There are many racing and breeding enthusiasts around the world who recall the columns once carried by one of the great industry magazines, Pacemaker, under the heading Badger’s Travels. These columns were penned by Grant Pritchard-Gordon, who served as the International Racing and Breeding Manager to Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms for a period of 17 years from 1982 to 1997.
Among his many other achievements during this time, Grant was on hand for the Prince’s first Prix de Triomphe victory with Rainbow Quest, later destined as the leading classic sire in the United Kingdom for two decades. Remarkably, he was also a contributing party to the mating which produced Danehill, the first “world” sire of our time, and he was still around to preside over the sale of Danehill to John Messara’s Arrowfield farm some years later. Rather quaintly, the name Danehill comes not from our Danish connections, as is so often supposed, but from a nearby village in County Essex, a few miles from where Grant grew up.
As an indication of the esteem in which he was regarded by his former employer (and as a tribute to the magnanimity of Prince Khalid Abdullah,) in as generous a gesture as we can imagine, the Prince (first cousin to the King of Saudi Arabia) continued to pay Grant a salary for 5 years after he left Juddmonte. Now that’s a one-off!
Grant is currently on a visit to South Africa, and has taken in a couple of nights at Hartford House while visiting neighboring farms and meeting local breeders and trainers. He was entertained on two occasions by our A & B teams (though not in that order), and kept up well into the wee hours in the process.
We are fortunate at Summerhill to see many international visitors calling on us throughout the year, and Grant is as welcome and distinguished a guest as any.