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His horses will miss him

The picture of farmer and breeder-trainer John Manners with one of his horses says it all.

At his farm in Wiltshire, Manners was a night owl, rarely rising before 10am even on a hunting morning (he was invariably late for the meet). His horses’ meal times were set accordingly: breakfast at lunchtime, lunchtime at teatime and a final feed between midnight and 1am. He was in the habit of mowing the lawn in the middle of the night, wearing only long johns or even — in clement weather — nothing at all, guided by the light of a torch fixed to the front of the mower.

He loved his horses and knew what they liked - being outside, a good meal and companionship. Manners, who has died aged 83, was famous for his wins at Aintree and Cheltenham and for his rows with officialdom.

Ave atque Vale.

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