The Horse and the tiger was initially inspired by the dust-up between a Scot: Sir Alex Ferguson, famed manager of Manchester United; and famed Irish horseman John Magnier, of the Coolmore Stud in County Tipperary. The battle was over the breeding rights to a horse named Rock of Gibraltar, which Ferguson believed he owned. The Irishman disagreed.
“…The Irishmen would bring a new depth of meaning to the expression vigorously contested. The brouhaha raged on for an entire year. When the fight over Rock of Gibraltar was in full fury it received more publicity than the Derby and football finals combined…”
By the spring of 2003 irate Manchester United fans, loyal to their leader, had not only joined the fray, they decided to strike back at the Irishman by targeting British racecourses.
“…It began with a small group at the Hereford race meet carrying banners which they strung across the open ditch jump. After delaying the races they were escorted from the track by security staff. The stunt did, however, get the attention of the news media and the threat of escalating actions at Britain’s racecourses ensued..”
In hindsight, however, The horse and the tiger, proved to be much more than a story about a fight over a horse. Instead it offers insight to the present state of the world of the Thoroughbred today…. to be continued