Straw Bear

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This article is about the racehorse. For other uses, see Straw Bear (disambiguation).
Straw Bear
Straw bear.jpg
Straw Bear after winning the 2006 Fighting Fifth Hurdle
Sire Diesis
Grandsire Sharpen Up
Dam Highland Ceilidh
Damsire Scottish Reel
Sex Gelding
Foaled 14 March 2001
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Cyril Humphris
Owner J. P. McManus
Trainer Nick Gifford
Record 39:9-10-6
Earnings £327,558[1]
Major wins
Fighting Fifth Hurdle (2006)
Christmas Hurdle (2007)

Straw Bear (foaled 2001) is an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse. He was trained in England throughout his career and was notable for his performances in hurdle races. He won two Grade I events, the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Christmas Hurdle.

Straw Bear was bred in Kentucky. He was sired by Diesis out of the mare, Highland Ceilidh.[2] He is owned by John P. McManus, trained by Nick Gifford, and his primary jockey has been Tony McCoy.

Racing career[edit]

Flat racing[edit]

Straw Bear started racing as a two-year-old in June 2003. He won his first race, the Ladbrokes Novice Auction Stakes (a Class F race) in September 2006 at Wolverhampton Racecourse in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England.[3]

Hurdle racing[edit]

His first notable win came in April 2006 at Aintree Racecourse in Aintree, Liverpool, England where he won the John Smith's Imagine Appeal Top Novices' Hurdle, a Grade 2 National Hunt race.[4] Straw Bear’s first major win came in November 2006. With jockey Tony McCoy at the helm, he went on to win the 2006 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle Racecourse in Newcastle, England where he beat Noble Request.[5]

Straw Bear’s other major Grade 1 National Hunt win came in the Christmas Hurdle in December 2007 at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey, England. Straw Bear narrowly beat out Harchibald for the victory. Afterwards, McCoy spoke of the tough victory for Straw Bear: Harchibald is a very good horse and the plan was to have a little bit to battle with at the finish. We did have a bit left for a battle and mine's a good horse too and deserved to win a good race.[6]


Straw Bear was raced over fences from 2008, but had little success. As of December 2011 he has failed to win in nine steeplechases.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Straw Bear Pedigree,
  3. ^ Straw Bear Horse Details,
  4. ^ John Smith’s National News,, 7 April 2006, accessed 25 September 2009.
  5. ^ Straw Bear impresses at Newcastle,, 25 November 2006, accessed 25 September 2009.
  6. ^ Christmas Hurdle win for Gifford's six-year-old,, 26 December 2007, accessed 25 September 2009.