Henry Purcell - Priston's Peppermint Horse

Henry Purcell
photo provided by Colin Smith
Mrs E.C. Smith outside Church Farm with Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell was known as the Peppermint Horse because of his love of peppermints.

He was owned and trained by Mr E C Smith for his wife Carmen at Church Farm, Priston.  In 1957 he won the Fred Withington Handicap Chase  at Cheltenham, thereby qualifying for the  Grand National.

Sadly, in the Grand National he fell at the infamous Becher's Brook,  broke his back., and had to be shot.

"Tears for Henry" said the racing papers.  Tributes flowed - "Such a pet"; "We shall miss the horse very much"; "The whole village is very upset about it" said George Kelson, Priston's sub-postmaster.  Henry was well known in the village and supplied with peppermints by the children of Priston.

The Daily Express Photo News Extra Headline perhaps said it best - "Priston Mourns its Horse".

With acknowledgements to The Link article by Aylet Anderson and to Colin Smith for the material on Henry Purcell.