Burrough Hill Lad: The Making of a Champion Racehorse

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SHORTLISTED BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2015


In 1984 the nation was on high alert: miners on strike, inflation in double figures and prize racehorse Shergar was still missing.

So it came as a welcome distraction when Burrough Hill Lad took to the turf and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Hennessy Gold Cup and King George VI Chase in one incredible year under the indomitable Jenny Pitman, becoming one of the finest steeplechasers of all time.

Yet the man behind Burrough Hill Lad’s success was a quietly spoken farmer from a small village in Leicestershire. Stan Riley risked it all to take his place in history and shake hands with royalty. His steely determination mirrored that of his magnificent horse. Neither would give up. There was only one way to live, and that was to win. But it came at a price.

Written with exclusive access to Stan Riley and his personal archive of Burrough Hill Lad memorabilia, this is the inspiring story of how one man and his magnificent horse rose from an impoverished background to take on the wealthy world of horse racing – and win.


Award-winning investigative journalist Gavan Naden  started his career as a photographer at Racecourse Technical Services  and was at the finish line when Burrough Hill Lad won the Cheltenham  Gold Cup in 1984. Gavan has written for the Guardian, Express and Mirror  newspapers.

Max Riddington was born in Leicester and lived for over twenty years in a  farmhouse alongside a feisty Arab gelding and two sedate Welsh mountain  ponies. She has written for The Times, Guardian and  Daily Mail.


“It was a privilege to ride such a good and powerful horse and play a small part in his history.” Peter Scudamore, eight-time Champion Jockey


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1 October 2014 - ISBN 9780956946065

Paperback - 198 x 129mm - 256 pages