While Sir Alex Ferguson became renowned for his ‘Hairdryer treatment’ at Manchester United, he certainly wouldn’t talk to a horse in that manner.
During his time at Old Trafford, the notorious manager scared the life out of his players, motivating them to put it all on the line for the team. And it’s fair to say, his methods worked. Over 26 seasons, the gaffer showcased his tactical prowess, guiding the Manchester club to a grand total of 13 Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy for good measure.
However, looking after horses is an entirely different kettle of fish to coaching a team of rowdy football players. The Scot has always enjoyed the sport and currently owns 32 of the animals.
Back in 2000, Sir Alex’s most famous horse, Rock of Gibraltar, emerged victorious in a First Classic in the Guineas, showcasing that the legendary coach knows what he’s doing. And he can still remember how his journey into the racing world originally started.
Sir Alex Ferguson loves horse racing
In an interview with Racing TV, he reminisced: “To be honest, the route I got into racing was through my father. He was a great horse fan. He used to have his Timeform book every Saturday morning, looking through all the information you could get about every race.
“I didn’t really take it up, in terms of ownership at least, until 1997/98 when there was an international break. I said to my wife, ‘Why don’t we go to the racing’? ‘Where did you get that from?’, she said. We went to Cheltenham, and I got hooked on it.
“We bought a horse with Jack Berry, and from there on, I now have 32 horses! It is a fantastic sport in terms of a release for me away from football. “
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals why he can’t tell a horse what to do
While the fearsome motivator had no issue with bossing around his players, he’s more than happy to let his horses off the hook.
He laughed: “To be honest, I think my competitive element was left in football. I never question the racing trainer or get upset if the horse loses. This is a different sport for me.
“I can’t tell a horse what to do, whereas at least I could tell players what to do. So, in that respect, I am not a critical person at all. I enjoy being there.”
The icon concluded: “Of course if you win, then it is really enjoyable being there, particularly big races, Spirit Dancer, who is racing here tomorrow, has given us great joy.
“I have started a stud down in Hemel Hempstead and that was the first product of the stud with Frankel, with Queen’s Dream too, and we have done well; one or two have done very well.”
Featured Image Credit: Getty