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The French Furze

The French Furze
The French Furze at the 2007 Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Sire Be My Guest
Dam Exciting
Grandsire Northern Dancer
Damsire Mill Reef
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1994
Country Ireland
Color Chestnut
Breeder Stonethorn Stud Farms LTD
Owner Jim Ennis
Trainer Nicky Richards
Record 11-12-8
Earnings £232,499
The French Furze is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Exciting by Be My Guest. He was born around 1994 in Ireland, and was bred by Stonethorn Stud Farms LTD.
Major wins
Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2003)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The French Furze (foaled on May 10th, 1994 in Ireland) is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse, born to sire, Be My Guest and dam, Exciting.[1] He is owned by Jim Ennis and was trained by Nicky Richards. Throughout his time as a racehorse, he was ridden by several famous jockeys, including Brian Harding, Tony Dobbin and Tony McCoy among others.[2] At the time of his retirement, The French Furze had amassed a career record of 11 wins, 12 places and 8 shows while accumulating £232,499 in lifetime earnings.[2]

The French Furze started racing as a two year old in September 1996 when he was entered into the Dance Design European Breeders Fund Maiden, finishing in seventh place out of 12 entries. He won his first race, the Gilane Amusements 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle, in August 1997 at Tramore Racecourse in County Waterford, Tramore in Ireland. He beat a field of eight horses to earn his first victory. Early in his career, when The French Furze won a race, he would go on to win by impressive distances. His first seven victories were won by 10, 11, 14, 15, 4, 6, and 24 lengths respectively.[2]

Although The French Furze won 11 races, his most notable win came late in his career in November 2003 when he won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle Racecourse in Newcastle, England. Entering the race as a 25 to 1 longshot, The French Furze and jockey Brian Harding bested a field of eight horses en route to a victory over Geos by three-quarters of a length.[3]

In 2007, The French Furze’s achievements and seven consecutive entries into the Fighting Fifth Hurdle were honored when a race was named after him. The race, named the WBX French Furze Novices' Hurdle, spanned two and three-quarter miles and was run on December 1st, 2007.[4] The race was won by Tazbar, who defeated Innominate by an astounding 38 lengths.[5]

The French Furze was retired at the age of 13 in December 2007 after a poor showing in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.[6] When asked about The French Furze, trainer Nicky Richards said: He has been a pleasure to train, but age has caught up with him. I owe him plenty as he was the horse who enabled me to rub shoulders with the big boys shortly after I started out.[7] In all, The French Furze ran over 80 races in his career.[6]


  1. The French Furze Pedigree, pedigreequery.com, accessed 23 April 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The French Furze History, racingpost.com, accessed 23 April 2010
  3. Furze Shocks Falcon, news.bbc.co.uk, 29 November 2003, accessed 23 April 2010.
  4. Furze Hailed at Gosforth Park, sportinglife.com, 9 October 2007, accessed 23 April 2010.
  5. Tazbar History, racingpost.com, accessed 23 April 2010.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The French Furze is retired, thefreelibrary.com, 4 December 2007, accessed 23 April 2010.
  7. French Furze retired, breakingnews.iol.ie, December 2007, accessed 23 April 2010.


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