The OD - Issue 1 - page 6

Sam Waley-Cohen
(OD 1995) is a man of
diverse interests and talents. After a degree
in politics from Edinburgh University, he
worked for a while as a commodities trader
in the City. He pilots planes and helicopters,
rides motorbikes, has taken to boxing, and
is also a keen mountaineer, having recently
climbed Mount Etna in Sicily. In his day
job, Sam runs a very successful group of
private dentistry practices which he founded
in 2007. To add to this extraordinary list,
he recently demonstrated his talent as a
jockey when in March this year, he became
the first amateur in 30 years to win the
Cheltenham Gold Cup.
gold Cup
When asked how he managed
to fit everything in, Sam
replied: “You just have to make
every minute of the day count.”
He has always been a keen rider
and competed in cross-country
and eventing whilst at the Dragon, before he was allowed to become
a jockey at sixteen. He first came to the notice of the equestrian world
when he came fifth in the 2007 Grand National on his father’s horse,
Liberthine. This was a significant moment for Sam, whose brother
Thomas (OD 1998) tragically died from bone cancer aged only twenty.
“The win was the first good thing that had happened to us for a long
time. It was so unexpected, it brought the whole family out of a dark
and low place,” he reflected (
The Sunday Times
, March 7, 2010). Since
then, he has gone on to further success. He won the King George VI
Chase in January this year, shortly before a valiant ride at the Grand
National where he came a heroic second.
Since his brother’s death, Sam has helped raise more than £1
million for the new Children’s Hospital in Oxford, where a ward bears
Thomas’s name.
David Davies/Press Association Images
Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport
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