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Desert Orchid

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  • #81394
    BurroughhillBurroughhill
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    • Total Posts 1638

    Awww bless him! Probably the horse that’s given me the most pleasure over the years. What a star.

    Condolences to connections of course. :(

    #30881
    Racing Daily
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    • Total Posts 1364

    I too have a VHS of all his wins.  Tempted to pull it out of retirement.  I just noticed my 1979 – 1988 flat highlights video too.  Some great moments will be rekindled in the next few days methinks :)<br>To think that he almost copped it in his very first hurdle … to then be catapulted into racing folklore.  The stuff of dreams indeed.  His Whitbread lives in my mind.  The final furlong commentary was an absolute classic.

    " … and Desert Orchid WINS the Whitbread!"

    It will forever live in my mind.

    #30882
    BurroughhillBurroughhill
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    • Total Posts 1638

    Absolutely my favourite horse who’s given me more pleasure over the years than any other. <br>He’s brought a lump to the throat many a time and I’m sure I’m not the only one to have felt that way.

    That’s what jump racing is all about! You don’t get this with the flat.

    <br>On a more upbeat note, it’s a relief to hear he went peacefully after a long and happy retirement.

    RIP to a legend.

    #30883
    Pegwell Bay
    Member
    • Total Posts 208

    There is a nice 20 minute audio documentary on Five Live’s website, covering the day of Dessie’s Gold Cup win. It’s a good listen:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/programme … port.shtml

    #30884
    PAULCS
    Member
    • Total Posts 529

    <br>He ran his last race when I was just 5 years old so I can only recall seeing a couple of his races live but still he was a real favourite of mine. One of the best purchases I ever made was getting the book brilliantly written by Richard Burridge called ‘The Grey Horse’ when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I must have read it about 10 times and I might just make that 11 before Xmas…..

    In the flesh I saw him at Beverley in 2002 and then on Gold Cup day in 2005 & 2006 and he just looked magnificent. It was my first time at Cheltenham in 2005 and there was the usual massive crush before the Gold Cup as I tried to get across to the Guinness Stand when suddenly cheers went up and a few girls started screaming. I looked around to see Desert Orchid leading the Gold Cup field down the chute and just had to smile to myself as he displayed all of his old charisma.

    Another great buy was Desert Orchid – The Video by John Francome and I still get shivers listening to Peter O’Sullevan’s commentary of his Gold Cup win so thanks for the memories old boy, RIP.<br>

    #30885
    Old VicOld Vic
    Member
    • Total Posts 3

    favourite Dessie memory is his 4th King George<br>watched it on telly after getting away early from work on Boxing Day<br>Remember hats being thrown up in the air<br>Had a tear in my eye myself<br>Good memories<br>

    #30886
    Artemis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1736

    Wonderful memories. Lump in the throat stuff.

    There are some marvellous and quite emotional tributes in today’s Racing Post and reading them has brought those great and unforgettable days back to me.

    Thanks for the memories.

    #30887
    Racing Daily
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1364

    The Tom O’Ryan tribute (ala Sea Pigeon) was nice.<br>His memorable triumphs are all there.<br>Dissapointed with the Racing Post, that they couldn’t supply the 12 page Dessie pullout as part of the downloadable news and features PDF.  I’d have payed extra for it, had it been available.  However, it seems, they are simply seizing the opportunity to sell some copyrighted pics.<br>Pretty lame if you ask me, and certainly does nothing to change my opinion of them.  Anyway, enough of that.  My point has been made.  I downloaded the rest of the N&F to keep for posterity.  A PDF won’t turn to dust in ten years either.

    #30888
    Meshaheer
    Member
    • Total Posts 486

    Very sad and it’s although I was 5 or 6 by the time he retired I never saw him race live as I only got into racing a couple of years later.

    Thankfully I saw him on his last Boxing Day appearance at Kempton last year and he was looking pretty old and fluffy, but all the same still on his toes to be back at his favourite course!

    A true legend who will be greatly missed. :(

    #30889
    roryrory
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2685

    Remember him since his novice hurdling days ~ a hard horse to forget even then. I regularly fielded against him, but it was hard to feel disappointed when he won ~ he knew how to thrill and his prodigious leap en route to winning the Racing Post Chase with 12’3 had most viewers gasping, and rightly so. He was very, very special.

    #30890
    ToneLoc
    Member
    • Total Posts 101

    RIP Dessie

    I was only 6 when Dessie won the Gold Cup so have no memories of him running but heard his name plenty of times. His lasting legacy for me will be appearing on the front pages of several national papers in my local newsagent this morning. Just watched his Gold Cup win now, fantastic, never looks like getting up after the 2nd last! :cool:

    I just wonder whether Detroit City will be the Desert Orchid of my era…..

    #30891
    PAULCS
    Member
    • Total Posts 529

    <br>One of my favourite stories that I heard about Dessie was when he fell in a hurdle race at Ascot. He continued riderless eventually passing the post with the rest of the field. However, before this he’d never been out of the frame at Ascot so headed for the winner’s enclosure again as he just presumed that you went there after every race!

    In fact I’m surprised that Hollywood didn’t get hold of the whole Dessie story as Seabiscuit was nothing in comparison –

    Owner spends his & partner’s savings on ugly duckling/falls in first race, lays down apparently dead for 10 mins/turns white & becomes champion/wins Gold Cup against all odds/falls in final race, gallops riderless past adoring public for last time/survives life-threatening illness etc etc….

    Seriously, I really hope that a production company/TV channel puts together a DVD/Video or documentary on him in the near future as surely with the outpouring of affection that there has been over the last couple of days, there is a market for it. It also seems that a lot of his fans (including myself) were too young to have seen him race so it would be great if something was put together as a fitting tribute.

    #30892
    Racing Daily
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1364

    Quote: from ToneLoc on 9:55 pm on Nov. 14, 2006[br]RIP Dessie

    His lasting legacy for me will be appearing on the front pages of several national papers in my local newsagent this morning. <br>

    Just four, of many, of the international newspapers that have covered Dessie’s demise …

    Toronto Star<br>Colorado Springs Gazette<br>Bangkok Post<br>Jerusalem Post

    A fitting tribute.

    (Edited by Racing Daily at 3:24 am on Nov. 15, 2006)

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