- 15 Jan 18
Ahead of the Dublin Racing Festival this February, we look at some of the well-known (as well some of the surprising!) musical associations with horse racing.
The Rolling Stones' guitarist is one of the most successful musicians of all time, but when he does find the occasion to have some downtime, he runs a successful breeding farm - Sandymount House - near Clane in Ireland. He was even voted Small Breeder of the Year in 1999 and has had several homebred runners win at The Curragh. Most of the horses he breeds, however, go through the auction ring.
ABBA'S Benny Andersson has been fascinated by the turf for decades and claimed that he started owning and breeding horses in order to connect with his son. He has a string of 18 horses, mares and foals dispersed among trainers in Sweden, Ireland and England and enthused in interviews that it has become a "family thing" for the Anderssons.
Hammer's association with horse-racing really comes down to his lavish spending when his fame was at its height. In 1991, M.C. Hammer established Oaktown Stable, which would eventually have nineteen Thoroughbred racehorses. the same year, his outstanding Lite Light won several Grade I stakes races including the prestigious Kentucky Oaks. He reportedly continues to attend shows to this day.
Madonna took up riding when she was in her 40s, during her marriage with Guy Ritchie. She became a skilled rider, but on her 47th birthday, she mounted an unfamiliar horse and suffered an accident where she broke eight bones in her body. It took six months for her managers to allow her back in the saddle, but she eventually rode on the David Letterman show with David, who is also an avid rider.
Maybe not directly related to horse racing, but Shania Twain is perhaps the best known horse-lover (and owner) in the entertainment industry. Aside from recording the track, 'The Love of Horses', the singer also constructed an entire stage show in Las Vegas with horses as a centrepiece.
Dublin Racing Festival 2018 will take place on February 3 & 4. Find more details at leopardstown.com