Downton Abbey star is now thoroughbred horse owner

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville

Actor Hugh Bonneville has become the latest high profile owner with Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, Europe’s leading racehorse syndication company.

The British actor, who plays Lord Grantham in the popular ITV Drama Downton Abbey, of which the eagerly anticipated Christmas special will be shown on Christmas Day, is now part owner of two race horses in one of the Highclere syndicates. The horses will be trained by Richard Hannon and Sir Michael Stoute next season.

As well as starring in Downton Abbey, Bonneville, who is also famous for his roles in Notting Hill and Twenty Twelve, said “I am thrilled to become an owner with Highclere. I thought it was about time I became properly educated in the Sport of Kings. It’s a terrific opportunity and to be able to attend the races as an owner really is very exciting. I can’t wait.”

Highclere Thoroughbred Racing was started in 1992 by the son of the late seventh Earl of Carnarvon, the Hon. Harry Herbert, whose family home; Highclere Castle is where Downton Abbey is filmed. Twenty years on, HTR is regarded as one of the most successful racing syndicates in the world with seven champions to date including the 2010 world champion, Harbinger whose wins included the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, where he knocked half a second off the track record. HTR currently own one of the leading contenders for next year’s Investec Derby, Telescope who is part owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United Manager.

Harry Herbert said, “It is great to have Hugh on board as one of our owners at Highclere and we wish him all possible luck with these two lovely yearlings. Both have fabulous pedigrees and have once again been bought by my brother in law, John Warren whose record is second to none.”

John Warren is a Director of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing and is also bloodstock advisor to Her Majesty The Queen. Hugh is part of the ‘Petrushka Syndicate’ which owns two yearlings, a filly by Fastnet Rock, out of Labisa trained by Richard Hannon and a colt by Danehill Dancer, out of Riberac trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

Bonneville has joined other celebrity owners at Highclere which include Elizabeth Hurley, Lawrence Dallaglio, Denise Lewis, Sir Alex Ferguson and Ben Fogle. (Press release)

Maybe 2013 Kentucky Derby Tours and horse racing fans participants will be treated to a “royal” visit at the  2013 Kentucky Derby.