Bertie Hayden wins the 1979 J&B Metropolitan aboard Politician


1946 - 2014

The Sporting Post announced this morning that one of South Africa’s turf greats, Bertie Hayden, has passed away.

Big Race Bert’ as he was known, was born in 1946 and was the son of a jockey. In a Parade article dated 2004, he related “My late dad, when he was a youngster, actually ran away from home to become a jockey and unfortunately for him he got heavy quite quick and he didn’t continue. He always had me interested in horses and I actually fell off my first racehorse at the age of four - on the beach opposite Natal Command. The horses used to work there and one Sunday morning my dad took me down there and put me on a horse that was being led around. The horse got fresh and bucked and threw me off and I landed in the sand. I got up, my face was covered in sand and my nose was bleeding but my dad took me and threw me straight back on the horse again and told me to ride some more.”

 Read full tribute here…