InterviewMartin Pipe

Martin Pipe: 'I wanted to commit suicide. I really did, knowing the world was against me'

Lee Mottershead talks to the legendary trainer about the good days and the dark days

 Martin Pipe in his garden with a sculpture made of horseshoes Nicholashayne 27.2.23 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Martin Pipe, who revolutionised the art of training racehorses, looks back on the highs and lows of an extraordinary career Credit: Edward Whitaker

It feels like a journey back to the good old days, which for Martin Pipe were once very good indeed.

He answers the door with a warm handshake, leads the way through a smart kitchen and walks into a room whose walls are filled with photographs. The horses featured inside the frames enjoyed their moments of glory when trained by a man who revolutionised a profession he entered without experience, then conquered. Pipe changed everything. He continues to miss nothing.

The huge televisions help. There were times when his Pond House headquarters, now occupied by fellow Grand National-winning son David, looked rather like mission control at Nasa. The sitting room in the nearby Nicholashayne home of Pipe snr and wife, Carol, is similarly not lacking in visual stimulation. On one side of a door are two vast screens set to Racing TV and Sky Sports Racing. On the other side are screens showing non-horsey sport, while sitting on a coffee table are two laptops broadcasting live images from all across Pond House. For the 77-year-old Pipe, a former trainer for almost 17 years, this is what retirement looks like.

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Published on 18 March 2023Last updated 18:00, 18 March 2023