The Major: The Biography of Dick Hern by Michael Tanner hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Pelham, 1991, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs;
From the cover: Michael Tanners biography of Major William Richard Hern focuses on the influences that have shaped the career of one of the foremost trainers on the Flat this century It surveys with a sympathetic yet somewhat critical eye the public successes (and failures) of the man who can include many wealthy and prestigious owners and breeders among his list of patrons: the Astors, Sir Michael Sobell and Lord Weinstock, Lady Beaverbrook, the Maktoums and Her Majesty the Queen.
THE MAJOR highlights the key events in Herns life from his early days in the Army and at the Porlock Vale Riding School to the hunting accident that left him in a wheelchair, concentrating on Herns achievements during the years at West Ilsley. The author writes about the calamitous fall which destroyed Hethersetts chance of victory in the 1962 Derby and Gorytus mysterious failure in the Dewhurst Stakes with its attendant Press speculation twenty years later. To offset the few misfortunes Hern had plenty of successes: Brigadier Gerard, Troy and Nashwan to name but a few.
Herns antagonistic relationship with the Press is well known. The author discusses two issues which captured media attention and caused an uproar throughout the racing world: Joe Mercers replacement with Willie Carson by Sobell and Weinstock and the Queens decision in 1989 to replace Hern with William Hastings-Bass as her trainer at West Ilsley.
Michael Tanner effectively captures the excitement surrounding racing and the enigmatic figure at its centre. His book will intrigue Hern supporters and racing enthusiasts alike.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper a little faded and mottled otherwise a very well presented copy.
Grey boards with Blue titling to the Spine.
[VIII] 215 pages. 9½” x 6¼”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…