Hardress (Sam) Waller (b. 1917) (part 1)
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Hardress (Sam) Waller (b. 1917) (part 1)


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Hardress Waller , better known to his friends in the racing community as Sam Waller, discusses his love of horses and horse racing, and its origins. When he was a young lad growing up near Nenagh, his father regularly brought him to meetings and show jumping competitions. As a young man he enlisted in the British Army and served in Egypt during World War II. After the war he became a semi-professional polo player in England, but always maintained contact with his Irish friends at home, who were involved in the horse breeding industry, particularly Peter Fitzgerald and Lord Adare. Later he was head hunted by the newly formed British Racing Board. He was the instigator of several innovations which are now taken for granted, such as racecourse commentary, starting stalls, photo finish and a doping laboratory at Newmarket. When his parents passed away Hardress Waller returned home, and was requested by Lord Harrington to take up a position with the Hunt Committee, and then the Turf Club. All this work was undertaken on a voluntary basis. He was elected Chairman of the Turf Club and for ten years he ran the Programmes Committee. He was at this stage facing into his 75th year, which would have forced his retirement but the rules were changed to allow him work as steward for three years. He is pleased to say that unlike earlier days when the Anglo-Irish community more or less ran the world of racing, things had radically altered in more recent times as funding from government sources and generous tax breaks have greatly benefited the horse industry in Ireland. He clearly recalls the kidnapping of Shergar, and he strongly feels that the kidnappers were unable to control the highly bred horse and so they shot him and buried his body in an unknown location. He also recalls the day the Irish Derby was stopped because of a bomb scare at the course. This recording forms part of a longer compilation.

Additional information



Audio series:

Kildare county, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

55.47 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The world of horse racing

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe