Fifty years ago this April 8th, the much-unfavored racehorse my father trained, "Foinavon," won the UK's Grand National steeplechase, beating odds of 100 to 1. It was a famous upset. It's still talked and written about in the UK press. read some latest here... It catapulted Dad, John Kempton, into the annals of British horse-racing history.
Growing up, Dad would design and make custom bridles, and racing plates (horseshoes for race horses), to suit the temperament of the horses he trained and rode. I spent my childhood inspired by his handiwork, and the scents, weights, textures of life in the stables. The distressed leather of old riding boots ... the heavy waxed canvas of the horses' rain rugs ... leather straps and buckles. (Kempton & Co. bags always have solid brass hardware).
When I started Kempton & Co., I wanted to design bags with gorgeous soft leathers and textiles, combining the utility of equestrian hardware. Many Kempton & Co. bags have been named after winning racehorses: Amberleigh, Rough Night, Anglo, Seasend, and, of course, Foinavon.
So, on April 8, I toast my father and the 50th anniversary of winning the Grand National--and for setting Kempton & Co. in motion!