If At First You Don’t Succeed
If you love working with horses then your passion is a hard one to turn your back on, no matter what happens. They say that it is not the winning, but the taking part that counts. When it comes to sport and there has never been a better example of this than breeder and trainer Bill Davis.
Lengthy Losing Streak
Bill Davis is 87 years old and has been breeding horses for 27 years. During this time, he has bred 16 horses and raced 7 of them. He has also kept and trained orphaned animals. Prior to a recent race meeting at Lingfield, Bill had entered horses in over 250 races but had never had a winner. But his 27 year losing streak finally came to an end last week!
Something for the Trophy Cabinet
Bill’s trophy cabinet had been looking distinctly empty until his horse, Ayr of Elegance, romped to victory at Lingfield in a 6 horse race. He was the short priced favourite but Bill had not placed a bet on him as the trainer had experienced so many loses and a copious amount of bad luck over the years. Ayr of Elegance had previously been declared the winner of a race only for the result to be overturned after an appeal.
In the Blood
With two great uncles who were jockeys, Bill Davis had long been involved with horse racing. Horses became Bill’s passion and, despite his incredible losing streak, he never seriously considered giving up on his dream. He flirted with idea occasionally but would always decide to carry on. He was determined to train a winner but simply loved owning and training horses, regardless of the race results.
Waiting for Disaster to Strike
Trainer Philip Hyde has worked with Bill Davis over the years and was with him at Lingfield when that first victory finally happened. He has said that neither of them were able to enjoy the build-up to the race or the race itself. They both waiting for something to go wrong! Circumstances had always conspired against Bill Davis but this time everything went right.
Bill Davis is the epitome of English grit and spirit. His determination finally paid off after years of hard work. He is not a wealthy man and has put all of his resources into rearing and training his horses. Every horse has had its own story but thankfully both Ayr of Elegance and Bill’s finally enjoyed a happy ending.