John Gosden has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in recognition of his services to horseracing.
Famed most recently for his handling of the great Golden Horn, Gosden, 65, has twice been crowned champion trainer and has sent out over 3,000 career winners, including eight British Classics.
Married to Rachel Hood, with two sons and two daughters, Gosden was born in Hove on March 30, 1951, the son of former trainer ‘Towser’ Gosden.
He was educated at Cambridge University, where he studied economics, and worked in land development in Venezuela before becoming assistant to Sir Noel Murless and Vincent O’Brien, after which he moved to assist Tommy Doyle in California.
He took out his first training licence in 1979 in the United States, training over 500 winners in California, including the filly Royal Heroine in the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
He returned to England to train in 1989, originally at Stanley House Stables before moving to Manton. He is now based at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket.
Gosden’s 1,000th winner in Britain came through Much Ado at Lingfield on November 14, 2000, with his first domestic Classic success having been Shantou in the 1996 St Leger. Benny The Dip landed the Derby the following year.
Three more victories in the Leger have come with Lucarno, Arctic Cosmos and Masked Marvel, while Lahan won the 1,000 Guineas and the brilliant Taghrooda claimed the Oaks, as well as beating the colts in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Raven’s Pass helped Gosden make history in 2008 when becoming the first horse trained in Britain to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, in which he was ridden by the trainer’s long-time ally Frankie Dettori.
Dettori has renewed his partnership with his mentor in the last few years to particularly good effect, most notably through Golden Horn, with whom they won the Derby, Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in a glittering 2015.
Gosden won the Cambridgeshire with Halling before he moved to Godolphin, while other top-class horses to have passed through his hands include Ryafan, Muhtarram, Observatory, Oasis Dream, Dar Re Mi, Nathaniel, Kingman, Jack Hobbs and Shalaa.
Former jockey and racecourse manager Sam Morshead said he was “overjoyed” after being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in recognition of his services to horseracing and charity.
The 61-year-old rode over 400 winners during his racing career, which included spells as first jockey to Fred Rimell, but moved into racecourse management after injury forced him to hang up his saddle.
Morshead graduated from being a trainee clerk of the course at Ayr before going on to act as clerk at Musselburgh, Kelso and Perth.
He then took up the general manager role at Perth racecourse in 1994 and continued in that position until his retirement last December.
Morshead is credited with having played a major part in turning around the fortunes of Perth, taking the track’s attendance from the lowest average Scottish crowd to one of the highest, as well as overseeing £6million of developments at the course.
While Morshead is delighted to have been honoured, he is keen to share the accolade with the team at Perth.
He said: “I am overjoyed and just so excited. It is a fantastic honour and I am truly humbled by it all.
“However, I do know that this honour is not all mine and it must be shared with my chairman at Perth, David Whitaker, who sadly is not with us but will be enjoying this from above, and my simply brilliant team at Perth racecourse.”
The charitable work of former rider and trainer Rhona Elliott has also been recognised by an MBE for services to horse racing and charitable services to people with multiple sclerosis in the Scottish Borders.
Elliott, who is an MS sufferer, is the inspiration behind the MS Borders Racing Club, which was set up to help raise awareness of the condition. The club, which has 40 members, has three horses in training, two with Nicky Richards and one with Iain Jardine.
“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I am a little bit embarrassed about it. I don’t feel I am really worthy of it.”
Also awarded an MBE is Tim Adams, chairman of the Leger Legends committee and a trustee of the Northern Racing College.
Olympic gold medal-winning showjumper Nick Skelton, father of racehorse trainer Dan and jump jockey Harry Skelton, has been made a CBE.