Letter: Stars for horses

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The Independent Online
HOROSCOPES FOR horses is not a new idea ("To the best horse trainers, feng shui means faster", 22 August). The brewer William Hall Walker, who lived at Gateacre Grange, Liverpool, a century ago, was the owner of The Soarer, winner of the Grand National in 1895. In 1900 he purchased a farm in Co Kildare, Ireland, to breed racehorses. Every time a foal was born, Walker would cast its horoscope. Only if the horoscope was favourable would the foal be kept and raced. Skylights were incorporated into all the stables to allow the moon and stars to exercise their maximum influence. In 1916 Walker gave the stud to the British Crown, and was rewarded with the title Lord Waver- tree. It is still in being as the Irish National Stud, though astrologers are, I believe, no longer employed.


Gateacre, Liverpool