Ipswich cartoonist famous for drawing horseracing legends launches new club
PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 May 2019
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.
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.
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.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Birdie also has a website where his work can be seen and bought, including gift memorabilia.