Pony Tales: Beef Dripping. Small bits.

The above photograph shows Brian Fletcher riding into the winner's enclosure at Aintree Racecourse in !974 at the end of Red Rum's second victory in the Grand National. Many people will be aware of Red Rum, the horse, but less so I feel of his rider, Brian Fletcher  who died this year on the 11th of January.
I feel he has been overlooked. He won his first Grand National on Red Alligator in 1968, having been third on him the year before. In 1973 he rode Red Rum to victory, in what has been described as one of the greatest Nationals.

Red Rum wins!

What must be remembered was that Brian Fletcher was the only jockey to chase after the gallant Crisp and thereby able to get up in the final strides to deliver the victory. It was certainly cruel on Crisp who jumped brilliantly throughout and showed how handicaps bring horses together; 'Rum receiving 23 pounds from Crisp. The record race time was to stand for seventeen years, until eclipsed by Mr. Fisk.

In 1974 with the extra 23 pounds on his back, Red Rum won again, proving his durability  and jumping prowess . In the same year, also carrying top weight Red Rum on firm ground won the Scottish Grand National. The only time a horse has won both races in the same year. Another fine performance by horse and jockey Brian Fletcher.

In 1975 Brian  again rode 'Rum in  the Grand National and came second.

In 1976  Brian had a dispute with 'Rum's trainer Donald  ' Ginger'  McCain and never rode Red Rum again. Because of the onset of past injuries Brian retired from racing in '76.
A gentleman jockey with 'good 'hands, Brian Fletcher  18th May 1947- 11 January 2017 will be missed R.I. P.


The picture above is one of Captain Beefheart ( Don Van Vliet's Paintings.)
It is entitled  Zebra Bees.

Don was born on January 15th 1941. He died on December 17, 2010. Had he lived he would now be 75 years of age. His paintings often large in size, up to two metres in height, usually contained creatures and landscape details. He used colours boldly and always filled his canvas; spaces being painted out in white. Many of the paintings show an eco-theme, as Don believed the planet had been badly treated by us humans. There is always something to view in his painting as many items are obscured at first, but later observed at  closer inspection. Some of his work is based on the lyrics of his songs; two examples being" Parapliers The Willow Dipped ' (from Bellerin Plain) and 'Striped Light ' ( from Topical Hot Dog Night ).

Don considered himself a painter in sounds and art. He liked painting, because if he didn't like the product, he simply painted over and started again. In music, of course this process involved band members, studio sessions and time targets. Not surprising  then, that in 1982, he gave up recording and devoted the rest of his life to the canvass.

Original work by Don is highly prized today and I was amazed to see one of his art work on E Bay for the princely sum of over 55.000 $. Not too dusty then !


I'm going to finish this week with a minor rant. Recently I have been looking for a pair of shoes. I have been blessed with size 12 hoofs, so a good look is always needed. What makes me mad, is that finding a possible pair, I sometimes  find that there is nowhere to sit down. I refuse to do a 'flamingo ' act and so walk out of the shop. Sale lost.

May I wish you all a happy and fruitful Chinese New Year ( 28/ 1 / '17 .) " The Year of the Rooster."
Time to crow a little. I believe.

WiFi for now,


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