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Ipswich cartoonist famous for drawing horseracing legends launches new club

PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 May 2019

Birdie with Henry Spiller and Terbruggen, one of the two horses in the club Picture: DARREN BIRD

Birdie with Henry Spiller and Terbruggen, one of the two horses in the club Picture: DARREN BIRD

DARREN BIRD

A cartoonist who grew up on an Ipswich council estate before making his mark on the sport of kings has joined forces with a horseracing legend to launch his latest venture.

A caricature of 2018 Grand National winner Tiger Roll and golf legend Tiger Woods Picture: DARREN BIRDA caricature of 2018 Grand National winner Tiger Roll and golf legend Tiger Woods Picture: DARREN BIRD

Darren 'Birdie' Bird, who lives in Ipswich, fell in love with the sport when he used to go with his dad to the bookies on the town's Gainsborough estate, where he grew up.

The graphic designer tweeted a caricature of ex-jockeys Luke Harvey and Jason Weaver to Sky TV's At The Races show in 2013 - sparking a cartoon career which has made him something of a legend in the sport.

His fans include leading trainers such as Mick Fitzgerald and Tony McCoy, while the Queen also has one of his works.

And now Mr Bird - whose drawings of jockeys and trainers are seen by his 14,000 followers on Twitter, as well as national and international television audiences - has launched the Birdie Racing Club with Newmarket trainer Henry Spiller.

A caricature of racehorse Subway Surf and its trainer Kim Bailey Picture: DARREN BIRDA caricature of racehorse Subway Surf and its trainer Kim Bailey Picture: DARREN BIRD

From £49 a month members can have a share in two racehorses, as well as receive copies of his sought-after cartoons.

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Mr Bird said the idea for the racing club came from Mr Spiller and he was delighted to get involved.

"We feel it's unique because it's a club where as a member you get access to owning a racehorse in a fun and affordable way," said Mr Bird, who is a graphic designer for Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils.

Darren on one of the fences at Fairyhouse racecourse in Dublin Picture: DARREN BIRDDarren on one of the fences at Fairyhouse racecourse in Dublin Picture: DARREN BIRD

"Horseracing is a wonderful world but it's not just for the wealthy, we aim to make the club as affordable as possible so people from backgrounds such as mine can also be a part of it."

Members also get regular visits to Mr Spiller's Sackville House Stables at Newmarket, as well as days out to Palace House national horseracing museum and the National Stud, also both at Newmarket.

They also get a signed Birdie print, regular updates on the two horses and a share of all prize money.

For more details about the club go to the 'Birdie Racing Club' page on Facebook or email birdieracingclub@gmail.com

Birdie with racing legend Sir Lester Piggott Picture: DARREN BIRDBirdie with racing legend Sir Lester Piggott Picture: DARREN BIRD

Birdie also has a website where his work can be seen and bought, including gift memorabilia.

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