“Henry, thank you for asking me to read your wonderful poem.'

Damian Lewis - Actor (read 'The Harvest' by Henry Birtles at Westminster Abbey on 16th October 2013)


'It is one thing to hold the attention of an audience while reciting poetry, quite another to write poetry that keeps that audience enthralled. Henry Birtles captures the essential excitement which is generated by the champions of the turf about whom he writes.”

Bob Charley – Former Chairman Australian Jockey Club


“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 – Managing Director Cheltenham Racecourse


“Can I just say what a great poem Henry wrote & he just did it off the cuff; he’s a natural”

Frankie Dettori


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

Clare Balding – BBC Sport

In Years to Come


'We loved your poem, which communicated something of the joy, responsibility and richness of the harvest to everyone here.'

The Reverend Dr James Hawkey (Minor Canon, Westminster Abbey)


"The non-racing highlight of the Cheltenham Festival. He’s worth a listen"

Marcus Armytage - Grand National winning Jockey & Racing Correspondent to the Daily Telegraph

The Day After


"How many times, since the Back Page became as big a concern to the majority of readers as the front, can a poet claim to have stolen the lead story of the sports section in a major national broadsheet; not many one can safely assume, if any at all. On April 5th this year, it happened when Dubai’s principle daily, Gulf News, headlined 'Ode to Dubai World Cup', with a sub-heading that read 'Englishman Birtles pays tribute to World's Richest Race'."

William Cash (Journalist)

The Ascot Bell


"Thanks again Henry - the poem was great, everyone loved it, and you are now almost officially famous.

"Nick Smith (Head of PR - Ascot)

Ouija Board


"Henry Birtles has written a beautiful poem about her called, `Epsom Reclaimed’  which is told in full in the book. It would be worth buying for this alone..."

Leslie Ann Day-Whistler (Book Critic)



"I loved the poem and the airing. Thank you so much."

Christopher Spence (Former Senior Steward of The Jockey Club)

The Derby / Ouija Board


"Liz Hurley was among the guests at Crockfords Club in Curzon Street on Thursday night for the launch of the new Derby Festival Magazine and for a new ‘Derby Day’ poem by Henry Birtles, the racing poet. Birtles also recited his 'Ode to Ouija Board' to great acclaim from an audience that included the mare's owner Lord Derby."

The Racing Post