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Friday, 16 November, 2018

An udder award for hero jockey turned milkman

Brightening your day with turf tales from beyond the tracks

Tony Fowler (right) receives his award for services to the community
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If Felix Francis is in need of a hero for his next book, Leicestershire-based Tony Fowler could provide some inspiration. The former jockey, who came agonisingly close to landing the 1982 Foxhunter Chase when beaten in a photo, has received a Milk Hero Award from Dairy UK for services to the community – services that include solving crimes and saving lives.

Tony, who received an MBE in 2010 – while wearing a suit paying homage to the humble Friesian cow – has delivered milk to more than 800 customers in 22 villages and the town of Melton Mowbray for more than a quarter of a century. However, he has taken his duties much further, with assisting the police in catching criminals, foiling burglaries, saving the life of a man suffering an epileptic fit and cooking and caring for elderly residents among many tales of his community spirit.

“There are so many examples that demonstrate the type of milkman Tony really is, he does a lot more than simply delivering the daily pint,” says Cotteswold Dairy’s John Mulloy, who nominated Tony.

“From identifying when the elderly need medical assistance or alerting police to early morning criminal activity, Tony has always gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the vulnerable are safe and cared for.”

Here’s hoping the award comes with a ceremony so he can dig out the haute cow-ture suit. Well done Tony!

O’Ryan remembered at Jack Berry House

The name of Tom O’Ryan, who died last August, will forever be remembered at Jack Berry House, the IJF facility for jockeys on the outskirts of Malton.

As well as working as a journalist for the Racing Post and broadcasting for Racing UK, O’Ryan was a fully qualified jockeys’ coach working mainly at Jack Berry House, and on Thursday evening his widow Wendy and brother Robin unveiled a commemorative bench in his honour.

Made of solid oak, it was bought with the proceeds of a collection made among his media colleagues.

Jo Russell, manager of Jack Berry House, said: “Some of Tom’s friends asked me what I thought was the best way we could remember his work here. I suggested a bench because, when waiting for their turn on the Equicizers in the room he used, the jockeys had to to sit on the window sill – they now have a bench which has a brass plate with Tom’s name on and there is also a plaque on the wall with his photo on. Here at Jack Berry House he will now be remembered by future generations of jockeys.”

The unveiling took place during the interval of a well-attended presentation staged by the IJF and hosted by Andrew Thornton, which gave a fascinating insight into the way the personnel at Jack Berry House – who include a doctor, a physiotherapist, a strength and conditioning coach, jockey coaches and a nutritionist – help all riders and particularly those recovering from injury.

Record entry apt farewell for awards

The Wills Writing Awards will say farewell on an appropriate high, with a record number of entries received for the prestigious competition in its 25th and final year.

Of the 216 entries, 50 were in the u26 category, 27 were in the u18s, 77 were in the u15s, and 62 were in the u12 category.

Brough Scott, chairman of the judges, said: “This is a great final fanfare for the Martin Wills Awards – it shows that young people can still get inspired by words on racing, and let’s hope that this will long continue.”

The winners will be announced on April 19.

News flash

Great to see former champion amateur Isabel Tompsett back in the winner’s enclosure after Never Equalled won for her as an owner at Ffos Las . . .

Few would be pleased about inheriting debt, but Ruth Carr should enjoy taking over the training of Sovereign Debt following David Nicholls’ retirement . . .

Serving military personnel will have the opportunity to visit Perth, Newton Abbot, and every other track in between this year after news that all 60 British racecourses will be supporting Tickets for Troops. Visit ticketsfortroops.com to apply . . .

Got a good news story? Get in touch via rpsunday@racingpost.com

Charity challenge

Tom Fanshawe, son of Newmarket trainer James, is closing in on his target of £7,000 to support Freddy Tylicki, who was paralysed in a fall last year. Tom, an amateur jockey, will be running the Paris marathon on April 9. To sponsor Tom, click here.

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