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Sad Demise of a Much Loved Horse

It is with great sadness that the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) has to announce the death of ILPH Observe, a 26 year old thoroughbred gelding who had an outstanding career in National Hunt racing.

ILPH Observe, or Hobbie as he was affectionately known, came to ILPH Glenda Spooner Farm in a severely emaciated state with badly neglected teeth and feet in February 1999.

In his long and successful National Hunt career during the 1980's, he had 18 wins and 12 places out of 40 starts to his credit including the Cathcart Cup and the Christie's Foxhunter Chase and Tripleprint Gold Cup in 1982 when ridden by John Francome and trained by Fred Winter.

John Francome who was saddened to hear the news rode his 1,000 race win on Observe, says, "When he first came to us at Fred Winter's he jumped badly left handed but never stopped improving and gave me some super rides. He was looked after by Harry Foster who was one of Fred's older lads and had the stable name of Tiddles - I don't know why."

After Observe retired from racing he went on to enjoy several seasons hunting. Then he sadly joined the downward spiral, finding himself at one time advertised for sale in a local paper as 'a plodder, suitable for a novice, £1000 with tack'.

In February 1999, with the help of a previous owner, Observe was retrieved in a very poor condition and came to the ILPH lame and unshod with very tender feet. With remedial shoeing and a special diet he improved enough to enjoy quiet hacks around the Herefordshire lanes.

Continues John, "He was a grand old servant to us and I am really pleased that he finally had such a happy retirement home with ILPH."

Adds Janet Dale, Manager at Glenda Spooner Farm, "We are all so sad, he was a great character and the place just won't be the same without him."


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