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Victor Dartnall calls time on lengthy training career

Victor Dartnall calls time on lengthy training career
Victor Dartnall calls time on lengthy training career

Victor Dartnall has announced he is to relinquish his licence and retire from training at the age of 75.

Dartnall, best known for his handling of the likes of Lord Sam, Karanja and Giles Cross, has cited the challenging financial climate and the difficulty in finding suitable staff, as well as his advancing years, for the decision.

He wrote on his website, www.victordartnallracing.com: “After 30 very enjoyable years in racehorse training, firstly as an amateur for four years and since 1998 as a licensed trainer, I have decided that now is the time to relinquish my licence.

Lord Sam (green hat) won at the Punchestown Festival for Dartnall
Lord Sam (green hat) won at the Punchestown Festival for Dartnall (Barry Batchelor/PA)

“After 25 years in farm management, racing was my second career, but it is now the time to take things a bit easier and spend time with my family. My crop of 11 grandchildren have already produced a highly qualified horse vet and an extremely exciting young amateur boxer and there are more to follow for sure!

“Racing has dramatically changed over this period and the smaller yards have faced not only increased competition from the larger establishments, but also the current economic problems which affect every industry and have hit racing particularly hard; e.g. wages and costs of fodder and bedding – the latter being particularly badly affected by last year’s poor harvest.

“To add ‘salt to the wounds’, shortage of labour, which has not been helped by Brexit, has made life even harder.”

He went on: “I am particularly proud of the start the yard has given to several young people, not least Rachel Robbins (head girl for Willie Mullins) and Flo Willis (second travelling head girl for Paul Nicholls). Both have been in their current positions for several years.

“Over the years we have been lucky to train some good horses including Lord Sam, Hawardeth, Karanja, Giles Cross, Ambion Wood, Russian Trigger, Admirals Secret and Run To Milan.

“In the short time that we were training point-to-pointers we had two national champions in Butler John and Phar Too Touchy as well as Slievenamon Mist, Chilipour and King Torus – these horses won over 70 P2P and hunter chases between them.

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in so many ways over the years and all the owners who have supported the yard.”

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