TRANSPORT FOR RACEHORSES IN LAMBOURN 1840-2002
and the journey through to
Lambourn Racehorse Transport
1816 - Racehorse trailers first used to take racehorses to race meetings
1830 - In the late 1830's railways started to transport racehorses all over the country. The following stations opened in:-
1840 - Swindon, Shrivenham, Uffington, Faringdon Road.
1847 - Newbury and Hungerford
1864 - The Faringdon Road Station became Challow Station when the rail line from Uffington to Faringdon town was opened. The station was in West Challow.
1898 - The Lambourn to Newbury Railway opened with stations at Eastbury, East Garston, Great Shefford, with other stations to Newbury.
Racehorses were walked or ridden to the railway stations. The journey to some race meetings took up to two days and then two days for the return journey.
1912 - 1913 Vincents of Reading started to build the first motorised horseboxes.
In the 1920's horse boxes could be hired from MJ Scott of Letcombe Regis and Stroude of Swindon which carried either two or three racehorses. Capt. O.M.D. Bell and H.L.Cottrill had their own horseboxes. In this period the railways transported the majority of the racehorses in the location.
In 1930 Lambourn Racehorse Transport Service was started by Sir H. Nugent with the horse boxes of M. Scott which were repainted and located at Lambourn Garages. Four new boxes were ordered and build by Wilson's of Kingston with the horses facing forward. Stroude of Swindon horse boxes were purchased together with the horse boxes of Capt. O.M.D. Bell and H.L.Cottrill.
Sir H Nugent was the Managing Director of the Lambourn Racehorse Transport Service and M.J.Scott was the Manager for about 8 years. F.W.Thatcher was the manager of the Lambourn Garages.
In 1931 the Lambourn Racehorse Transport Service had over twenty five regular racehorse trainers as customers which accounted for transportation of about two thousand racehorses in the year. The railways continued to transport racehorse from the location but on a continual decline in numbers as the LRTS developed and replaced their older boxes with Lambourn patented racehorse boxes where horses faced forward.
In 1933 Hobbs, Park Farm, Upper Lambourn purchased a Rio racehorse box and F.G.Templeman of Meridian, Lambourn had a Vincent horse box.
In c1933 the Lambourn Garages Coach-building Section was started and built the bodies for the new LRTS horseboxes. The LRTS located a horsebox at Ogbourne and two at Wroughton pre-war.
When Sir H. Nugent went to live in Ireland at the beginning of the war, F.W.Thatcher became the General Manager of his business interests in the location, until his retirement twenty years later when Sir John Nugent took over the family business interests.
In 1939 the LRTS had about twelve or more boxes where the horses were facing forward, a few were dual purpose to carry horses, cattle or goods. In the war the horse boxes were also used for war work. During the war when racing was restricted, the LRTS and the railways in the location continued to transport racehorses in reduced numbers.
In 1945 the LRTS purchased V.Hobbs racehorse box when he retired; this left only F.G.Templeton in Lambourn and Upper Lambourn with the required licence by a trainer to transport his stabled horses. Some year later he purchased a new larger horse box from Lambourn Coachbuilders.
After the war the LRTS build more horse boxes which were larger and carried more horses. By 1950 they probably had increased the number of boxes to eighteen or twenty and transported the vast majority of the racehorses in location for forty years or more. Over the years the LRTS became on of the largest in the country.
Until 1951 the railways continued to transport racehorses from the location each month; after that an occasional horse would be delivered to or from the location, the last being in 1959. In 1955 H.E. Whiteman moved his horses, furniture etc. by train at a cost of £340 from Park Farm, Upper Lambourn to Place Newtown near Malton in Yorkshire.
In 1954 G.G.Kennedy moved to Ashdown Park, Upper Lambourn with a licensed horse box which he used until c1964 when he then hired horse boxes from Hunts of Newbury.
In the late 1960's the Lambourn Racehorse Transport service purchased the Ridgeway horseboxes which were located at Milton, Oxon. This was at the time that the licensing laws changed. At the same time the LRTS became Lambourn Ridgeway Transport until the early 1980's when it all became Lambourn Racehorse Transport. In c1983 the Lambourn Racehorse Transport was located at Station road until 1988 when it moved to Mile End Farm on the Wantage Road.
From the early 1970's some of the Trainers started to purchase race horse boxes in the location which were usually Lambourn built boxes. This continued in the 1980''s and 1990's and other small hire firms have moved into the location.
In late 1989 or early 1990 Mr L Kane bought the LRT. The racehorse bodes were moved to North Farm, Lambourn.
In March 1991 Mr J Ratcliffe purchased the LRT which remained at North Farm.
In February 1992 Mr Merrick E.D. Francis became the owner of LRT which since then had been located at Baydon Road, Lambourn.
The following 'tree' is relevant to Lambourn Engineering and various companies belonging to Lambourn Holdings Ltd
Sadly some of the following pictures are not of great quality
Supervised by Trainer Marcus Marsh (right) Windsor Lad is lead into LRTs horse box by Tom Dowdeswell, leaves his Baydon Road Stables before winning the 1934 Derby. Lambourn's first ever success in the Derby. The greatest Flat race of all.
LRT Box Drivers
Bill Rodbourne, Sam Athawes, Clarence Deacon, Micky Flynn, Gerald Deacon,
Tommy Kirkham, John Boreham, Sid Preater
The Commander Box at Seven Barrows