Bob Claridge was born at March in the Cambridgeshire Fens on the fourteenth of February 1925. At fourteen Bob left school to help his Father, a horseman and stockman, on the farm. At sixteen he was made head horseman. It was not long after this that Bob’s Uncle, Harry Hall, advertised for a horseman to show horses and Bob got the job. Bob explained that he had never shown a horse before but Harry had seen Bob’s enthusiasm and was not put off. Harry said that he could live with his foreman, Bill Southwell, this Bob did for several years until he married Bill’s wife’s younger sister Grace and then moved into a house of his own.
Not only did the young Bob work the horses on the farm where he would plough single line in the Fenland tradition but he would travel as many as 6 Suffolk horses and 2 wagons to shows all over the country and with this team they had great success. Harry Hall did not breed horses, all of them were bought as geldings and to do that one needed to have a good eye. Bob would go with Harry to buy horses and one of these, Prince Evergreen, won the Championship at the Royal Show for four consecutive years. When Harry Hall died in August 1966 Bob felt he could carry on no longer and sold the horses for Mrs Hall. Some went to experts such as Charlie Saunders, others to Truman’s and other Breweries for Dray work.
Bob, however, came back to horses again in the 1990’s when he was approached by Geoffrey Bristow and although reluctant at first, bought several horses for him including Easton Duchess which again was extremely successful in the show ring as you will hear. Bob Claridge had an eye for a horse and tells here not just stories from his great experience (such as when the horses and horse box caught fire) but those he learned from his Father and from the experience of showing and winning many prizes for Harry Hall and later Geoffrey Bristow.
Total Time: 1 Hour & 10 Minutes Produced: March 2009
Product Code: NLDVD58