Obituary: Lurline Brotherton

Lurline Elliot-Pyle, racehorse owner; born 15 April 1902; married 1938 Charles Brotherton (one son, one daughter); died 3 March 1994.

FOR all her successes as a racehorse owner, and they were considerable, Lurline Brotherton is probably best known for the one that got away. Every owner who gets involved in the sport will always have some tale of missed opportunity, but hers was on a grand scale: she was the woman who sold Red Rum.

Her trainer Bobby Renton bought Red Rum in 1968 after the horse had run frequently on the Flat. Even though he won eight times in all over jumps for her, Red Rum was suffering from arthritis in his feet and was sold at the Doncaster sales for 6,000 guineas to the trainer Ginger McCain on behalf of Noel Le Mare.

The magic of the Grand National was nowhere better illustrated than in the tale of Red Rum, whose new handler stabled his horses behind his car salesroom and trained them on Southport beach, something which undoubtedly helped Red Rum with his problems - and to a record three victories in the Grand National.

But at least Lurline Brotherton had enjoyed success at Aintree before she sold Red Rum. Freebooter, who won the big race in 1950, was one of her first purchases - and without doubt one of her best. He was something of an Aintree stalwart, winning the Grand Sefton Chase under top weight in 1949 before carrying 11st 11lb when beating Wot No Sun by 15 lengths in the following year's National.

With more than 200 victories over jumps, Brotherton was one of the most significant owners of her era. Most of her success was shared with the Ripon trainer Bobby Renton, with whom she first teamed up in 1945. While her main objective was to win the Grand National, her horses were generally as successful at Cheltenham as they were at Aintree. In the same season that Freebooter won the Grand National, 1949-50, she won the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with Blue Raleigh. The big wins of those two horses meant she was champion jumps owner that season. Another Cheltenham winner came a year later with Cushendun in the National Hunt Chase, while her biggest Festival winner was Prudent Barney who won the Cotswold Chase, since renamed the Arkle, in 1962. Two years later he gave his owner another Cheltenham win in the National Hunt Chase.

She was born Lurline Elliot-Pyle, the daughter of an army officer, in 1902, and married Charles Brotherton, an industrialist and philanthropist, in 1938, but was widowed in 1949. Her son David is a member of the Jockey Club, while her daughter Ann Henson has also proved a successful owner, her best horses including the Ayr Gold Cup winner Able Albert.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future