There was a reminder of two of the sport of horse racing's stereotypes with the recent death of Priscilla Hastings at the age of firstly, its misogynist tendencies, and secondly the importance of a good pedigree.
And in both instances, there is a neat twist to the tale that pleased the grand old lady mightily. Priscilla Hastings was, as recently as , one of the first three women to be elected as a member of the Jockey Club, then the ruling body of British racing. She, her half-sister Ruth, Countess of Halifax, and Helen Johnson Houghton breached an all-male bastion that had stood for years. But the Jockey Club had always been slow to move with the times, introducing reforms fitfully and usually belatedly. It was before women were allowed to hold a licence to train horses, before they were allowed to ride on the Flat and over jumps.
The ruling about training, forced on the Jockey Club by the High Court, came too late for Johnson Houghton, who had had to saddle her 2, Guineas winner under the name of her stable's head man, Charles Jerdein. Hastings, who later also held a prominent position in another male stronghold as only the second female director of the Tote, in which role she served for six years from , was entitled to be a force in racing.
Her maternal grandfather was the 17th Earl of Derby, one of the most influential figures in Turf history, as an owner, breeder and administrator. His only child to survive, Lady Victoria Stanley, had a relatively brief life though significant in racing terms life. Her first marriage, in , was to the 5th Earl Rosebery; before his death two years later serving in Palestine they had a daughter, Ruth, who died in Lady Victoria's second marriage, in , was to Sir Malcolm Bullock; their daughter Priscilla was born in Seven years later Lady Victoria was killed in an accident while out hunting with the Quorn.
In Priscilla married Peter Hastings, a man from another great aristocratic racing and sporting dynasty. His father Aubrey, third son of the 13th Earl of Huntingdon, had trained four Grand National winners and rode the first, Ascetic's Silver in , himself.
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In the early s Hastings acquired both a second surname and his own training establishment. His wealthy uncle by marriage, Sir William Bass one-time owner of the legendary race mare Sceptre had no direct male heir and left him his fortune on the condition that he kept the family name going.
Hastings became Hastings-Bass by deed poll and although Priscilla, at her own insistence, remained plain Hastings, the couple's children Emma, William, John and Simon took the double-barrel. The Bass legacy facilitated the purchase in of the famous Kingsclere estate, 1, acres near Newbury. Hastings-Bass's tenure was tragically short — he died in of cancer at 42, the same age at which his own father had died from a heart attack after a game of polo — but highly successful.
One of his most notable victories came with King's Troop, who carried his wife's black and yellow colours when he beat 38 rivals in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. Priscilla had held the reins at Kingsclere during Hasting-Bass's last illness and became a rock behind the scenes after the licence was taken over by the yard's young assistant Ian Balding, who had inherited some of the sport's most significant owners, including the Queen.
Balding's career blossomed and he became family, marrying Priscilla's daughter Emma. Priscilla ran the Kingsclere stud operation; King's Troop was home-bred, as were two more Royal Ascot winners in Murrayfield, who won the Coventry Stakes as a two-year-old before finishing in the frame in the 2, Guineas, and handicapper Sharavogue.
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Priscilla was chairman and a long-time director of her local racecourse, Newbury, where she had one of her biggest successes as an owner. Hastings' last visit to a racecourse was to Newbury, for the Hennessy Gold Cup meeting in November last year, and the day after her death her colours were carried into third place at the Berkshire track by Cool Strike.
The Jockey Club, incidentally, no longer runs racing, having seceded governance and regulation to the newly-formed British Horseracing Authority four years ago. It is now a commercial and welfare operation, but before she died Hastings was one of only 23 female members including Johnson Houghton among Hastings took a keen interest and pride in the achievements of her Balding grandchildren Andrew, who now holds the licence at Kingsclere, and Clare, one of the country's most successful broadcasters, not only in racing and general sport but in wider fields. In her profession, Clare has breached what would previously have been regarded as male strongholds, a particular source of pleasure for her strong-minded grandmother.
Priscilla Victoria Bullock, racing trainer: born 28 February ; Director, Tote ; married Peter Hastings later Hastings-Bass; died ; three sons, one daughter ; died Kingsclere, Berkshire 12 August You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Start your Independent Premium subscription today.
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Sign the petition. Spread the word. Steve Coogan. White Star in the center of the forehead. The only thing wrong with this picture is the fence As intelligent as they undoubtedly are, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Ranyhyn have their own form of religion.
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They venerate the original Ranyhyn stallion, Kelenbhrabanal , father of horses and leader of the first Ranyhyn herd. The fact that they do so is a little unusual, since intellectually speaking, Kelenbhrabanal was not the brightest of lightbulbs. In the Land's earliest ages, Lord Foul , being his typical unpleasant self, sent hordes of kresh , outsized yellow wolves to harry the Ranyhyn herds. In an effort to bargain for the end of the conflict, Kelenbhrabanal was talked into playing a game of life or death poker with the Despiser incidentally known on the Plains of Ra as both Fangthane and The Grey Slayer This was never going to be a particularly good plan, since a Lord Foul is a consummate cheat and b it's really hard to keep your hand hidden when all you've got to hold it is hooves.
Sure enough, Kelenbhrabanal quickly lost and accepted his fate, presenting his throat to be rent out by the Lurker - Lord Foul's ally at the time and the only being puissant enough to end the life of such a mighty creature. Kelenbhrabanal, who must have been as dumb as a sack of spanners, expected in dying that the Despiser would keep his side of the bargain and call off his kresh , but needless to say, Lord Foul promptly and gleefully reneged.
The Ranyhyn hold a secret ritual once a year where they venerate the memory of Kelenbhrabanal. This is called the Horse Rite and is basically an equine version of a rave note for the Ravers : sue! A human race called the Ramen not a type of noodle devotedly serve the Ranyhyns' every need. The former either worship the latter or have taken the concept of a giddy adolescent pony girl way WAY too seriously, even inserting nickering sounds into their laughter. The Ramen have never dreamt of being presumptuous enough to ride a Ranyhyn since they pretty much consider themselves the great horses' butlers.
According to official sources, Covenant never mounted a Ranyhyn.
This rare paparazzi photo proves them false. The Ranyhyn are summoned by means of three whistles that form the first three bars of the 'Black Beauty' theme tune.
pierreducalvet.ca/238680.php In semi-spooky fashion, they will invariably reach their chosen riders within minutes of said whistles being given, no matter how far away they may be to start with. It is clear that these talented creatures have the innate ability to gallop through unsung rifts in the space-time continuum in order to achieve this. Once selected by a Ranyhyn, such is their skill that it is impossible for a rider to fall off its mount - even if one has the inner balance of an epileptic on amphetamines.
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