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Michael Dickinson Talks Tapeta

Former trainer, he retired to oversee Tapeta Footings, a synthetic surface he created. Tapeta is the surface over which the Dubai World Cup will be run next Saturday, March 26, at Meydan in Dubai.

Birthdate: Feb. 3, 1950, in Yorkshire, England

Family: wife, Joan Wakefield

What was the impetus for you to develop a synthetic surface? “During my days as a steeplechase rider I spent the summers with Vincent O’Brien, who, as well as training 40 champion racehorses, was the creator of an all-weather surface, and he ignited my passion for surfaces. In the 28 years he trained at Ballydoyle, there were only two fatalities, and the two summers I spent there, I can never remember seeing a lame horse. For people to send him a million-dollar yearling, he had to have a safe surface to train on.”

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