Letters: Albie Welch, a true horseman.
Ben Garratt pays tribute to an old campaigner
ALBIE WELCH, a true horseman, died of a heart
attack while working with his horses on May 9. He was 74.
Albie was apprenticed to Dick Perryman in Newmarket during the war and his first ride in public (Pandemonium) was a winner. He rode on the Flat for the Princess Royal, the Ferguson family (of tractor fame) and Jim Joel.
In 1947, National Service intervened and he served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, mainly in post-war Germany. He achieved fame as the `last of the mule men', and also worked training the army's guard and tracker dogs.
After army service, increased weight meant a change to National Hunt racing, and he rode over the jumps for Norman Birtie.
Since then, whatever Albie has done has involved passing on his immense understanding of horses to others - especially the young. Finally, he found himself running a small stud, standing a riding pony stallion near Tenterden in Kent.
Albie's manner could be a bit daunting at first, especially to youngsters, but, provided they were willing to learn, his knowledge, friendliness and Cockney humour left them better horse people for their contact with him.
He will be very sadly missed, but remembered with pleasure.
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||May 15, 2003|
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