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The Directory maps nationwide activities from over 130 organisations that are harnessing racing’s assets to help people develop skills, increase physical activity and create a more diverse and inclusive sport.


 

19 June 2018

Birdie, or as his parents might prefer, Darren Bird is a special artist whose work can be seen right across the racing world. Possessed of a real passion for racing, Birdie’s is the go-to sketch pen when a caricature or unique image needs creating.

The artist has recently designed a new front cover for the Racing to School workbook and a bespoke image for the Racing Together twitter page.

I’ve always enjoyed watching racing on TV and going to the races. As a child I remember going to our local tracks, Newmarket and Yarmouth with my dad. When I became old enough to bet I’d spend most Saturdays following racing and having a small wager to try and win my fortune! I was truly bitten by the bug.

As my work has developed I have really got to understand the positive impact my creations can have on so much of the good work that goes on across the sport. I am always very keen to help in any way I can and am honoured when people compliment my work and ask me to get involved.

I’m very proud of my new role as an ambassador for Racing Welfare and we have a few things lined up for the coming year. It’s an amazing honour to represent such a great cause that supports all those that work so hard behind the scenes. It’s great that they are also are an important member of the Racing Together partnership, which I now realise is made of so many organisations that try to help others.

My biggest personal project is about to be launched this week; if you continue reading to the bottom of the blog, all will be revealed.

I am so lucky to be involved in a sport I love and among some of my greatest achievements was to see my image of California Chrome printed as a full page in the racecard of the Belmont Stakes. Wow!

I also had the chance to produce artwork for Mooney Valley racecourse in Australia to celebrate the wonderful Champion Winx in all her victories, leading up to her third win in the Cox Plate.

The Starlight Foundation is close to my heart and raising over £20,000 for them through the sale/auction of my artwork was a real thrill. The charity kindly arranged for a Race to be named after me in recognition of this, so I’ll always remember the Darren Bird Handicap at Newbury in 2017.

To be associated with some of racing’s greatest venues is also something that makes me proud, like having an original piece of art on display at the Epsom Derby in 2016. Also, creating Birdie Murals at Cheltenham & Hereford Racecourses was a lot of fun for me to do.

My work has also given me the chance to meet many of my racing heroes, such as Joe Mercer and Lester Piggott at Doncaster Legends Day.

Team Godolphin very kindly asked me to produce a Birdie image of all their Group 1 winners in 2018 – another moment to catch my breath!

Above all, I hope that my work raises a smile and reminds people of some of the wonderful horses and humans that make the sport so colourful.

I am so grateful for all the support I have received and fingers crossed that this continues with my new project – my website. Do please take a look at: https://birdieracinggifts.co.uk/

This is a massive landmark for me and the result of many months’ hard work in conjunction with Weatherbys. Thanks to all that helped me.

Keep smiling!

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