If football is a beautiful game, there is a sport that has attracted many a masters of it like moth to a flame. Hailed as the sport of kings, horse racing, with beautiful brutes dashing down the path for victory and sheer glory, has caught attention of old and new of the football world for quite some time. We tell you the famous ones who have fallen for the stallion:
There are a few equestrian fans in Real Madrid squad, but Sergio Ramos tops the list. The Spaniard claims to have ‘loved horses for as long as I can remember’. At his SR4 stud farm near Seville, he has taken his hobby to passion. Ramos’ family and friends could not contain their joy and jumped in the stands when his horse – Yucatan won the Salon Internacional del Caballo (the grand final for the Spanish national championships for PRE stallions and mares) in November.
A known lover of horses, the World Cup winning German shares the passion with wife Lisa who is a semi-pro dressage rider. He enjoys breeding horses, and his dream is for Lisa to ride a horse he has bred, but he is banned from riding by Bayern. The self-acclaimed ‘managing director of carrots’ at their stables, loves to spend time in the stables. Recently, Müller and Pizarro named their co-owned two-year-old stallion Don Jupp after Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes.
He had a perfect Christmas this time when his part-owned gelding, Clan Des Obeaux, victory at the £250,000 King George VI Chase at Kempton and Manchester United posted two wins. Before Clan Des Obeaux, it was Rock of Gibraltar that brought him a fair share of headlines. The former Red Devils coach was gifted a huge stake in the 2002 European Horse of the Year by Manchester United shareholder John Magnier. After winning scores of races, by the time ‘Rocky’ went to stud, he was valued at £200m. After a legal dispute over his breeding fees, Ferguson settled for £2.5m.
The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United striker owns not just a horse but an entire stable. He found Manor House Stables in Cheshire in 2006 and that is where most of his devotion lies since he hung up his boots in 2013. It was the ‘saddest day’ of his life when his horse Brown Panther, who won the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011, was put down. Owen even took to the saddle and made his debut in 2017 when he finished second in a charity race at Ascot.
The Peruvian is heralded as the best foreigner of the Bundesliga, still going strong and scoring goals for Werder Bremen at 40. There is, however, another interesting fact about him – he apparently owns more than 50 race horses in Argentina. Though he likes to bet on American racing, he always maintains that he bets only small amounts. He once co-owned Crying Lightening with controversial Joey Barton, who liked naming horses after popular songs.