It’s nearly Grand National time, so here’s a look at a few times the world of football and horse racing mixed.
And some have taken the hobby even further…
A big horse racing fan, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos even has his own stud farm in Seville, Spain. And he’s not the only one at the Bernabeu, with team-mate Keylor Navas also a known enthusiast and owner of several horses back in his native Costa Rica.
It’s not something that you would immediately associate with the stars of Los Blancos, but evidently they have a strong interest in horses and will perhaps look to it as something to focus on when they decide to call time on their playing careers.
The Arsenal legend is involved in the Crowd Racing Partnership – they own Born To Finish. 2017 was a great year for them as they enjoyed three race victories – two at Lingfield and one at Kempton.
“This is my first go at ownership and I’m in the group with people and it’s really nice when you’re with everybody. They’re all so excited about it because we all have a little piece of him. A hat-trick of wins was unbelievable,” Wright said at the time.
Naturally, a winning horse will always justify investing time and money in the sport, and Wright will certainly be hoping for a few more wins in the future.
Slightly different from the above, Thomas Muller’s wife Lisa is a semi-professional dressage rider, though of course these are for show rather than racing.
Nevertheless, as seen in the image below, the Bayern Munich star has shown his support to his better half by attending various events and has previously stated that he finds it quite relaxing to be around horses, which is quite handy given his missus owns her own stable.
Joey Barton has owned several horses, including one he owned jointly with Claudio Pizarro!
The former Newcastle midfielder is also known to give his horses weird names – often naming them after songs by his favourite bands like The Smiths and The Arctic Monkeys.
Sir Alex Ferguson
An unwanted distraction for some time during his Manchester United reign, Sir Alex Ferguson had a stake in the Rock of Gibraltar.
That was the 2002 horse of the year, though it led to rows between Ferguson and his partners over money he allegedly felt he was owed.