Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Age of Glory

Today I met Irish racing enthusiast Brian Bunyan.  Who, lucky for me, also works for Standard Chartered in London.  We'd been put in touch by a mutual colleague, who had explained that we were both keen on riding and therefore might enjoy a bit of horse talk over a cup of coffee.

This didn't prepare me for Brian.

Turns out Brian was an amateur jockey as a schoolboy because his father trained racehorses; his brother Darren has now taken up the mantle.  Naturally, when the chance to ride at Cheltenham in the St Patrick's Derby Charity Race came up, Brian signed up to ride in his father's memory.  Despite 25 years since his last race!

Age of Glory, owned by Brian and trained by Darren, was an outsider with the bookies but Brian rode a great race to finish first.  As Brian explained, he was nervous, but when he thought of his father everything else fell away.

I was blown over by such an incredible story and Brian's humble claims that he was just a passenger: I don't believe it for a second.  A lovely bit of inspiration for a Wednesday afternoon.

Brian on Age of Glory

I checked and Brian's fundraising page is still open.  He was raising funds for cancer research, as he lost his father to cancer.  You can donate here:

Brian, it was great to meet you and I look forward to maybe riding some of your brother's horses.  

The Curragh, Co. Kildare (home to racehorse trainer Darren Bunyan)