We Speak To Adrian O’Brien, Legendary Clothes Horse Trainer


HE’S KNOWN to many as the oracle. After decades of success in the field of clothes horse training, Adrian O’Brien gives a rare interview to WWN Sports.

“Look at the end of the day it’s all down to having a good mare, it was her what told me not to let my socks overlap because that hinders good drying. If I’ve left any legacy at all, I suppose it’s by breaking the mold a bit, changing the stereotype,” O’Brien told us, sitting in his stud where he has trained generations of Irish men to master doing their own washing.

“When the going’s good and the sun is out it’s tempting to leave her in that initial position and let her hug the railing on the balcony but she performs better starting in the shade because that’s where the sun progresses to after lunch,” O’Brien says, hovering over the shoulder of a young man, startling him for a second.

“There’s no secret to my success honestly, we tend to buy in clothes horses that come from good stock. You won’t see any Temu or Wish mares in the hot press storage,” continued O’Brien.

“You accumulate knowledge over years of doing, trying and failing. Take that horse over there across the way on the neighbour’s balcony. I can tell she’s too much weight on, the poor thing will buckle. She’s not built for towels” said O’Brien, a man unable to take a second off his passion, which is all consuming.

“You’ve some awful knob jockeys who come into us here, and arse and elbow identification is beyond them. But once get them on a good solid horse, multiple levels, capable of taking an over-packed washing loads; socks, jocks, jeans, shirts, jackets, the lot. The transformation is amazing,” said the elderly O’Brien, getting misty eyed.

“That’s what it’s all about, you just watch them in action, graceful, in full control, grand drying out. It’s not much to look at to some, but for me, ah, it’s my life’s work”.