. Desert Orchid was an outstanding thoroughbred gelding with a characteristic grey coat and was one of the most famous English racehorses of the modern generation, who had speed, excellent jumping ability, very agile, high stamina and courageous (and affectionately known as Dessie).
Desert Orchid lived between 1979 and 2006 gaining national fame through his horse racing exploits in National Hunt racing (and is considered the fifth best National hunt horse) which included winning the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park four times in 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990 whilst winning four steeplechases in a row at Sandown and Ascot.
In 1986 Desert Orchid won the King George VI Chase by 15 lengths over Door Latch described as one of the most exciting steeplechases ever seen. Another of his finest victories came in the 1987 Cheltenham Gold Cup, the three mile course had been made heavy by rain and snow and it is a left handed track, the race has been voted as one of the best horserace by readers of the Racing Post. It is said that Desert Orchid was one of the best race horses that could carry a large amount of weight.
Although one of his finest victories was at Cheltenham a left handed track, Desert Orchid preforms better on right handed tracks (because he used to jump to his right especially when tired) such as Kempton Park, Sandown and Ascot. Of his 70 competitative starts he won 34 of these which includes 17 major wins (Martell Cup, Whitebred Gold Cup, Victor Chandler Chase, Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Irish Grand National). After retiring in 1991 he returned to Kempton Park every year to lead out the parade of runners for the King George VI Chase as well as helping to raise substantial sums for charity as many fans wanted to catch a glimpse of such a loveable character. His ashes were buried in a private ceremony at Kempton Park Racecourse near his statue and there is a headstone and videos of his best races on the track.