I think I’ve got one horse, which is my brother’s horse. My father has a lot of horses who I’ve managed over many years; there’s very few who I’ve managed in my lifetime. I have one horse, which I bought from somebody in Birmingham in the mid-1970s. The horse is an 18-year-old one, and he got through. I remember when he first went racing and how that happened, because I thought it was very lucky that the owner had bought him to let him run for a couple of years to try to show what he could be capable of. We have a bit of a collection of horses who have gone racing and then gone through because of the injuries—sore legs, swollen heads—that they have sustained by coming racing. Those horses have gone through at least a year of rehabilitation. And they have been very lucky, and they have been in very happy homes back in their home countries. They’ve had good luck. I think we have had to take horses through the whole process of racing, and so have some of our other racehorses. We’ve had a bit of a problem with the injuries that we’ve had, particularly in England. When our first horses got knocked out—some have broken bones—they needed to have their ribs and their legs replaced. So we took in these horses and managed them through the whole process of horse racing on the road. But the problem has been when they didn’t feel like racing, we had to look at other ways of producing their income, like using them as training horses or as work horses. We didn’t have the funding for that to go ahead, which is why in the last few years we have not been able to bring our racing programmes into England and Wales because there simply isn’t money there. But this is the only way we can get the horses to England and Wales, for their use. There’s nothing else.
AVC: You’ve told me about the time you got your first horses to England and Wales. What did you do?
JD: My wife bought them from a race track in Birmingham so we could make use of them for their use. In the summer, we kept our horses in their own property and took them for free. We didn’t have the horses to run at the track—they weren’t bred for that. We used them at the stable. They didn’t race, so we could keep them, and I’d have the horses in the stable
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