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  • Writer's pictureJo O'Neill

An Interview with Former Owners George and Angie Malde

George and Angie Malde had a lot of fun owning several successful racehorses. These include dual Welsh National winner Bonanza Boy who, when trained by the great Martin Pipe, also won 1989 Racing Post Chase, Rehearsal Chase and a 1991 Midland Grand National. He contested five Grand Nationals, including the historic void running in 1993, was fourth in Desert Orchid’s Gold Cup and his final victory, aged thirteen, came at Ludlow in the Ludlow Gold Cup under the trainer’s son David, riding as an amateur. Bonanza Boy retired to his owners’ farm in 1994, enjoying life there in the paddock overlooking Exmoor, until he died aged thirty.

George and Angie with Bonanza Boy.

Polar Champ was another prolific winner under Rules and latterly between the flags, Fu’s Lady won eleven times including round Ascot and Cheltenham, Live The Dream retired on a win round Cheltenham…so many amazing memories.

Nowadays, George and Angie are more associated with their Rock Distillery, the idea they dreamt up when they walked their late dog, Blue, on Rock Beach. Their fond memories of winners are never far away as they named their still Bonanza Boy. This namesake produces Cornish Rock Gins and Rums with as much vigour as the original did on the racecourse all those seasons ago.

Produced in the beautifully green and leafy Allen Valley, there are eight gorgeous gins and six fabulous rums, all hand distilled in small batches with Cornish spring water, fresh citrus fruits and unique botanicals. All of the flavours are delectable, from their smooth classic Rock Gin, dry Pink enhanced with pink fermented champagne, peppery Cornish Gold, gentle Blue Angel…and the Cornish Spiced Rum created with cinnamon, vanilla, orange peel, allspice and cubeb pepper, the dark rum and rich fruity flavour of Cornish Pineapple…

The Rock Distillery is open to visitors for free tasting so how perfect it would be to start at the top of the list and try them all. Then, go for a meander down Rock Beach…who knows, there may lie the inspiration for your own Cornish venture.

Racing is still prevalent in the lives of George and Angie. They give back to a sport that once gave them so much by Cornish Rock Gin sponsoring races at local point-to-points and Taunton Racecourse, where they also have a strategically placed stall, set up by the parade ring, at all meetings.

You can take the owners out of racing but not the racing out of the former owners…

Rock Gin sponsoring the North Cornwall Point-to-point in January.

Which racehorses did you own? Bonanza Boy, Fu’s Lady, Polar Champ, Live The Dream, Kinsford Rose, Bonanza Rebel, Gipsy Dawn, Bebe Bleu.

Which was your favourite racehorse? Bonanza Boy (he always ran with a serious chance of winning).

Which was your favourite win/best day’s racing? It was the 1989 Welsh National. Bonanza Boy won his second Welsh National and Fu’s Lady won the next race. It was amazing that we had two horses running and they both won on the same day.

Who was your racing hero? Martin Pipe.

Who was your favourite jockey? Sir A.P McCoy.

Which was your favourite racecourse? Cheltenham and Taunton.

What was the inspiration behind your racing colours? We chose vivid pink and joked, so the jockeys hated wearing them during a race and tried to get back as soon as possible so they could take them off!!!

What was the best racing party or celebration you attended? Any of the Martin Pipe big celebration parties and A.P McCoy’s retirement parties, especially the big one at Adare Manor, courtesy of J.P McManus.

Which are your favourite flavours of Rock Gin/Rum?! Angie’s – Pink gin, made with champagne.

George’s – Blue Angel, a more gentle gin.

Our favourite Rum is the White Expresso, as it’s just like alcoholic coffee.

Do you have any pets? One white Alsatian (BluToo), two cats and ten doves.

What is the best thing about living in beautiful Cornwall? Being five minutes from the sea almost wherever you are – plus it is warmer than anywhere else.

Rock Gin at Taunton Racecourse!

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