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The real-life horse whisperer: Meet the owner who travels in the box with his runners as part of amazing emotional bond

, The real-life horse whisperer: Meet the owner who travels in the box with his runners as part of amazing emotional bond

ANDY EDWARDS isn’t your average racehorse owner.

If anything, the retired businessman is a real-world horse whisperer!

Edwards says he is very emotionally connected to his horses and buys them based on the feelings he gets from them
The owners spends his summers in the fields with horses – and his intuition is being proved with some successful runners on the track

The part-owner of Saturday’s Scilly Isles favourite L’Homme Presse is as unconventional as they come.

The vast majority of owners will go to the sales or send a bloodstock agent on their behalf to bid for the horses at auction.

They will read up on a horse’s pedigree, study their gait and assess their physical make-up before signing on the dotted line.

But for Edwards, the most important factor in any purchase is the strength of his emotional connection with each individual horse.

He spends his summers travelling around stud farms in France buying horses straight out of the field.

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When he meets ‘the one’, he knows it straight off the bat.

Edwards explained: “Most people have a connection with their horses, but I am very emotionally connected with them.

“I have my own philosophy and do things very differently. A friend of mine said I like to buy lost souls, but I don’t see it that way.

“If I connect with a horse I connect with a horse, they each deserve the chance to be the best they can be.

“I will spend time during the summer travelling to different breeders, or they will ring me and say they’ve some nice horses if I want to take a look.

“I will go out walking in the fields amongst the horses with my dogs and I will connect with them.

I CONNECT WITH A HORSE AND SAY, ‘THAT ONE’

“I can’t fully explain how I do it, I empty myself of any other thoughts and I just try and listen to them and understand them.

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“There will be horses that I connect with and I will turn to the breeder and say, ‘I’ll have that one, that one and that one’.

“They’ll often turn to me and ask me if I’m sure – they probably think I’m mad – but it’s how I like to do things.”

When it came to L’Homme Presse, it was love at first sight.

The Venetia Williams-trained seven-year-old is among the top British-trained novice chasers around, despite a string of physical issues earlier in his life.

Edwards, who owns the horse with his wife, Pam, and friends Peter and Patricia Pink, has had to be patient. But it’s paying off.

He said: “The minute I turned up to the yard in Normandy, straight away I formed a bond with L’Homme Presse.

“He had a tendon injury when I bought him but that didn’t matter. We were always going to give him all the time he needed, the same as any horse.

“The leg injury hasn’t been the only headache – last January he trod on a four-inch screw which went right through his hoof.

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, The real-life horse whisperer: Meet the owner who travels in the box with his runners as part of amazing emotional bond

Edwards even travels in the horse box with his runners on the way to the races
, The real-life horse whisperer: Meet the owner who travels in the box with his runners as part of amazing emotional bond
L’Homme Presse looks an absolute superstar and could be a big Cheltenham Festival winner

“We were lucky as it could have ended his career. As with every top athlete, things are never straightforward.”

To Edwards, his horses are likely family members, and he will keep up his tradition of joining L’Homme Presse in the horse box to Sandown.

And with a little over five weeks’ to go until the Cheltenham Festival, he issued a rallying cry for downbeat British racing fans who are expecting another Irish domination.

He said: “I like to travel in the box with the horses on the way to the races to give them mental and emotional reassurance.

“For me, to have bought this horse as a big, gangly baby and to see him get back from injury to run at this level is amazing.

“I’m not an owner but a privileged partner in the horse’s life journey. L’Homme Presse is a happy horse, he had a little holiday after his last start and is full of himself.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom around about British horses, but there are two top British-trained novices at Sandown today.

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“Cheltenham is a British Festival, not an Irish one. We need to believe in ourselves and get behind our horses. Hopefully L’Homme Presse can win some new fans today.”

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