LEWES trainer Gerry Enright sent out his last runner as a trainer at Plumpton yesterday when he saddled up Bonny Major for long-time owner-breeder Arthur Ashford.
He announced his retirement before the meeting saying: ” I’m 64 now and have been in racing since I became an apprentice jockey at the age of 14 to Gordon Smythe at Lewes. I’ve been at it for 50 years and it’s time to call it a day. ”
After five years with Gordon Smythe, he was a Flat jockey with Arthur Stephenson from 1971-2, but with his weight increasing he moved to Bishop Auckland trainer Arthur Stephenson where his brother John was based, to try his luck over jumps. But the only winners he rode there ironically were on the Flat at Teeside and Musselborough, so he returned south and went on to be a National Hunt jockey with Josh Gifford at Findon from 1972-1986.
There he met his wife Midge. He won the Imperial Cup in 1975 and the Lanzarote Hurdle in the same year on Nougat, then the SGB Hurdle in 1977 and the Kirk and Kirk Hurdle on Kybo.
In the mid 1980’s he and Midge moved to a yard at Bolney to manage a stables for Peter Hopkins, an owner with Josh Gifford and was later given a lease on the stables, taking a training licence. Three years later, he and Midge moved to their current 18-box yard at The Oaks Stables at Lewes from where he says Golden Fox and Highpoint were probably his best horses.
“Highpoint was outstanding. He won a total of nine races for me and was placed many times. I still have him and he is 17 now – and I intend to do some showjumping with him during the summer, which he will enjoy.”
Gerry also did well with home bred horses for owner Arthur Ashord, with the likes of Polly Major, Polly Minor, Carly Bay – and yesterday’s runner Bonny Major. Although Bonny Major as unplaced yesterday, she is a young and relatively inexperienced horse at the age of five and still has a bright future ahead of her- and her owner says she will probably go point to pointing in the future.
A holiday in the sun will also be a high priority for Midge and Gerry this year- and they will continue to be based at The Oaks where they may turn their 18-box premises into a livery yard.
Full Plumpton report to follow