert Glendinning


"KING MIDAS, the silver-grey three-year-old, ridden by Britain's top lightweight, DESMOND CULLEN, won Saturday's Irish Sweeps Cambridgeshire at Newmarket so convincingly  that for once this famous handicap turned out to be something of a bore.



"The tremendous cheer that greeted the racecourse commentator's first mention of his name suggested that this 10-1 chance was, in fact, the best-backed horse in the race. 

                                                              


"But as KING MIDAS surged into the lead fully two furlongs out and made the rest of the way home unchallenged, the only excitement generated was by the terrific battle for second and third places.




"ASTROCAN, the last Cambridge runner for Harvey Leader, the veteran Newmarket trainer who retires at the end of this season, produced a strong finishing burst to beat LONDESBOROUGH BOY  by a short head for second place with the blinkered RICHBOY a head away fourth.



Backed at 40-1




"Leader, who has saddled three Cambridgeshire winners, was prevented by flu from attending on Saturday.




"KING MIIDAS, who was running for the executors  of the late Major H.P. Holt, is trained at Kingston Warren by Derrick Candy, who confessed that he had always regarded KING MIDAS as an ideal Cambridgeshire type and had backed him at 40-1 when the weights were published.




"Cullen had been engaged as KING MIDAS'S Cambridgeshire jockey before the colt won at York a month ago. KING MIDAS has also twice won over Newmarket's July course this season.




"The first seven to finish in Saturday's race all raced on the stands side and some of the best- fancied  runners, including OUDA, RUGGED, CAINS, ARTHUR and HITESCA, were all drawn high.




The Sport of Kings:


"A word of congratulations was something that Desmond Cullen the freelance jockey who lives in Royston, was trying in his modest, unassuming way to escape after his outstanding success in winning The Cambridgeshire, on KING MIDAS, at Newmarket on Saturday.





"DESMOND, who stands only 4feet 9 inches tall and can ride at 7 stone 3 lbs, has had a remarkably successful season. His winning ride last Saturday notched him up to 42 wins for this season.




"DESMOND, who has been living in Royston for some years, served his apprenticeship at the "Willie"  Stephenson stable in the town where he still "rides out"




"When DESMOND first entered the racing world he was so small and light  that some eminent racing practitioners hesitated to let him ride even a pony let alone a racehorse.




"But DESMOND - my racing colleague writes more fully about him on another page - with grit and determination and enthusiasm  has won his "spurs. ". He is now aged 30. " 1970.


Pic KING MIDAS romps home by three lengths in Saturday's Irish Sweeps Cambridgeshire at Newmarket. The three almost in line are (left to right) ASTROCAN, (second)  LONDESBOROUGH BOY (third) and RICHBOY (fourth)




KING MIDAS   partner DESMOND CULLEN  
SCORE.  EASY.


 John Oaksey reports from Newmarket
(Equus Zone)


"The Rowley Mile's claim to be England's fairest racecourse took a heavy knock at Newmarket yesterday when the draw appeared to destroy the  chances of about a third of the Cambridgeshire field. The race was won, with almost impertinent ease, by DES CULLEN on the late Major H,P,Holt's



 KING MIDAS - DESMOND CULLEN
 TEAM (DEREK) CANDY

"Drawn No. 15, CULLEN was in the ideal position to make up his mind what course to steer - and wisely decided to stay on the stands side.




"The first seven to finish all raced there while some of the best fancied horses, including CALPERNIUS, ARTHUR, CAIUS, OUDA, RUGGED and HITESCA, were all drawn high and forced to pursue what turned out to be a hopeless lost cause.





"It is hard, not impossible, to believe that not one  of these horses was good enough to get in the first seven and, not for the first time, the race was ruined both as a test and as a spectacle  by the excessive width of the straight mile.



Field splits



"As the field split, PIRATE GLEN went clear on the stands side group and CULLEN, with orders to hold up KING MIDAS as long as possible, found himself, with almost too clear a run.




"On the far side the top weight  CALPERNIUS went straight into the lead and proceeded to run a cruelly gallant race, only giving up the unequal struggle under a furlong from home.





"And by that time  it was unequal , for the stands sides group had at least four lengths' advantage  and CULLEN, throwing caution to the winds had allowed KING MIDAS to pull clear,
"As they met the hill RICHBOY second last year, came out of the pack looking as though he would stage a repeat performance. But he too tired in the last 100 yards and ASTROCAN (drawn 1) and LONDESBOROUGH BOY, (drawn 13) pounced to push him back to fourth ...

 
 
"One sadness"


"But KING MIDAS was home and half dry by that time, and the only sadness is that his owner Major Holt, who died in his 80's on June 1, was not here to see his handsome grey so confound the handicapper's calculations.


"Major Holt had been a long time patron of Derrick Candy's stable  and together they won the Ascot Gold Cup a few years ago with PARBURY. Shortly after that the Major bought a RIBOT colt in America and later selling him profitably to Italy, asked Candy to buy him a yearling. The result was  KING MIDAS who cost £9,000gns. "Of the badly drawn horses yesterday, apart from CALPURIUS, .....




dancing, prancing ready for action waiting steady
This photograph catches in an instant a racehorse and rider (Desmond Cullen)
 completely at ease with each other. Something that all punters need to observe
 before chancing hard earned cash for a bet.
Key vital the standard of horsemanship within a Trainers Team


2013 - 2014
THE WEEK AFTER  THE BREEDERS  CUP  2013 (USA), DESMOND went back into Basingstoke hospital.


Just before Christmas Day whilst still in Basingstoke hospital Des, suffering with a nasty flu virus,  was moved from the Basingstoke hospital  to Pemberley House Hospital  Basingstoke.







THURSDAY JANUARY 9th 2014
 I called in to see Desmond yesterday afternoon. I asked him what King Midas was like to ride, he replied "Like a christian"   "Magic"  .





CONCUSSION EXPLAINED 2014


RACING POST SATURDAY JANUARY 11th 2014 Page 14.
Jon Lees brings us update news on Martin Dwyer's fall yesterday at Southwell


"DWYER praises medical team following heavy Southwell fall. "

"MARTIN DWYER yesterday acknowledged the prompt actions of Southwell's medical team that ensured he received immediate hospital attention following the fall in which he was knocked out for six minutes last week.




"The Derby - winning jockey remembers nothing of the accident in which he was   unseated from Columbian Roulette when he suddenly jinked when holding a three-length lead in the final furlong of a mile handicap. The impact of the fall in which he hit his head left a split in his riding helmet.




"As he recuperated at home yesterday Dwyer admitted he had had a lucky escape and estimated he could be at least six weeks away from a return  to riding.




"I'm feeling better now but I still have the symptoms of concussion, so I am having dizzy spells and sickness, " he said.


"I sit up  and look out of the window and all of a sudden the window will go on the ceiling. The room feels like it is going upside down, it's a bit like vertigo. The doctor has said it will not get any worse and will go eventually, but it  could be a couple of weeks.




"I had to go back into hospital on Sunday when they did another scan and they were happy. There is no long term-damage. There is also a problem near the socket of my collarbone, like a crack, but it is something that will settle down in a few weeks. I think I got quite lucky really.




"Despite having lost all memory of  the day, ardent Everton fan Dwyer's sense of humour remained intact..




"I don't remember anything. " he said  "I remember leaving the house but I don't remember the race. I remember coming around in the hospital and I said to the doctor, "Are Liverpool top of the league? if they are can you knock me out again' .



"I have watched the replay. It's like watching somebody else. I don't recall the race. It looks like as soon as I hit the floor I am knocked out. When the horse changed direction at that speed I was just left in mid-air. I don't know why he did it. The helmet has done it's job as there is quite a big crack  across its back.




"I will have to have a concussion test and maybe a neurology  test before I'm allowed back to ride. It's going to be weeks rather than months, but it might be more than six weeks. They have done brain scans, there is no bleeding on the brain and no swelling. Other people have come off worse with a head injury like that. "




"Medical procedures have been tightening up since September when Hayley Turner found she had chipped a pelvis  and broken three vertebrae  only after she had been discharged from hospital.




"There have been problems in the past where jockeys taken to casualty have been underestimated , " Dwyer said.




"They think you have fallen off a pony trotting around a field and it's not treated as an accident at speed.


"Although I don't remember it, the medical team on the course were great, " he said. "I had a CT scan within 15 minutes of getting to the hospital and less than an hour after the fall.




"The racecourse doctor travelled to the hospital with me and did a handover. She took the helmet with her, rang my wife direct and made sure I was treated as a serious accident victim. "




 

DESMOND CULLEN


Wednesday January 15th 2014




EQUUS ZONE


Desmond Cullen retired from his career in global horseracing in the late 1970's
A Top Professional Pioneer Horseman due to 10 bad falls causing concussions that eventually lead to his early retirement after 20 years in the saddle. Desmond Cullen's brain, mindset still as sharp as it ever was , and still is,  to this very day in theory if not in practice.


PEMBERLEY HOUSE
Grove Road
BASINGSTOKE.
RG21 3HL

Website: www.gracewell.co.uk/care-homes/pemberley-house.aspx
Pemberley House, Grove Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 3H










Desmond Cullen finds himself battling with prostate cancer over a number of years now.



Now it has been confirmed that he has diabetes. How long he has had diabetes is not known.


  There can be nothing worse than feeling very ill and at the same time  being dumped and left in a lurch such as this one. Like  being dead before you are dead. A living hell.  Desmond Cullan has a professional  horsemen's mindset as good as it always was. Desmond Cullen does not have  dementia. A sad fact that 95 per cent of people worldwide  would not begin to understand or to recognised.  The concussions he suffered have not destroyed that.  But it looks like the hospitals are well on the way to destroy even that.




J MARGARET CLARKE NEIGHBOUR OF DESMOND CULLEN


A reminder to all these various Doctors, Hospital, and Home personnel  from Desmond  Cullen's  friend and  neighbour Margaret Clarke.   Desmond Cullen's  life belongs to him and to no one else. Whatever is to follow on from Pemberely House has to be within his full knowledge and agreement, with  Desmond Cullen's knowledge and  full approval,  and no one else's.


CONCUSSION EXPLAINED AS PUBLISHED IN THE RACING POST ON SATURDAY JANUARY 11th 2014



MARTIN DWYER EXPLAINES: LICENSED BRITISH FLAT TURF JOCKEY


Racing Post Jon Lees writes


MARTIN DWYER yesterday acknowledged the prompt actions of Southwell's medical team that ensured he received immediate hospital attention following the fall in which he was knocked out for six minutes last week.


                                                                        


"The Derby - winning jockey remembers nothing of the accident in which he was   unseated from Columbian Roulette when he suddenly jinked when holding a three-length lead in the final furlong of a mile handicap. The impact of the fall in which he hit his head left a split in his riding helmet.




"As he recuperated at home yesterday Dwyer admitted he had had a lucky escape and estimated he could be at least six weeks away from a return  to riding.




"I'm feeling better now but I still have the symptoms of concussion, so I am having dizzy spells and sickness, " he said.



"I sit up  and look out of the window and all of a sudden the window will go on the ceiling. The room feels like it is going upside down, it's a bit like vertigo. The doctor has said it will not get any worse and will go eventually, but it  could be a couple of weeks.




"I had to go back into hospital on Sunday when they did another scan and they were happy. There is no long term-damage. There is also a problem near the socket of my collarbone, like a crack, but it is something that will settle down in a few weeks. I think I got quite lucky really.




"Despite having lost all memory of  the day, ardent Everton fan Dwyer's sense of humour remained intact. "I don't remember anything. " he said  "I remember leaving the house but I don't remember the race. I remember coming around in the hospital and I said to the doctor, "Are Liverpool top of the league? if they are can you knock me out again'


.


"I have watched the replay. It's like watching somebody else. I don't recall the race. It looks like as soon as I hit the floor I am knocked out. When the horse changed direction at that speed I was just left in mid-air. I don't know why he did it. The helmet has done it's job as there is quite a big crack  across its back.




"I will have to have a concussion test and maybe a neurology  test before I'm allowed back to ride. It's going to be weeks rather than months, but it might be more than six weeks. They have done brain scans, there is no bleeding on the brain and no swelling. Other people have come off worse with a head injury like that. "




"Medical procedures have been tightening up since September when Hayley Turner found she had chipped a pelvis  and broken three vertebrae  only after she had been discharged from hospital.




"There have been problems in the past where jockeys taken to casualty have been underestimated , " Dwyer said.


"They think you have fallen off a pony trotting around a field and it's not treated as an accident at speed.




"Although I don't remember it, the medical team on the course were great, " he said. "I had a CT scan within 15 minutes of getting to the hospital and less than an hour after the fall.




"The racecourse doctor traveled to the hospital with me and did a handover. She took the helmet with her, rang my wife direct and made sure I was treated as a serious accident victim.


more later




3 comments:

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  3. Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Cheltenham races

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