Can you help man researching eccentric race horse owner?
A MAN has launched an appeal for information about the life of one of Chalfont St Giles’ most ‘eccentric’ villagers.
Media relations director for William Hill, Graham Sharpe, came across the story of wealthy race horse owner Dorothy Paget, who lived on Nightingales Lane, while writing a history of his own company, called ‘William Hill, The Man and The Business’.
Mr Sharpe says he is now researching the life of Ms Paget, who died in 1960, for a biography and wants to know if anyone has any information, stories or gossip about her which you can share.
Mr Sharpe said she was extremely well known because she owned a huge number of race horses which won all of the major races - the Grand National, the Derby, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle, along with many more.
Her story is, he said, ‘particularly interesting’ because she tried to live as a recluse, slept through the day and only put her bets on - which were often huge amounts - at night, when the races had been won, based on her oath that she did not know the results beforehand.
“She was a larger than life character that fascinated the public at large. She never gave a public interview during the whole of her life but she was a figure that you would see at the big race meetings,” said Mr Sharpe.
He added: “Imagine now, someone’s horses win the National, but the owner wouldn’t talk to the press. It would be chaos.”
And said: “I always thought for years, wouldn’t it be nice to write a book about her - there’s never been any about her. I’ve written quite a lot of racing books and always wanted to do this.”
According to Mr Sharpe, Ms Paget put a lot of money back into the community but ‘didn’t want anything in return’.
He added: “Her name is very well known in racing folklore but the details about her remain elusive.”
Likening the search for information about her to that of a jigsaw, Mr Sharpe added: “The horses were probably better known than her.”
If you have any information, contact Mr Sharpe on 07803 233 702 or email our letters page at bucksnews@trinitysouth. co.uk.
Graham Sharpe wants your memories about Dorothy Paget, pictured right