David Nicholson.

MissDeMeena

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Probably old news to some of you.. but just read his obituary in the paper!
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RIP
 

LEC

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What a shame - he optimised to me NH racing. I have also read some fantastic stories about him.
 

SJFAN

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I heard the news on radio (5 Live) yesterday. He was a real horseman. Poignant that he should die on Sunday, the day of Zara's WEG win - he was the trainer of horses that Princess Anne rode under NH rules, and one-time employer of Zara's former boyfriend.
 

Maesfen

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I didn't know at all; I'm going to miss him - he WAS National Hunt racing as far as I was concerned.
My condolences to his family and anyone else close to him whether they rode or worked for him; he will leave a big gap for NH fans.
 

sleepingdragon10

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RACING was in mourning on Monday for David Nicholson, a towering figure in jump racing and twice its champion trainer.

He died on Sunday evening after collapsing while being driven home from Cheltenham Hospital, where he had been written a prescription for antibiotics after a chest complaint worsened. He was 67.

Passionate about the sport, Nicholson was forthright in his views – and the way that he expressed them.

In racing, he was universally known as the Duke. A leading jump jockey for 20 years, he then turned to training and will be best remembered for winning the 1988 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Charter Party and the skilful handling of other leading lights including Viking Flagship, Waterloo Boy, Barton Bank, Very Promising and Broadsword.

A lasting testimony will be the now well-known names that Nicholson assisted in giving a step up the ladder at pivotal stages of their careers.

Employees, who like their mentor went on to achieve at the highest level, included Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody, Adrian Maguire, Richard Johnson, James Fanshawe, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Jamie Osborne and, more recently, Alan King.

Nicholson had accepted an invitation to be a guest at King’s annual owners’ day on Sunday at Barbury Castle Stables in Wiltshire.

It was one of his favourite occasions of the summer, but he was not feeling well enough to go, due to his asthma and an attendant chest infection.

Dinah, his wife of 44 years, represented them. When she returned to their home near Stow-on-the-Wold in the Cotswolds he was no better, though he had been watching racing on television and had also cheered on Zara Phillips, the daughter of another of his race-riding proteges, the Princess Royal, to her triumph in the three-day eventing competition at the World Equestrian Games.

Mrs Nicholson said on Monday: “David was watching the television and was awfully chuffed about Zara winning her gold medal. His chest had been bad for ages, so I said we ought to get him some antibiotics.

“As it was a Bank Holiday weekend it meant driving to the hospital to get a prescription. He was seen by the duty doctor there, who wasn’t unduly concerned and said he was just a bit bronchial and duly wrote him a prescription.” She added: “Then driving home David collapsed in the car. I pulled into a lay-by and phoned for an ambulance, which took him back to Cheltenham, but he never regained consciousness. He wouldn’t have known a thing about it.”

One of Nicholson’s landmark achievements was severing Martin Pipe’s stranglehold on the jump trainers’ championship. Pipe had won the title for five consecutive seasons until Nicholson beat him in 1993-94 and again the following season, before Pipe regained his position to dominate once more until upstaged last season by Paul Nicholls.

Intensely competitive, and renowned for finger-wagging arguments, the invariably red-socked Nicholson was however the best of sports and when beaten would be the first to congratulate the winner, no matter how difficult he found defeat to stomach.

In a tribute on Monday, Nicky Henderson said he was a larger-than-life man who had given everything to racing.

“He adored the sport, the horses, the people and the game itself,” Henderson said. “He was a man with huge, huge principles and had his opinions, which were always well presented. He became a great friend and everyone respected him.”

As a mark of respect jockeys rode at Huntingdon wearing black armbands.
At Newcastle, racegoers remembered him during a minute’s silence before the first race.

After training almost 1,500 winners, Nicholson retired in 1999 at the age of 60 after a latterly less than harmonious time at Jackdaws Castle.

“I’d become fed up being told by certain people that it was my fault when a horse went wrong, when it most definitely wasn’t my fault,” he said in an interview the following year.

He was replaced by Richard Phillips, and turned down landlord Colin Smith’s offer to remain on the team in a consultancy capacity.

Seeking employment, he was appointed BHB bloodstock representative in 2002, with the brief to promote British-bred horses.

He relished the opportunity and in recent weeks had attended sales at Deauville and Doncaster.

Nicholson is also survived by his sons, John and Phil. He also has a brother, Richard.
 

sleepingdragon10

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Well can't say I don't agree with you there........did seem odd that he would be sent away, especially given that he appears to have been suffering from chest complaints for a while now
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I'm just sad that he's gone, used to love watching his horses run, especially Viking Flagship and Moorcroft Boy. It does also mention on the RP site that Cheltenham racecourse will be doing something in his honour
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Naming a race after him I think, although don't quote me on that.
 

C_T

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Its hard to blame the hospital though - if it sounded like a chest infection, and he was prone to him antibiotics are really only all they can do. Even if they had kept him he would have only been on antibiotics and would have been taking up a hospital bed (i was working at cheltenham hospital sunday night and it was busy as u get all the bank hol drunks and idiots in) doctors probably thought he'd get more rest at home. Ok if they'd kept him maybe he would have survived but then again maybe not.
 

sleepingdragon10

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Sorry, I didn't mean that I "blame" the hospital, far from it......and as you say, there's no way of knowing what might have happened had he stayed in hospital instead. It's just very sad that he's gone.
 

Aleka81

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RIP.
The amount of people this man employed and educated was amazing. He gave me my first 2 years of racing education and created the enthusiasm I still have.
I will be forever grateful.
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