Broken bones and punctured lungs are always fixable; head injuries and paralysis are not.’ Back in 2002, when their relationship was still occasionally turbulent, but they each recognised that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, Chanelle suggested they went for a fertility check.
Such a road test on your future husband might seem extreme, but in their case it was eminently pragmatic.
In fact, fatherhood had little impact on his relentless schedule until 18 months ago, when he and Chanelle were confronted with a crisis revolving around their son Archie, who at six months old was found to have a heart defect that required urgent surgery.
'Then, while we waited for it all to be over, we went to a nearby church and lit candles and talked – just the two of us.
Behind the glamour of the Grand National and Ascot, life with legendary jockey Tony ‘AP’ Mc Coy hasn’t been without hurdles.
His wife Chanelle talks to Catherine O’Brien about infertility, injuries, her own flourishing businesses – and why he needs her more than she needs him Seconds after I cross the threshold, Chanelle is leading me through the photographic gallery that captures some of her husband’s finest career moments – the Cheltenham Gold Cup wins, his Grand National triumph, the presentation of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
(Although the firm carries her name, it was set up by her father Michael Burke, who is a vet, in the 1980s; she joined him 15 years ago.) More recently, Chanelle has also, for a little ‘fun, fun, fun’, opened a boutique, Mojo & Mc Coy, in nearby Hungerford with several friends, including Laura Lopes – daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall – and Emily Hambro, a member of the banking dynasty.'I go into the office and people are asking my opinion, we are achieving targets and creating jobs, and if AP and I happen to have had a massive argument that morning, I am not sitting at home feeling crushed.
I’m, like, “He’s so irrelevant.”’ She waves her arm nonchalantly and lets out a warm, infectious laugh.The shop stocks labels such as Equipment, DVF and Dorothee Schumacher – brands that are on the right side of trendy.Though there is the odd sequined miniskirt, the aim is that the pieces will suit everyone, be they 17 or 70.‘I remember the clothes shop that used to be where Mojo & Mc Coy is now – as a child I would come in with my mother. It’s been an amazing move, though I do miss London’s restaurants and all things buzzy.‘Because I’m one of the founders of Eleven Fine Art in London, the plan was for me to help with the art for the shop, but when I heard the whole idea I wanted to be involved with everything!Certainly small, glass-fronted boutiques with pristine white woodwork, swinging signs and bells that ding-a-ling when you walk through the door are meant to be a thing of the past.