Three-time Grand National-winning owner Trevor Hemmings dies at the age of 86
Trevor Hemmings, whose famous green, yellow and white colours were carried to Grand National glory by Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds, has died at the age of 86.
The much-respected owner and billionaire businessman was one of jump racing's most familiar and biggest supporters and his death was confirmed in a statement released by Preston North End, the football club owned by Hemmings since 2010, on Monday night.
The memorable victories of Hedgehunter in 2005, Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015) etched Hemmings' name into Grand National history as the joint-most successful owner ever in the race, but he also enjoyed great success with a host of other high-profile jumps stars for many of Britain and Ireland's top trainers.
The news prompted an outpouring of tributes from across the racing industry with Oliver Sherwood, the trainer of Many Clouds, describing Hemmings as "a legend in jump racing" and "Mr Aintree".
Tributes were awash on social media with Aintree tweeting: "Desperately sad news to hear of the passing of three times Grand National winning owner and true friend of Aintree and @TheJockeyClub, Trevor Hemmings. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time."
The Nicky Henderson-trained Trabolgan became Hemmings' first Grade 1 winner when landing the 2005 RSA Chase before the superb Albertas Run, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, provided Hemmings with wins at three Cheltenham Festivals, including a Ryanair Chase double in 2010 and 2011.
Sir Anthony McCoy, who rode Albertas Run in each of his four Grade 1 victories, wrote: "Desperately sad news that Trevor Hemmings has died. I'm very proud to have worn his iconic colours on many wonderful days. He was a great friend to many but a greater friend to our sport and that of his beloved @pnefc thoughts with all his family and friends."
Trainer Alan King said: "I was shocked and saddened when I heard the news. Trevor was a great supporter of the game. I've been lucky enough to train for him for the last 14 or 15 years and it was always an honour to have a few horses for him.
"We had a Cheltenham Festival winner with Old Benny and Pangbourne won the bumper on Grand National day, which was another thrill. He'll be greatly missed across the whole of the industry."
Last year's Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap, also trained by O'Neill and named after the headgear invariably worn by the owner, was sent off the 11-2 favourite to give Hemmings an unprecedented fourth Grand National victory in April but was pulled up before the third-last fence.
Hemmings scaled back the size of his racing operation last September, selling 56 horses after being hit hard financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, yet he still enjoyed a superb season on the track with 24 winners from 101 runners giving him a 24 per cent strike-rate.
Vintage Clouds became the last of 12 Cheltenham Festival triumphs when striking in the Ultima Handicap Chase in March, while Lake View Lad, Sayce Gold and Cloth Cap also provided Hemmings with Graded victories in the last 12 months.
In addition to his Grand National triumph, the Oliver Sherwood-trained Many Clouds provided Hemmings with some of his most memorable days on the course with victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup in 2014 before tragically passing away in the immediate aftermath of his second Cotswold Chase victory in 2017.
Hemmings sent his horses to dozens of British and Irish trainers over the years but enjoyed his most regular success with West Yorkshire-based handler Sue Smith. Together, they shared 131 winners from more than 800 runners.
Social media tributes
Desperately sad news that Trevor Hemmings has died. I’m very proud to have worn his iconic colours on many wonderful days. He was a great friend to many but a greater friend to our sport and that of his beloved @pnefc thoughts with all his family & friends pic.twitter.com/w30BoVbGaI— AP McCoy (@AP_McCoy) October 12, 2021
Sad to hear of the passing of a true gentleman of the game. Trevor Hemmings loved this sport and I shall miss his phone calls when he had a winner on big days. I had some great days wearing his colours. RIP— mick fitzgerald (@mickfitzg) October 12, 2021
Such terrible news to hear of the passing of Trevor Hemmings. An iconic man who will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers and with his family and friends. Thank you for the memories.— Richie McLernon (@richiemclernon) October 12, 2021
A gloomy damp morning here at Kinneston and a sombre atmosphere on the yard having learnt of the passing of Trevor Hemmings yesterday. I cannot thank him enough for his support, thoughts and prayers with his family and friends pic.twitter.com/mETR6hOQSa— Nick Alexander (@kinneston) October 12, 2021
Very sad to hear the passing of Trevor Hemmings. A gentleman to deal with and one of jump racing’s greatest supporters. Condolences to his family. RIP— Tom Scudamore (@tommyscu) October 12, 2021
One of the most familiar sights on a National hunt race course! RIP Trevor Hemmings, our thoughts are with your family. pic.twitter.com/FUwT98V8sf— Iain Jardine Racing (@jardineracing) October 12, 2021
Desperately sad news to hear of the passing of three times Grand National winning owner and true friend of Aintree and @TheJockeyClub, Trevor Hemmings. He will be sorely missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/MdIwkotIra— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) October 11, 2021
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