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Obituary: Lord Howard de Walden was a 'pillar of the turf'.

Lord Howard de Walden - who has died at the age of 86 - saw his distinctive apricot silks carried to success on British tracks for over half a century.

The highlight of the owner/breeder's long career was Slip Anchor's devastating success in the Derby in 1985.

Lord Howard de Walden, the ninth baron, was born in London on November 27, 1912 and educated at Eton and Cambridge.

A major in the Westminster Dragoons, he became a successful property owner with large holdings in Mayfair and Harley Street.

He inherited the family's horses on the death of his father in 1946 and saw his colours carried into third place in the St Leger by Sanlinea four years later.

He enjoyed considerable success with horses bred at his three studs in Newbury, Newmarket and Thirsk.

Trainers in the early years included George Todd, Jack Waugh, Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and Noel Murless, the last-named sending out Magic Flute to land the Cheveley Park Stakes and Coronation Stakes.

Henry Cecil trained the bulk of horses from the late 1970s, including Kris, who landed 14 of his 16 races, Kris's brother, Diesis, and 1987 Ascot Gold Cup victor Paean.

The success story was not confined to the Flat, Lanzarote taking the Champion Hurdle in 1974.

Lord Howard was a long-time member of the Jockey Club and had three spells as senior steward. He leaves a wife and four daughters. The Marquess of Hartington, former senior steward of the Jockey Club and the inaugural British Horseracing Board chairman, said: "It is very sad. Lord Howard hadn't been well for some time.

"It is worth remembering that in 1968 he made the first attempt to form a body away from the Jockey Club, what is now the British Horseracing Board. In 1988, people were talking about it and saying how difficult it would be, but Lord Howard had thought of it 20 years earlier.''

Cecil trained many top-class horses for Lord Howard, most notably Slip Anchor and leading miler Kris.

"He was a great friend and a very loyal and supportive owner - he is irreplaceable.

"Almost every other year you could be guaranteed that he would have a decent horse. He was a pillar of the turf."

Another of de Walden's trainers, William Jarvis, said: "This is just a desperate day - he was one of the great characters and I've lost a great friend.''
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 12, 1999
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