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Nov 21, 2007

Michael Dickinson to back-off training


North East, MD (Sports Network) - Veteran thoroughbred trainer Michael Dickinson has announced that he will not be applying for a trainer"s license for 2008. Dickinson will be devoting his time to the all-weather racing surface, Tapeta Footing, that he invented.

"I need 100-percent of my time to concentrate on Tapeta Footings," Dickinson said. "I spent most of last winter overseas and 50-percent of my time this summer visiting Tapeta installations in five countries, which obviously leaves little time for training. I have been concerned for some time about the welfare of horses racing on unsuitable surfaces and really want to repay the horse in my own small way."

The new racing surface is currently being used at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania and Golden Gate Fields in California.

The 57-year-old Dickinson was born in England, where he was Champion Amateur Steeplechase Jockey and a Champion Steeplechase Trainer on three occasions. He began training in the United States in 1987.

"In America I am most proud of being runner-up in the Eclipse Leading Trainer Award," Dickinson continued. "To have received the C.V. Whitney Special Achievement Award and of building Tapeta Farm, from which I sent out eight Grade I winners in the first eight years. Including my riding and training careers both in the United Kingdom and America I have won a total of 1,312 races and 151 stakes races, 85 stakes races being won in America."

Dickinson may be best known for having trained Da Hoss to victory in the 1996 Breeders" Cup Mile and again two years later in the same race.

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