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Major Arthur Laurence Rook’s exceptional skills as a horseman and his bravery in the service of his country have been celebrated in the our Nottinghamian Celebration Ale available in pubs through the summer.

Major Rook on his way to victory on Starlight XV at the 1953 Badminton Horse Trials

Alone among the millions who merited a place in their country’s Olympic squad, Major Rook holds both the Military Cross, awarded during the Second World War, and a gold medal from the 1956 Olympics.

Major Rook was born in Bingham in 1921, the son of Colonel William Rook and his wife Dorothy.  His military career began in the maritime artillery before joining the Royal Horse Guards.  His bravery in crossing a minefield to capture a German warrant officer earned him his MC in 1944.   Always a keen horseman, he won the individual title at the European Championships in 1953 and went on to represent Great Britain in the Three Day Event at the 1956 summer Olympics held in Stockholm.  Restrictions on horse movements meant no trip to Australia for Major Rook and his team mates.  It did however, result in the team taking the Gold Medal with Major Rook finishing sixth.

HM Queen Elizabeth presents Major Rook with the Butler Bowl for his winning rides in 1953

The Nottingham Celebration Ale, Major Arthur Laurence Rook, is a 4.2% fruity, floral pale ale with Sybilla hops.   It is one of the four brewed each year to celebrate the life and work of local heroes and heroines.