Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


And so the Cheltenham Festival is over for another year. Racing's most spectacular event has ended with shocks, surprises, happiness and sadness.

Kauto Star's exit from the Gold Cup produced a rare sight: applause and respect filled the grounds when Ruby Walsh pulled the horse up with 13 more jumps to go.

For me, the 2012 Gold Cup made me realise how much I love the sport as well as how much it made me realise I want to be a horse racing journalist.

Unfortunately I had a briefing at work at 3:30pm yesterday and as it takes me 15 minutes to drive there, I had to leave home five minutes before race time. 

'Damn', I thought. 'This year's Gold Cup is going to be magnificent but I was going to miss it.' 

Thank goodness for radio though! I tuned into the race and was able to listen to the commentary. Pheww! I wouldn't have to know the result of the race after everyone else. 

But I did something which I had never done before when listening to a race, or watching one for that matter. When Walsh pulled Kauto Star up, I cried. 

I know what some of you may be thinking, 'Crying over a horse?! That's pretty extreme.'

But Kauto Star isn't just any horse - he's a champion. He's respected throughout the racing world: he's a superstar. 

He has brought joy to the sport. Not only did we enjoy watching him race, but he loved racing. He doesn't want to be standing in a field chewing on grass all day long; he wants to be racing with Ruby and having crowds of spectators applauding him.

But then the race got to the crucial stage - it got so tense that I had to pull into the nearest car-park to listen to it.

I backed Midnight Chase as he is a Cheltenham horse, so I was at the edge of my seat when Dougie Costello was leading him round the course.

Goodness knows what people in the other cars thought: 'What is that girl doing waving her arms in the air and yelling at herself?'

A.P McCoy rode Synchronised to a glorious victory. No doubt about it. He niggled the horse throughout the race, giving him constant reminders and pushing him to first place.

He deserved the win but even though Long Run was heavily backed he failed to make an impact. Tony did a brilliant job. 

But Kauto Star will always be remembered in the 2012 Gold Cup as a hero, not a disappointment. He has made non-horse racing fans enjoy racing. People know who Kauto Star is. 

His name will go down in history along with the likes of Best Mate, Dawn Run and Red Rum. I think you will agree with me on this one because this sporting legend deserves it. 

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