DAVID ARNOLD - Long arm of the law held stable lad aloft

Jockey Scobie Breasley is pictured with a police escort just after riding Sussex-trained Charlottown to victory in the 1966 Derby at Epsom. SUS-150324-135818001 SUS-150324-135818001
Jockey Scobie Breasley is pictured with a police escort just after riding Sussex-trained Charlottown to victory in the 1966 Derby at Epsom. SUS-150324-135818001 SUS-150324-135818001

Here’s another sporting story also involving the imbibing of alcohol but it’s a tale with a far happier ending than the one that befell poor Noah Mann.

In 1966 a horse called Charlottown, trained by Gordon Smyth of Heath House Stables to the rear of the Lewes Prison, caused a Sussex sensation when he won the Derby at Epsom.

After the race the horse returned to Lewes and was “led in” by the Head Lad, Michael Jervis, who lived in the town’s South Street.

That evening scores of the local jockeys and stable lads took to the streets to noisily celebrate.

At one point Lewes Police Station took a call from the Cliffe area complaining about some over-enthusiastic youths.

Constable Don Marsh made the initial response. I now quote from a 2004 book of memories and reminiscences, “The Police In Lewes”: “When a sergeant arrived a short time later, Don could be seen on Cliffe Corner talking earnestly to a lad. The pair were walking slowly across the car park and looking eye to eye. The only thing out of the ordinary was that the stable lad was only four feet nothing whereas Don was six feet something.

“It became evident that the stable lad was at least two feet off the ground and being held securely aloft by the scruff of his shirt the whole time that he was being suitably advised about his future conduct that evening.”

Charlottown won seven of his 10 races and was voted British Horse of the Year by the Racecourse Association in 1966.