I had the pleasure of meeting star of National Hunt racing Hunt Ball (Winged Love) at his home in Lambourn. Hunt Ball was bred in 2005 in Ireland before being sent to trainer Keiran Burke for owner Anthony Knott. He became a Cheltenham Festival winner in 2012 in the Novices Handicap Chase and provided a first Cheltenham Festival winner for jockey Nick Scholfield and trainer Keiran Burke.
With 8 wins under his belt, Hunt Ball was sold to America to race. Without success, he returned to the UK to Champion Trainer, Nicky Henderson. Here he clocked up several more wins, a 4th place in the Topham Chase at the Grand National meeting before once again returning to the USA. Hunt Ball then retired from racing in 2015, and now resides in the Berkshire countryside with Sarah Henderson, daughter of Nicky. She used to ride Hunt Ball out when he was in training at Seven Barrows and was offered him back for his retirement from racing.
It was a pleasure to meet Hunt Ball – he was a gentleman and loved having his photo taken! He was fussed over and groomed by the children on the yard who painted his toes and made sure he was spotless, then he stood there posing for his portrait!
A huge thank you to Sarah for letting me photograph Hunt Ball.