Horse Racing Vintage Humour Greeting Card. Devon Loch, Queen Mother and Dick Francis.
A5 Greeting Card with brown fleck diamond cut envelope
Blank on the inside for lots of occasions
Printed on high quality carbon neutral silk 300gsm board
Caption on front reads "Don't worry Ma'am, Princess Margaret gave Devon Loch his pre-Grand Natioanl drink."
Owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and ridden by Dick Francis, Devon Loch had won two races already that season and finished third in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. His progress was helped when the favourite, Must, and a previous winner, Early Mist, fell early on.
He went to the front of the race with three jumps remaining, cleared the last half a length ahead of E.S.B., and took a commanding lead on the final stretch. Then, in front of the royal box just 40 yards from the winning post and five lengths ahead, he suddenly inexplicably jumped into the air and landed on his stomach, allowing E.S.B. to overtake and win. Although jockey Dick Francis tried to cajole the horse, it was unable to continue. Afterwards, the Queen Mother said: "Oh, that's racing."
It is still uncertain and debated to this day as to why Devon Loch jumped; some reports claimed he suffered a cramp in his hindquarters causing the collapse. Another report asserted that a shadow thrown by the adjacent water-jump fence (which horses only traverse on the first circuit of the Aintree course) may have baffled Devon Loch into thinking a jump was required and – confused as to whether he should jump or not – he half-jumped and collapsed. Jockey Dick Francis later stated that a loud cheer from the crowd, for an expected royal winner, distracting the horse is a more likely explanation.
Reports that the horse had suffered a heart attack were dismissed, as Devon Loch recovered far too quickly for this to have been the case. He lived another six years