Les Dodds

Les Dodds
The late Les Dodds (centre, pictured with his family) after his Wor Lass (Rachel Richardson) won at Musselburgh a couple of years ago

Les Dodds R.I.P.

There's been a quite sombre mood around Dodlands Steading this week after we learned of the death of local Hawick man, and friend of the stable, Les Dodds. Les was in his mid-70s and died after a short illness.

A man who has been in and around horses all his life, he has owned or part-owned several horses trained here over the years but he was always a frequent visitor to the yard. His jovial personality was infectious to anyone who spent time in his company with the next laugh or tale mere minutes away.
Donald, in particular, loved nothing better that a few days away at the Sales with Les be it at Doncaster or across the Irish Sea at Goffs or Tattersalls.

Les was born a Geordie - he never did lose that accent - and moved to the Scottish Borders as a young man to work in the stables of Harry Bell. It was while employed in Northern yards that Les rode work as part of a group of horses that included the greatest Steeplechaser ever - Arkle.
Making the most of such opportunities, Les soon gained the reputation as that of a top class horseman.

This ability further came to the fore when Les owned and trained horses to compete in the local Scottish Borders' flapping circuit. Very successfully too, as he trained dozens of winners over the decades.
Best of all, Les won the blue riband of that circuit - the Tradesman's Handicap run annually at Hawick Racecourse - several times.
Les also owned a few winners that were trained Under Rules, most recently by Scobie Jardine, Susan Corbett and ourselves. It was when trained by Susan that Garry (Whillans) won on Wor Lass - just one of that mare's 11 wins on the Flat.
We consider ourselves fortunate to have been able to train Wor Lass for Les for her final seasons on the track, culminating in a couple of victories at Ayr and Musselburgh. Les later bred a foal by Harbour Law out of Wor Lass.

So, a Geordie who made Hawick his home - 'Graham Wylie in reverse' - as he often stated with pride.

A fine man, we are both humble and proud to have been your friends. You will live long in our memory.

Les & Wor Lass
Les with Wor Lass after a victory at Ayr, led in by daughter Michelle

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