In the news

Newmarket Commissions Poem for 350 Year Anniversary

In April Newmarket Racecourses celebrates 350 years of making history as the internationally acclaimed Home of Horseracing since 1666.  To mark the occasion they have specially commission a poem by Henry Birtles which will be recited as part of the 350 Opening Ceremony on the first day of the QIPCO Guineas Festival on Saturday 30th April.

News and Comment

  • Joanna Lumley reads Ascot poem for Channel 4 opener

    Absolutely Fabulous News for Racing as Joanna Lumley reads Ascot poem to open Channel 4's coverage of Royal Ascot 2014

    Author: 30 June 2015 Read more
  • BBC Premier of England World Cup Poem

    A big thank you to everyone, from the famous to the not-so-famous who generously contributed their time and talent to help make a film of my World Cup poem 'That Time Again' which premiered on the BBC at 12.45 pm today.

    Author: 9 June 2014 Read more
  • Recording official Ascot poem with Joanna Lumley

    In the studio yesterday with Joanna Lumley recording the official Ascot 2014 poem...

    Author: 15 May 2014 Read more


Henry Birtles has created a great niche for writing and delivering bespoke racing poems. His ‘Best Mate’ has become an essential part of Gold Cup Day when he recites this beside the horse’s statue. The Derby poem is terrific and was well used by BBC during their coverage last year and he delivered a wonderful tribute to Sir Peter O’Sullevan on the day we celebrated his 90th Birthday at Cheltenham.”

Edward Gillespie – Former Managing Director Cheltenham Racecourse

“Thank you to Henry Birtles, who did that without an autocue, without notes, absolutely sensational…great poem”

Clare Balding – BBC Sport

(...if anyone really cares!)

Henry Birtles runs his own company Henry Birtles Associates (HBA), a media consultancy specialising in Television Rights. Getting racing to a broader audience is the name of his game, something he also aims to achieve through his poems. HBA has established itself as a provider of racing content to the international

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