Walter Earl (1846–1924)

An English horse trainer in service of the Auerspergs

Walter Earl left the British Isles in 1864 and moved to the continent where he represented stables of several aristocratic families. His illustrious jockey career was prematurely brought to an end by a serious injury which he sustained in 1874 during the first edition of the Velká pardubická steeplechase.

In 1877, the 31-year-old Earl, accompanied by his wife and children, moved to Slatiňany where he started training race horses and hunting horses of Franz Joseph Prince of Auersperg (1856 – 1938) as well as horses of the Prince’s close friends, mostly members of the Pardubice Par Force Hunting Association. Earl became a popular trainer and secured his place in the history of Czech equestrian sports with the victory of a dark brown half-bred called Dennis at the Velká pardubická steeplechase in 1904. The horse’s owner was Franz Joseph’s brother-in-law, Prince Karl Kinsky (1858 – 1919) from Heřmanův Městec, who was the first foreign rider to win the British Grand National at Aintree (Liverpool) in 1883.

Walter Earl died suddenly of a heart attack here in Slatiňany in 1924; there is a stone plaque in his memory near the chateau.