Trevor Hemmings (Image: Getty Images)
Want the day’s sports headlines straight to your inbox? Our FREE newsletter will keep you ahead of the game
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign me up!We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice
Tributes continue to pour in from around the world following the death of popular horse racing owner Trevor Hemmings.
The Preston North End owner passed away on Monday aged 86.
Hedgehunter provided Willie Mullins with his first and only victory to date in the Grand National 16 years ago under Ruby Walsh. It was also Hemmings' first success in the race before Ballabriggs (2011) and Many Clouds (2015).
Paying tribute, Mullins said: “We had a great day with Trevor Hemmings and Hedgehunter.
“It was a dream come true to win the National – it gave us one of the great days in my training career.
“He (Hemmings) was a man who it was an honour and a pleasure to train for.”
Donald McCain, who trained Ballabriggs, added: “It was a huge shock. He’d been in touch fairly recently and he even used to ring my mum now and again just to keep an eye on her.
“Obviously he was fantastic to me. Dad trained for him in his latter years but for me as a first-season trainer to have horses for Trevor Hemmings was a huge thing and he supported me every year through thick and thin for every year that I’ve been training.
“He’s been a wonderful man for me and a lot of other trainers. He was very fair and while it’s corny, he was just a gentleman. He was a wonderful supporter to me, you can’t underestimate the reason why he was so successful and that is because he allowed you to train horses the way they should be trained.
“He was not just a great man but he was a great friend to the family as well.
Grand National winner parade with Ballabriggs, his trainer Donald McCain and owner Trevor Hemmings (left)
“Cloudy Lane was the first good horse I had for him and Mr Hemmings bred him as well, we had some great fun with him even before Ballabriggs came along, he won at the (Cheltenham) Festival and was favourite for the National the following year (finished sixth).
“It was no fluke that he won three Grand Nationals, he allowed you to do the job, he never rushed you.
“He’s a great loss to National Hunt racing but in particular the northern National Hunt racing scene, that can’t be underestimated as he was a great supporter of many trainers in the north.”
Oliver Sherwood, who trained Many Clouds, described Hemmings as the “perfect owner”.
He told Sky Sports Racing: “It was a real shock to get a text from David Minton (bloodstock agent) last night. He’d been in really good form recently, he hadn’t been in any ill health, so it was a huge shock.
“We had some great days with Many Clouds and I’ll be forever in their debt. Without Trevor’s input I wouldn’t have even run him in the National because I thought it was a year too soon.
“After his slightly disappointing run in the Gold Cup, Trevor said we had nothing to lose and the rest is history.”
Reflecting on that National success, Sherwood added: “I won’t forget that weekend for as long as I live. Trevor flew down the next day in his helicopter and celebrated with all the locals in Lambourn and paid for everybody to have a drink.
“It was a huge turnout in the centre of Lambourn, which will stick in my mind forever. We’ve still got a huge picture in our yard now of ‘Clouds’ in the square in Lambourn. They were very special days.
“Many Clouds was one of many good horses Trevor owned. I think he had a soft spot for all his National winners.
“Trevor would be the first to say he was a very lucky man to have the horses he did, but then he enjoyed the highs and knew the lows that came with owning racehorses. He knew the game inside out as well, which is very important.
Jockey Leighton Aspell celebrates after winning the Grand National on Many Clouds
“He was the perfect owner. He let us get on with it and knew we knew the horses better than anybody.”
AP McCoy was among those to take to social media to pay his respects to leading owner Trevor Hemmings, who died on Monday evening, aged 86.
McCoy won 11 races on Albertas Run, arguably the classiest horse Hemmings ever owned given he won the 2008 Royal & SunAlliance Chase and the Ryanair twice, in 2010 and 2011.
He also won the Grade One Melling Chase at Aintree in 2010.
McCoy took to Twitter to say: “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.”
Paul Nicholls won back-to-back Scottish Nationals for Hemmings with Vicente in 2016 and 2017, and said: “Incredibly sad to learn of the passing of Mr Hemmings. A truly fantastic supporter of National Hunt racing for decades who will be sorely missed. All of team Ditcheat’s thoughts are with Mr Hemmings’ closet family and friends. May he rest in peace.”
Tom Scudamore was on board Cloth Cap who won the Ladbrokes Trophy last November.
He posted: “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”
Mick Fitzgerald rode the likes of Afsoun, Blue Shark, Trabolgan and Juveigneur to big-race wins in Hemmings’ famous colours. He tweeted: “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.”
Sam Twiston-Davies rode Vicente to both of his Scottish National successes and added: “Incredibly sad to hear the passing of Trevor Hemmings. An absolute gentleman to deal with and did so much for racing. Condolences to his family. R.I.P.”
Sue Smith trained more winners for Hemmings than any other trainer. The likes of The Last Fling and Vintage Clouds – a winner at the Cheltenham Festival this year – were among the best of them.
“Very sad news. A great owner but more importantly a great friend,” said Smith
Nick Alexander trains Lake View Lad, an emotional winner of a race named in memory of Many Clouds at Aintree.
“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,” said Alexander.
Tim Easterby was another northern trainer to provide Hemmings with a Cheltenham winner, when Hawk High won the Fred Winter in 2014.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Trevor Hemmings, a true gentleman and great support of racing. Our thoughts are with his family and friends,” said Easterby.
Get the latest sports headlines straight to your inbox by signing up for free email alerts
Preston North End and horse racing owner Trevor Hemmings dies aged 86
RTE Viewers call Barney Curley a 'legend' after documentary airs on Monday