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Pipe battling incurable illness

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    From the BBC site:

    Retired 15-time National Hunt champion trainer Martin Pipe has revealed he has an incurable muscle-wasting disease.

    Pipe, 61, quit training five months ago and is now working alongside son David who assumed control of the family business at Nicholashayne in Devon.

    Asked if his problems will worsen, Pipe told The Guardian: "I say I’m fine, but it’s not going to get any better."

    The most successful trainer in National Hunt history, Pipe is being treated with steroids to curb his illness.

    "One day, not too long ago, I couldn’t walk up the stairs," he said.

    "Even when they got me into bed I couldn’t pull the covers over me.

    "I had the same thing about two years ago and we thought that was it then. But I battled on and, like a lame old horse, the doctors have put me on steroids."

    Pipe is credited with single-handedly revolutionising jump racing.

    He broke every record in the book, saddling nearly 4,000 winners including the Grand National in 1994 with Miinnehoma, and set a standard his contemporaries have found hard to emulate.

    Pipe is the only trainer to have saddled more than 200 winners in a season – a feat he achieved no less than six times – and won virtually every big race in the book.

    • Total Posts 5123

    Sadly the news comes as no great surprise; he’s looked pretty poorly for a good while.

    Just hope he can enjoy what time he has left and can reflect positively on a what has been a working life chock-full of peerless achievement.

    • Total Posts 1453

    Thanks for posting that Steve. A great shame. I echo Drone’s sentiments.

    • Total Posts 3901

    Very sad news.

    I must pull up the BBC on their comment "won virtually every big race in the book" though. Not very well researched.

    • Total Posts 358

    What a shame, just been watching Luke Harvey interview him on ATR, lively & joking, you wouldn’t have an inkling, lovely man & a credit to National Hunt racing

    • Total Posts 6939

    Illness or not, he’s not going to withdraw quietly, judged on his feverish activity in winning the auction for the Windsor seller winner yesterday.


    (Edited by graysonscolumn at 4:01 pm on Oct. 3, 2006)

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 2208

    Saw that in the post today grayson…

    Real shame, affable guy who will be a real miss I think…

    • Total Posts 919

    According to Pipe’s assistant Chester Barnes, he is not as ill as the interview portrayed though is on steroids for his condition.  <br>Wish him well

    • Total Posts 1665

    How sad, let’s hope they can stop any deterioration and maybe reverse it.

    One of the all-time greats.

    • Total Posts 608

    Nice to hear earlier on that he’s not as ill as first reported.A great man who’s revolutionised NH racing.

    Hope to see him many more times at the races in years to come-and i’m sure we will :cool:

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