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by Brian Lee

Hunt-racing enthusiasts will be saddened to learn of the death after a long illness of former Welsh point-to-point rider, owner and breeder Derrick Llewellin of Pembrokeshire.

Derrick, who was aged 78, died peacefully at Parc-Y-Llyn Nursing Home, Pembrokeshire and his funeral service takes on Tuesday 11th April at Parc Gwyn Crematorian at 10.45 am followed by a service of Thanksgiving at 12.30 at Uzmaston Church.

Derrick is survived by his widow Judith, son Christopher and daughters Caroline and Claire. He was also a loving grandfather of Morgan, Jack, Lara and Isabelle.

In 1959, Derrick riding his home-bred Clover Bud, landed a division of the Lady Dudley Cup at the Worcestershire Hunt and the following year Clover Bud with David Nicholson in the saddle went on to win the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

As tough as old boots, Clover Bud won six more races under Rules and raced until she was fifteen covering more than 150 miles of National Hunt fences and only on one occasion did she fall at the first fence in the Aintree Grand National. An out and out stayer, she won the Fred Withington at Cheltenham and a four-miler at Birmingham. Clover Bud died at the age of 27 and produced, among other good horses, Captain Clover and champion point-to-pointer National Clover, who was the dam of that good Cheltenham performer Go Balistic.

Another good mare Derrick was associated with was Ronaheath and Derrick's niece, amateur rider Charlotte Owen, said "Ronaheath was Derrick's favourite as she was most difficult to train being a typical naughty chestnut mare. She often caused a scene in the paddock and if she jumped off at the start that was brilliant. Ronaheath won 15 races all told and in 1975 she won the Spillers Leading Point-To-Pointer Trophy" National Clover, which Derrick had bred from his mare Clover Bud, was one of the best ladies' open race horses in the country and in 1984 she won the Grand Marnier Trophy winning nine times and in all but one of those races was partnered by Mandy Lingard.

On one occasion at a point-to-point presentation evening in Bridgend, David quietly gave me a fiver to have a drink. A generous gesture considering thatfor some time I had been writing him up in my reports as Derek instead of his correct Christian name Derrick. Someone told me that I had been mispelling his name and when I next saw him I said "Derrick why didn't you tell me I have been mispelling your name?" he replied "I was just glad I was getting a mention."

Some other good point-to-pointers that Derrick rode were Worthy Lad, a big strong gelding which stood nearly 17hh, Reverando, Pilboy and Rosemary's Russet.

Racing Rogues
"The Scams, Scandals and Gambles of Horse Racing in Wales" - a new book by Brian Lee

Horse racing may be famously known as the 'sport of kings' but, in the pursuit of prize money and getting one over the bookies, it also has attained a notoriety for some underhand, corrupt and downright illegal practices. Horse racing in Wales is not exempt from these dodgy dealings and on many occasions has led the way in it's ingenuity to devise jaw-dropping cons and cunning deceptions. In The Scams, Scandals and Gambles of Horseracing in Wales, Brian Lee, the veteran and highly regarded Welsh racing correspondent has, for the first time, compiled a comprehensive collection of true stories that reveals Welsh racing's most notorious crooks, loveable rouges and most infamous scams, including: The Oyster Maid affair, when a great gambling coup engineered at Tenby in 1927 nearly put paid to horse racing in Wales and was said by the Queen Mother's jockey, Dick Francis, to have been "the most bitterly resented betting coup National Hunt racing has ever known". The astounding story of Am I Blue's when, in 2010, a four-year-old filly, owned and trained by Aberkenfig's Delyth Thomas, romped home at Hereford after being backed from 25-1 to 5-1, despite having woeful form. As one reporter put it: 'There was outrage in some quarters and amusement in others.' The elaborate switching of horses and the cutting of the telegraph wires at Bath races in 1953 which saw well-know Cardiff bookie Gomer Charles jailed for 2 years for fraud after his syndicate place GBP100k worth of bets on a 'ringer' racehorse that won at 20-1. The Scandals and Gambles of Horseracing in Wales includes stories both from racing 'under rules' but also from point-to-point, known as racing 'between-the-flags', as well as flapping (unlicensed racing). The stories in this enthralling book, in which the reader will meet many of the rogues of the turf, are informative as well as fascinating and will appeal to not only horse racing fans but also readers of true crime.

Available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle format


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