Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step
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Animal-loving Red Bull chief Christian Horner was once paid by F1 kingpin Bernie Ecclestone to spare 200 lambs from being slaughtered. Horner has been looking after over a dozen pets with his family during his valuable time away from the pressure-cooker of the F1 paddock.
The 49-year-old is gearing up for his 20th season as Red Bull team principal ahead of lights out at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. Horner masterminded a magnificent season of dominance from Red Bull last time out, and will hope Max Verstappen can claim a third successive world title in 2023.
But away from the bright lights of F1, Horner is very much family-orientated and enjoys spending time in the off-season with his popstar wife Geri, a member of the Spice Girls, his children and his range of animals at his Oxfordshire country home.
As per the Daily Mail, the Horners are currently training a stable of horses, but also keep three dogs, a cat, chickens, four goats and four miniature donkeys.
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And Horner, who had a dog called Bernie who sadly passed away, has now revealed how former F1 chief executive Ecclestone once pledged a significant sum for him to save lambs.
Fellow animal-lover Ecclestone paid up to £12,000 to Horner for the Red Bull boss to keep lambs and stop them being sold as produce to a supermarket. “He asked me what was happening. I said they were going off to Waitrose,” Horner recalled. “He didn’t like that. He asked me what a farmer would get for each lamb, I said £50 to £60. He paid 200 times £60 to save them.”
Horner shared a good working relationship with Ecclestone when the former supremo, now 92, was in charge of F1. And Ecclestone even tipped Horner to eventually succeed him and lead the sport almost a decade ago.
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But Horner, now the most experienced team principal in the paddock, appears to have his eyes set on a much quieter life away from the furnace of F1 when he does eventually step away from his role at Red Bull.
While he has no interest in retirement just yet, Horner explained that he could embark on an unlikely career path as a sheep farmer when he leaves the world of motorsport. “I think it’s only when you get to the end of the journey that then you get time to reflect,” he said last year on the Diary of a CEO podcast.
“When I get to the end of my journey, I’ll go away and do something completely different – I’ll be a sheep farmer or something like that. But I don’t see that in sight at the moment.”
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