Leicestershire’s countryside has offered many locations for hunt meetings and point to point or steeplechasing events. B.J. Angell, otherwise known as ‘Cherry Angell’ lived and trained horses in the Leicestershire village of Lubenham and was one of the founding members of the National Hunt Committee.
Steeplechasing was met with disapproval from many as it was associated with violence, drunkenness, gambling and corruption. Supporters of the sport had concerns of their own as Steeplechasing became less hunt-orientated and more like flat racing. The National Hunt Committee addressed this by introducing governing rules, stewardship, standardised fencing and obstacles.
Cherry Angell trained many successful horses and this door, from his stable block, displays horse shoes from some of his notable achievements. The National Hunt Steeplechase was first held in Lubenham in 1860 and Cherry’s horse ‘Bridegroom’ took first place. This race became, and still is, part of The Cheltenham Festival. Arguably Cherry’s greatest win was with a horse named ‘Alcibiade’, who at the age of five was the youngest winner of the Grand National, held at Aintree, in 1865.