Countdown to Cheltenham: Famous Racehorse Owners
The Cheltenham Festival is always one of the highlights of the racing calendar and this year promises to be no different.
The Festival is always packed with fans – last year set a new record attendance of 262,637 – and it’s no surprise that celebrities want a piece of the action.
Carol Vorderman and Richard Hammond have recently become part-owners of Subway Surf, though they’re far from the only celebrities that have a stake in a racehorse.
Here’s a selection of some of the most famous racehorse owners:
Sir Alex Ferguson
Football isn’t the only sport that the legendary former Manchester United manager is passionate about.
He famously used to own a share in Rock of Gibraltar, who would run in the colours of the Red Devils.
The Scotsman will be hoping it’s another case of Fergie Time at Cheltenham this year, with his part-owned Clan Des Obeaux among the favourites for the Gold Cup.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen has reportedly earned over £7m in winnings from her stake in racehorses. She inherited horses when her father King George VI died in 1952. The monarch also owns those raised at the Royal Stud in Sandringham.
Her racing pedigree includes four winners during Royal Ascot in 1957. She is a patron of the Jockey Club too, the organisation that owns the Cheltenham Festival.
You already know MC Hammer’s most famous hit, “U Can’t Touch This”. But did you know that he’s also a racehorse owner?
His lavish spending during his heyday included Oaktown Stable, which had 19 horses. Lite Light was the most successful, winning several Grade I meetings in the US.
TV presenter Jeremy Kyle is one of the backers behind Glen Rocco. Jezza has revealed he hopes the eight-year-old can develop into a Grand National contender in the years to come.
Since hanging up his football boots, Michael Owen has devoted plenty of his time to his Manor House Stables.
Brown Panther was the first horse from Manor House to secure a Group I victory, winning the Irish St. Leger in September 2014.
Steven Spielberg may have directed War Horse, but the Oscar winner is also a fan of racehorses. He held a share in several horses after investing in Biscuit Stable, the most famous being Atswhatimtalkingabout.
The ex-England captain followed his former Manchester United boss into the racing arena. He has part-owned Yourartisonfire, as well as Pippy, Tomway and the imaginatively-named Switcharooney.
The award-winning actor and director has held stakes in several racehorses who compete at Hollywood Park course in California. He also rides horses in his free time on his ranch in Santa Barbara.
Liz Hurley got involved in racehorse ownership as part of the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing group. One of the horses she part-owned, Albany Stakes-winner Memory, reportedly ended up being sold to Queen Elizabeth II for £500,000 in 2011.
From the fast life to fast horses, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood runs Sandymount House, a breeding farm in Ireland.
He’s bred several winners at The Curragh, but most of his horses are sold at auction.