Easterby green jacket makes a 'monkey' and stays in Yorkshire
In the sport of golf the green jacket is a much sought-after symbol of excellence being awarded annually to the winner of the prestigious US Masters at Augusta.
British racing's equivalent green jacket is somewhat less prestigious but no less sought-after for it is the symbol of its veteran wearer trainer Mick Easterby, who last month had the bright idea of offering it for auction.
After much frenzied bidding, with his website receiving more than 100,000 hits, the famous jacket now has a new owner, York racecourse. The successful bid was £500, which Easterby has given to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a charity he has supported regularly through the point-to-point he runs on his land.
The trainer said: "I think I have had it for more than 40 years and am sorry to lose it, although my wife says it does smell a bit. I cannot remember when I last had it cleaned, or even if I have ever had it cleaned, and it has a few holes in it.
"It was very kind of York to buy it. William Derby said they didn't want to lose it – he thought it might have gone abroad, which would have been a great loss to British racing.
"It will be on display at the racecourse this weekend and anyone can come and see it and have a chat and a drink with me – if you want a photo then put a couple of pounds in the bucket for the air ambulance. The jacket is like me – it’ll be around forever."
Derby said: "The grand handover will take place on Friday. Mick has been a great supporter of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance with his point-to-point so we thought it appropriate that we should give him some money for the charity though I am not sure what we will do with it.
"I would say the first thing we will do is to send it to the dry cleaners and hope it doesn't drop to bits. If it survives we will display it somewhere on the racecourse."