CROWDS of people lined the streets of Ashbury to say farewell to a horse-racing legend.

A funeral procession for 83-year-old three-time champion jockey Stan Mellor made its way through the village with sombre onlookers gathering near the Rose and Crown and the war memorial to pay their respects.

The Racing Post hailed him as “one of the outstanding riders of his generation”.

He was the first jockey to ride 1,000 winners over jumps, became champion jockey in successive seasons between 1959 and 1962, and successfully trained hundreds of winning horses later in his career at Wiltshire sites which included one at Wanborough.

Born in 1937, he started in racing at 15 and rode briefly as an amateur for George Owen at Malpas. His first win came when he rode Straight Border in a selling hurdle at Wolverhampton as a 16-year-old in January, 1954.

His first professional win came just three months later on Wirswall Prince at Ludlow.

His other victories included a win at King George VI Chases on Frenchman’s Cove (1964) and Titus Oates (1969), and he rode four winners at the Cheltenham Festival


Stan hit the headlines when he surprised the horse-racing world by beating the seemingly-invincible Arkle on the 25-to-1 chance Stalbridge Colonist in the 1966 Hennessy Gold Cup.

According to the Racing Post, he once said: “If you win with strength people see it, and if you win with style people see it, but if you win with guile people don’t see it.”

By the time he retired after winning on Arne Folly at Stratford on the penultimate day of the 1971 season, he had ridden 1,035 winners over jumps in Britain and a handful more in Ireland and overseas.

Popular with his peers and the public, his incredible time in the saddle won him an MBE for services to racing.

His second career as a trainer began from Linkslade in Lambourn, where William Muir is now based, and then from Pollardstown, named after his top-class hurdler, at Wanborough.

He was the first chairman of the Jockeys’ Association and represented jockeys on the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.

Stan is survived by his wife Elain and daughters Dana and Linz.