11/13/2007 12:00AM

Dickinson will not train in 2008

EmailMichael Dickinson, who has been a celebrated trainer on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, announced on Tuesday that he will not apply for a trainer's license in 2008 because he needs "100 percent of my time to concentrate on Tapeta Footings," the synthetic surface he developed.

"I spent most of last winter overseas and 50 percent of my time this summer visiting Tapeta installations in five countries, which obviously leaves little time for training," Dickinson said in a statement. "I have been concerned for some time about the welfare of horses racing on unsuitable surfaces and really want to repay the horse in my own small way."

Dickinson was the leading trainer of steeplechase runners in Great Britain three times, and in this country is best known for twice winning the Breeders' Cup Mile with Da Hoss. In 1998, Da Hoss won the Mile in only his second start following a layoff of nearly two years.

Tapeta is currently in use in the United States at two racetracks - Golden Gate Fields in California, and Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania. It is also in use at several training centers, most notably Fair Hill in Maryland.