Charlie Butler was an outstanding horseman. He left school to go and work with his Uncle George Chapman, who was stud groom to the famous Foreshaws of Carlton on Trent where they kept 129 stallions. In 1923 Youngs, the brewers of London, decided that they would like to show horses and bought two horses for this purpose from Foreshaws. The young Charlie Butler, then about 23 years old was sent down to get them ready. Previously he had travelled a stallion and had walked the difficult entire horse ‘Rickford Cuming’ through Middlesex.
Fred Ranson, Harry Ranson’s Father, was well known to George Chapman as he had done ‘graffing’ for Foreshaws by way of meeting their horses at the station and he was asked to help Charlie Butler for the reason that Fred was an experienced ‘harness horseman’ whereas Charlie’s experience had been with stallions. In 1924 they walked a pair of horses (one going by the name of ‘Wandle Boy) the twelve miles from Wandsworth to the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington, to show for Youngs and then having won walked them back again. They would travel their horses in the middle of the night and Harry Ranson, Fred’s son, will tell you stories of how when going past the Dorchester there were crowds greeting Amy Johnson home, which upset the horses. Youngs then offered Charlie the job of head horseman and he stayed with them for forty two years bringing down with him, and marrying, his Retford sweetheart.
This DVD is taken from the film made for television entitled ‘The Champion Makers’ and is reproduced by kind permission of Malcolm Squires of Video Works Production Co. It is here entirely by courtesy of Harry Ranson who provided the original recording, photographs and all the information.
Time: 29 minutes Produced: November 2009
Product Code: NLDVD65