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‘No likelihood’ of retirement for 86-year-old rider after displaying success

  • An 86-year-old whose equestrian career started when his father won £10 on a greyhound race still rides out every morning, was placed at his hunt show this summer – and intends to contest the same show next year.

    Wyndham Perkins and Roly, a horse belonging to his son Gareth who is the master of the Glamorgan, came third in one of the hunter classes at the 2022 Glamorgan Hunt Show.

    Mr Perkins told H&H he secured his first pony by chance.

    “My dad was a Welsh Rugby Union referee and he was in Cardiff Arms Park refereeing one evening,” he said. “They used to have dog racing round the outside and he never bet, but this time, a chap had told him to back one, and he won £10 – and I bought my first Welsh section A yearling.”

    Mr Perkins, then aged eight, had never ridden but later backed and trained the pony, and sold her “for a nice sum of money”.

    “That was the start of it,” he said, explaining that he went on to drive a coloured horse, then bought a point-to-pointer when he was 16.

    “I never won anything, my best was second in a maiden!” he said. “But when my lads came along – I was married at 21 and had three lads – we had pointers, until six years ago. We had a lot of luck with them, a lot of good ones, and that’s what I’ve done, all my life.”

    Asked what he would say to anyone who suggested it might be time to hang up his boots, Mr Perkins said: “No, I don’t think so. No chance! I’m hoping to do that show next year. The lady who came second to me this year was 65, a youngster.”

    Mr Perkins rides Gareth’s hunters every morning and still occasionally follows hounds; the family will host a joint meet with the Avon Vale this year.

    “It keeps me fit,” he said. “I love mucking out and doing everything, and what else would I do?”

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