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  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns
  • Retire with style at The Hawthorns

Bet you can’t guess Florence’s favourite pastime!

Racehorses - 94 year old Florence Martin is a keen enthusiast.

IF you listed the interests of most 94-year-old ladies, shares in a leading racehorse and a razor-sharp knowledge of the sport of kings might not be near the top of your list – but then Florence Martin is far from your average 94-year-old.

Florence has just moved to her new home, The Hawthorns, a unique retirement complex in Braintree, from where she can follow the fortunes of Irving, a six-year-old racehorse which is clocking up an impressive list of wins under leading trainer, Paul Nicholls.

Florence has always liked horseracing but her serious interest in the noble sport began when her two granddaughters, Cassie and Isobel, developed a love for horses.

She said: "I decided to buy shares in a horse for them. The first horse was called Oozbeck which is now retired. Then I bought shares in another lovely horse but tragically it was killed in a fall. The in October last year, I bought shares in Irving. He's a wonderful horse and doing very nicely under Paul. I receive a weekly report from Paul on Irving's progress. I haven't yet had the chance to meet Irving but one day I would love to do so."

Florence studies trainers and horses but stresses she never gambles on the horses. "My pleasure comes from watching their progress and seeing them perform well. I know it's a bit of an unusual pastime for a lady of my age, but I get so much pleasure from it."

Florence moved to The Hawthorns at Meadow Park from Andover in Hampshire. She has friends and relatives in Essex from her time when her and her husband ran a newsagents and post office in Clacton back in the late 1960s.

The Hawthorns is now operating at full capacity but anyone who would like to know more about its unique lifestyle and place their name on the waiting list can contact 01376 335500.