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Pennine Lobell by Denise Jones

Dark Bay gelding 1984 by Rajah Lobell out of Pennine Way

Pennine Lobell started life in Cumbria bred by M. Kennedy in 1984. His racing career started in Llanerch, racing twice before being purchased by Ken Lloyd, Waterstreet Farm, New Radnor. Bought as a four year old straight off the top of a hill he travelled down to Roy Wilson's yard in Llanbister. There were a few problems before he got onto a racetrack, an operation was needed to remove an abcess which had been caused by not being castrated correctly. He had the operation with the vet telling Ken "pay me when he wins a race!" After the 'op' he went back to Waterstreet farm, with a hole underneath him the size of a jam jar. Ken's wife Norah nursed him back to good health, hosing the hole out everyday.

The following season he returned to Roy ready for work. Helping Roy ride out, this was where I came across Pennine standing at 16.1 hh and built like a thoroughbred he was quite a handful, but a real gentleman. Pennine went to Knighton races in May where he won thus helping to pay for his 'op'! Roy and Pennine went on to win many more races, including Monmouth Show heat and final and he finished the season by winning Grade B heat and final in the charity races at Brecon.

Roy then decided to go to British Harness so Pennine came to me to train. Our first season together (1992) was quite successful out of 13 runs winning 5 being placed in 5. The next five seaons were very enjoyable with Pennine being placed on most outings. In 1993 he won the final at Presteigne when he dead heated with Perfect Spirit.

Pennine was very consistent throughout his racing career being able to win at 1 mile, 11/4 and 11/2 miles. In the six seasons Pennine raced with me he qualified for 5 finals at Penybont, never quite making the line in front. When he started racing with me he was racing off a handicap of 10 yards in the Grade B and in 1993 he ended up off 30 yards in the Grade A.

Pennine started the '95 season quite late racing for the first time in July, this was due to the fact he came in later than usual making time for youngsters and he was that fat we nearly sent him to weight-watchers! Pennine ran his first saddle race in 1995 at Gilwern off 40 yards and carrying me! We came over the line first and Ken's verdict was "he be a good saddle horse!!!" Then on Auguct bank holiday Monday Pennine qualified for the 1,000 final at Llandrindod races. With two horses in the final I chose to drive the other one and 'Ian' Isaacs drove Pennine. Off the gate Pennine stayed in front from start to finish, this perhaps being his biggest win.

We trained Pennine around the farm, getting cattle in was one of his skills, but if they ran off kicking their heels, Pennine would think he could do the same, and join them, then you'd have to hold on tight! Pennine completed another two seasons with more wins and placings both in saddle and sulky races to add to his record.

At the end of the 1997 season we decided to retire him. After doing virtually all that was asked of him and at the age of 13 the time had come for him to go out to grass at Waterstreet farm. Which is where he is today, fatter than he has ever been and enjoying his freedom, behaving like the gentleman he truly is.

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