IMG_0053Latest updates on the yard….


September 28th 2019

The Owners Morning is almost upon us – just one more day of tidying, washing, polishing, painting and sweeping left to go before we get the tea, wine, cakes and bacon butties out to welcome people into the yard for a chat and a look at the horses and meet the team. Sadly the rain looks set to stay for the weekend but it won’t stop us having some fun. We have a raffle for the Injured Jockeys Fund and everything is inside so we won’t get blown away. If you wish to join us we start at 10-30am until 12.30am, Sunday 29th September. Follow the signs for Baffles Dog Field and you can’t go wrong. Look forward to seeing you there…


August 29th 2019

Yesterday was a great day for the yard when our team member Dawn Henry was victorious in the Flying Fillies Charity race in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund held at Catterick racecourse. Mrs Verity’s gelding can hopefully benefit from this confidence booster and lines up at Bangor on Dee tomorrow in a 2m 4 1/2 f handicap chase. Dawn gave Ciggy a copybook ride following instructions to the letter, she has ridden in 3 charity races now and won them all. She looks forward to beginning her campaign in the amateur ranks shortly.

Dawn charity race 2019dawn race 2


The yards few runners have been in good form of late scoring placed efforts with Day of Roses getting in the winner’s enclosure twice last week. Another month and the winter horses will be starting their campaign.



August 6th 2019
All winter horses are back in the yard from their summer holidays and we are looking forward to getting them ready to return to the track following on from such a successful 2018-2019 season (our highest total earnings season to date).
Some exciting new arrivals in the yard to watch out for are as follows:
George Hastings: A 2016 grey gelding by Gregorian who is working well at home and jumps like a cat!
Wonderful Woman: A big strong powerful mare who is a half brother to Craig dancer who won two races for us.
There is shares available in George Hastings and Wonderful Woman, please enquire for more details.
Day Of Roses: This gelding is a dual winner in 2019 for trainer Jeremy Scott over 2m 6 1/2 f and also 3m 3 1/2 f both over fences and we look forward to running him this season.
All horses are healthy and well and are in great fettle following on from a virus which struck in May and didn’t seem to want to leave us until July.
Thankfully this seems to be behind us now so we look forward to the future.



May 6 2019

The yard entered the Lycetts Champion Stable and Stud competition in December, a national competition to find the yard which most encourages opportunity, dedication, education and training, teamwork and success.  The staff put plenty of work into their entry video and were delighted to finish a highly respectable 5th overall with a maximum score of 3 stars.

staff award  lycett award

What a great season we have had with every horse in the yard winning bar two, they also came very close and should be scoring soon. Good old Houndscourt at the grand old age of 12 was on top form and took two chases at Market Rasen, under this years inform jockey Sean Quinlan. He was also placed many times and on Saturday he also won the Skipton Charity Race for staff member Dawn Henry who gave him a well-timed ride.


New purchases in Autumn included Canny Style, who won first time out for us over hurdles. Lammturner has always been genuine. She had taken a while to mature and deservedly won from the front under a strong ride from Henry Brooke over hurdles in March. She was 20-1 and jumped fantastically, setting a strong gallop the rest could not match. Then we had my lovely grey ‘hunter’ as everyone calls him, Two Hoots, collect two races at Sedgefield under Jamie Hamilton and Henry Brooke after jumping like a bold and brave hunter he will one day make (I don’t fancy my chances at trying to hold him on the hunting field at the moment) He is a super horse and delighted his owners with his results this season, unluckily he found one slightly better handicapped last time out when my other runner, Burning Issues, who had arrived 3 weeks earlier from Ireland, beat him by a length and a half at 28-1. A first and second in the same race was a good result for the yard. That horse maybe 12yo but he will certainly win more races this coming season.

Chase The Wind is back on the racetrack after two years off and ran a cracking 2nd last week at Bangor in a decent 3m5 race . If ever a horse deserved to return to the winner’s enclosure it is him, for his courage and enthusiasm, and for the sake of his patient and understanding owner John who only has the best interests of his horse at heart.


Sorry we lost all the rest of the 2018-19 season News reports detailing the fantastic season we had with so many horses winning and making it one of our best yet. S0me IT glitch I dont understand….but it will be my fault for pressing the wrong button according to my 13 yo son!! Jo



June 27th 2018

Things have certainly moved on in the last few months of the winter season. We had an influx of winners following Brotherly Company. Frankie Ballou won 3 and finished 2nd twice from his 7 starts this year. Sigurd was 3rd on his first start over fences, Flemish Maid was just touched off for 2nd on her first outing for us at Cartmel recently, Houndscourt won again the grand old servant he is, he also won a charity race with Dawn riding him from the yard. It was her first ride and she blasted it, she should take out her license as she would give the amateurs a run for their money. Brotherly Company was 2nd twice more and 3rd in his remaining outings following up on his all-weather win, and we ended up with a great run to finish the season off.

I am back to driving, non-physical work, still visiting Jack Berry House on a regular basis for a few days at a time but so much fitter and healthier as the months gone by. I am not allowed to ride yet, but it won’t be long hopefully. I have just returned from Spain on the IJF Beneficiary holiday with 80 other broken up ex-jockeys and their partners, trustees and staff. It was a truly eye-opening experience and one that meant so much to everyone who attended the most beautiful place with a long golden beach that stretched for miles, a huge swimming pool and tennis courts. Jack and Joe Berry were there which was super to spend time with them, so much fun and so much energy. I was fortunate to play tennis with George Baker, who had a bad fall in St Moritz 18months ago, Isabelle Tompsett whom I used to ride against and who died 4 times on the racecourse before having a brain operation which saved her life. There were some unbelievable people with extraordinary stories, but they knew how to enjoy themselves. It perked me up no end and I cannot find the words to show my depth of feeling for all those who work for and support such a fantastic organisation, they have really saved me and so many others. Thank you.

spain photos




Well, its been quite a winter for us here at the yard. In November I had a fall at the gallops and unfortunately there was a rotavator in the way which broke my otherwise sandy landing – I ended up breaking 4 bones in my back and separating my pelvis from my spine, a two week stay in hospital, 2 operations, 2 ten inch screws and 8 weeks in a wheelchair and a pair of crutches later, I am finally back on my feet moving almost normally. Mentally it has nearly killed me to be stuck inside in one room for so long and its going to be a long job before I get back to working and riding out as usual but I am hopeful, with the huge help I am getting from Jack Berry House in Malton, I should get there at some point in the future. I am back at home and able to drive so it is so much easier than it has been.


To read all about it press this link….

Despite my accident I have still managed to keep the yard running well, with the support of my staff and family (whilst I shout instructions from the car window!) The horses are running really well with 3 winners from my last 5 runners in the month. Frankie Ballou has scampered up to win two races in his last two outings, Houndscourt won from the front at Southwell under Danny Cook and previous to this we had a winner with Brotherly Company on the all-weather ridden by Phil Makin. So all in all things are looking good, as I like to remind myself when Im feeling miserable not riding out, entertaining or rushing around as normal, things could always be worse.

Sept 7th 2017

The horses are getting fitter ready for their winter return in October. Frankie Ballou is going very well having come back from his holiday twice the size he was when turned out in April. Last season he arrived from Ireland as a nervy type at the races – so this is a positive sign of a relaxed horse. I’m sure he will find things go his way this year. Another new recruit is a 5yo dual purpose horse called Brotherly Company who has won over hurdles and the flat in good company. He was bought as a Saturday horse who will have a few races before the ground goes too soft. He is an active athletic sort to ride with plenty of toe for the jumping field so the owners and I are excited for his future.

danny cook winning

Chase The Wind is going well and looks great. He is showing he is still loving the job and getting considerably keener as he gets fitter. I would love to take him back to Wetherby when he is ready to run. He ran and jumped fantastically there to win last season. We have also rebuilt our schooling pen with a super new surface which is like cantering on velvet – it is deep enough to make the horses work whilst still being able to jump off it. The pen is very handy for us when getting the youngsters going or loose jumping the horses before they race.

July 25th 2017

Its been a while since our last update on activities in the yard with it being Summer and most of the horses on holiday. We have a few in to run at the moment, some of which are due to have their first taster of the track shortly to get handicapped ready for a campaign in the winter season. Forth Cave is one, a 5 yo whom was bought at the sales last summer after being placed in two Irish point to points. He has had a wind operation and is now working like a different horse and all ready for his first run. He will make a lovely chaser in time.

Noble Call has been campaigning through the summer and has come 2nd twice over fences so far this season when jumping brilliantly, including yesterday at Cartmel in a competitive Beginners Chase when he beat better horses off level weights at 50-1 which delighted all his owners. Noble suffers from heat stress so when it is very warm and sunny on race day he cannot cope with the heat, sweats profusely and becomes distressed, running no sort of a race at all. Fortunately I have found ways of managing his condition to suit him now which seem to be working. He will probably return to Cartmel in August now.

The winter campaigners are back in work in preparation for the coming season. They all look as fat as hairy little ponies and have obviously enjoyed their holidays. Amongst them is Chase The Wind, Feast of Fire, Frankie Ballou, Another Rattler and some nice youngsters to look forward to.



March 14th 2017

The horses are running consistently now the ground has started to dry up. We have had a 2nd with good old Urban Gale at Southwell last week, Houndscourt was 2nd at Sedgefield following his win at Wetherby and we also had a 4th with Torero today who seems to appreciate the drier ground and will now be upped in trip as he looks more like a stayer. He was 3rd at Wetherby recently and looks to be off a handy mark now. Frankie Ballou started off with a brilliant 3rd at Catterick back in February, getting narrowly beaten in a hot race and jumping superbly for a first start over fences, but then couldn’t handle the right handed track at Leicester and when we returned to Catterick in a hotly contested Novice Chase earlier in the week he was  just a little too keen early on and travelled strongly until getting headed, just weakening in the last furlong.  He may go hurdling next time and get his confidence back. I’m sure it wont be long before he is winning. We have plenty of races still ahead for Houndscourt, Urban Gale and the rest who are still well handicapped including a very fresh Noble Call who has never felt better at home.

February 20th 2017

Well. The year has got off to a great start with the horses hitting good form and all reaching the winners enclosure. Houndscourt had a spell of hunting over Christmas and it has certainly brightened him up. He has not been out of the first 4 since and won in a bold front running performance under Henry Brooke at Wetherby in a 3m hurdle race in late January where he jumped fantastically and never got headed. A few days ago he went back to Sedgefield, where he has won a few times, and despite having soft ground which he hates he finished a decent 2nd place again ridden by Henry and this time trying an extended 3m3. He seemed to stay well and we plan to continue a hurdle campaign before returning to chasing whilst he is on such a winnable mark. Its great to feel him bouncing around and well again when we ride him out every morning, full of enthusiasm for life. He retains so much ability I don’t doubt he can win a few more races this season.

sherbet2 A happy set of owners at Wetherby


Frankie Ballou had his first start for us last week at Catterick, a 2 mile novice handicap chase over a course on the sharp side for him and with ground not as soft as ideal – he loves it like a bog. He ran an absolutely cracking race and jumped out of his skin on his first ever start over fences, he finished a close 3rd having got squeezed against the rail on the run in when fighting his way back to the lead, an unfortunate occurrence which cost us at least one place if not two – but I was delighted to see how brilliantly he took to jumping the bigger fences and he looks all over a winner waiting to happen. John Dawson rode him and said how nice it felt to be on a horse which pulled him round and jumped so accurately off such a strong pace and kept battling. Quite a compliment for big old Frankie.

I still own him and am keen to find an owner or shareholders to join a number we have interested already before he wins next time. If you are interested in a look or further details see the For Sale page or drop me a call.. He is a lovely big friendly chap who seems to relish the attention we devote to him and is obviously thriving on it.

franKIE B Frankie battles a close finish at Catterick

Oct 10th 2016

Noble Call provided us with a winner on his first run for us over hurdles at Bangor recently. He pulled ahead when the field turned for home, pricked his ears and scurried away from the rest of the field under a cool ride from Sean Quinlan. He followed that up a week later with a bold 3rd place at Cartmel in a Conditional hands and heels race carrying top weight and was just found wanting when head to head in the last few furlongs but was not disgraced in defeat.

The rest of the yard are just a few weeks off running now and working well on the gallops with plenty of new young faces – and some old favourites- ready for an exciting season ahead.

August 3rd 2016

As Summer is dozily rolling by the horses out on their holidays are happily fat and relaxed. They are due to come back in to start work in another week or two. It maybe a quiet time on the racing front with a two week break from jump racing now but we are still busy with plenty of jobs to be finished in the yard before winter including building a new big sand pen and some new drains to go in fields where it flooded last winter. We have a few in work still who are the fast ground horses and look forward to them getting out later in August.

June 20th 2016

Summer maybe well under way but the weather is as unpredictable as ever. We declare on good ground to arrive at the course following an hours downpour to find its turned to soft. Fortunately this has played in to our hands today with Pinerolo coming good at Southwell in the 3mile chase. Henry Brooke had to earn every penny of his riding fee to keep the old boy in the race for two miles, but once he started overtaking horses he suddenly got interested and ended up winning by 7 lengths which was a great result and a just reward for his patient owners who never gave up on him despite a tough time getting him dropped in the handicap. Its taken a year but eventually we got to where he can perform at a level that interests him and he went away convincingly from the other runners on a surface which suited him today.

Houndscourt, who needs good ground, ran a cracker until getting tired in the last two furlongs. He jumped brilliantly and Brian Hughes let him bowl along happily in front but the ground and trip were his absolute optimum so his 4th place was a creditable effort. Hopefully a drop back to 2m6 or just some good ground will see him pick up another race soon.





Rolo and Henry liked the mud







Yesterday our querky 5 yo Generous gelding Amorous run his socks off at Hexham in the novice hurdle to finish 2nd at 150-1. Last month he had gone to Market Rasen and thrown his toys out of the pram on his first start over hurdles, refusing to jump off then doing so some 4o lengths behind the others and jumping his hurdles as though he had never seen a jump in his life. He has plenty of ability but thinks he knows it all and refuses to submit to his rider – so I had a busy 3 weeks trying to bring the best out of him. Cross country schooling and working for 3miles on the gallops 6 days a week as well as cantering first lot in the pen for 20 minutes on a daily basis has me as fit as him. He just takes the work and never seems to get tired. He still had the energy to argue with me after all that. Seam Quinlan requested a very tight neck strap when he ran on Sunday so of course I gave him one but he didn’t need it and jumped well before cutting through the field when asked. He will stay further and has come back as though he hasn’t had a race. Some tough cookie and a very exciting prospect.

June 1st 2016

Feast of Fire wins at Cartmel but only just. The lovely big chestnut gelding jumped super and travelled well but looked like he would have to settle for 3rd place jumping the last until the half mile run in saw him manage to pick off the two leaders with ease and get up just before the line for his jockey Sean Quinlan. He won by a neck to give Liz Verity his owner a great day out, cheered on  by 23 of my owners (it was our Owners Picnic Raceday) He only ever does enough but he is a super ride and has more to offer so keep an eye out for him. He will have a well deserved holiday for 8 weeks now.









Feasty looking gorgeous!




May 10th 2016

Chase The Wind gave us an exciting display of foot perfect jumping to win a very competitive 3m Novice Chase at Wetherby last week. Confidently ridden by Sean Quinlan who led from the start, he rode a clever race as the 20-1 outsider (despite a promising 2nd at the track the previous month) and used his jumping to gain an unassailable lead and win by 3 lengths from the favourite Fort Worth.








It was a memorable first jumping win for his owner John Nixon who has, up until now, owned just flat horses for years.

A couple of days preciously Urban Gale ran a solid second in the handicap chase at Sedgefield after a few days swimming had freshened his up. He arrived home very lame the following day which worried us all but thankfully a huge abscess burst out of his heel 5 days later which he must have been harbouring from before his run so it made the result look even more promising.


April 1st 2016

Its been a long winter but at last some dry weather to dry the ground up. We had 3 runners at Wetherby last week who were all placed including Chase The Wind who ran a gallant race in the novice chase to come 2nd behind a 136 rated horse trained by Warren Greatrex. He jumped fantastically and tried hard but was giving away 15lbs - so being beaten a respectable 7 lengths was a fair effort for my brave jumper. He will return when the ground is better, ready for a full novice chase campaign in the coming season.

Our Phylli Vera showed an improved effort when ridden handier than normal to finish 3rd in a 2m5 hurdle race. She is another who will appreciate summer ground and we will keep her racing well in to the new season, with plenty of opportunities now she has dropped to a handy mark. A new horse to the yard is Feast of Fire who arrived off the back off some lacklustre performances. We ran him recently at Sedgefield and he finished 2nd in a chase, jumping soundly and staying on well. He suits an easy track with ground not too soft as he does not like trying too hard but I hope after this performance we can coax a win out of him shortly.






Best Turned Out

Feast of Fire – 2nd at Sedgefield









January 17th 2016

We have had a quiet Christmas and New Year with first the wet and now snow cancelling a number of festive meetings. The horses who have been running seem to be at the mercy of the handicapper who has been dropping them an odd 1lb or 2 when well beaten which alas seems tough when we have been put up more for merely standing in the stable some weeks!! It is incredibly frustrating but when the weather picks up we will be prepared for battle at least.


I took the chance for a family holiday immediately following New Year and we all went skiing in France with some friends, half of which were first timers, we all had a brilliant time and it was a great opportunity to recharge batteries with a scenic change – although there is little chance of a rest on a skiing holiday – I love to cut some powder and with the beginners catching on so quickly I seemed to spend the week giving instruction to my little following on steeper and steeper slopes.

A few new Irish recruits arrived recently, a 6yo flat winner called Attraction Ticket who is still a maiden over hurdles. He will be prepared for early Spring as he prefers better ground, and along with a 5yo bumper gelding by Generous whom I rather like, it is an exciting time getting to know them all and working out where will suit them and what the plan is.

Nov 23rd 2015

denman and Rollo CheltenhamPinerolo and Denman enjoy Cheltenham

He maybe 10 years of age and move like a horse twice his age but Urban Gale did it again for us. He won his second race of the season at Southwell recently under Sean Quinlan who gave him a positive and driving ride to get up and beat the front running favourite by two lengths on the run in for home. Sean had not sat on him before but said he was a genuine stayer who wore is heart on his sleeve and kept trying as hard as he could. What a super old chap Herbie is – that’s three he has won for us now and has only been unplaced on four occasions from 11 runs.

An exciting outing was Pinerolo running in the cross country race at the Cheltenham Open meeting. It was quick ground so not ideal for our mud lover but he jumped brilliantly and finished a very respectable 10th against some top class horses giving all his owners a great day out at the best track in the country. To top off the wekend we got to school over the banks the previous day with a very special work horse I organised to give us a lead. None other than Denman, the 2008 Gold Cup hero who at 15 years of age is still as enthusiastic and Tank like as ever. He bombed around the fences and banks alongside Rolo to the glee of all the on lookers, most of the Cheltenham staff were out to watch or record them. Quite a unique few days.

Sad news came a few weeks ago when Craigdancer was struck into at Musselburgh after another horse clipped heels with him. He fractured two bones in a hind leg and despite expert medical attention at Edinburgh Veterinary hospital we could not save him. It was a very sad day, he has been a little treasure to us all and we are devastated to lose such a joyful young chap. He loved life and his racing and was a total character. We miss him dearly as do the owners who were so patient and caring of their wonderful six year old gelding it allowed him to improve, and blossom. We are left with very special memories of our wonderful CD.

Sept 1st 2015

Another winner at Cartmel with the 10yo Urban Gale who is as genuine a horse as you will find. Ably ridden by Henry Brooke the pair front ran all the way to win unchallenged in the 3m2 Challenge cup Chase. That’s 2 winners from 3 runners this week and puts the strike rate up to 75% winners and places to runners this season. Unbelievable! A credit to the hard work of Stef and all the girls on the yard who make up our small but caring team at Brookleigh. Well done team.

herbie cartmel.            stef trophy Stef celebrates with the trophy

August 28th 2015

Well Craigdancer who gave us another strong-minded display yesterday to win his second hurdle race this season at Sedgefield in the 2m3f hurdle race. Since having a hood fitted he has turned out to be a changed character and as long as he gets his quick ground he seems to relish the competition. He will now go for his wind operation which is the reason the soft ground catches him out. He has been a bargain buy for the owners and shown them how brilliant owning a racehorse really can be.

We have all the string back in work and gearing up ready for this coming winter season. There are some lovely new horse to look forward to and we eagerly await hitting the track with them soon. Some have the odd share still available so be quick if you fancy getting involved, its not as costly as many other pastimes and the crack is mighty.

Interesting news … We now stand at a 62% wins and places to runs ratio for the 2015/16 season to date.

August 1st 2015


The horses are enjoying their summer holidays grazing in the paddocks whilst there is a break in jump racing. Next meetings to look forward to will be at Sedgefield and Cartmel in late August before the rest of the track action resumes in September for the winter season. We have a few still inside working away but most are half way through their well earned break after another successful year where we have enjoyed celebrating plenty of winners and placing’s for virtually all the syndicates and owners in the yard.

We are excited about the coming winter season with some lovely new additions to the yard, both young and more experienced jumpers ready to go in to battle with. Houndscourt has dropped 2lbs to 110 and won us 3 races over the last 10 months, Craigdancer is still weak and growing up at 6yo but has won and been 2nd this summer, Cara Court and Pindar have both won and been placed again in the last year and Urban Gale is now gearing up for more races after he had a promising pipe opener at Cartmel recently, he has also been consistent for an old lad winning prize money most outings since he won for us last season.

The girls have also taken it as a chance to get away on holidays or to visit friends and family while we have less to ride out. I snatched 4 amazing days away in Italy in July which was bliss, even though I slept through most of it! You cant beat a break to recharge the batteries and now we can gear up for some great racing to come.
Happy Holidays!


May 30th 2015


We had another good result on Thursday at Wetherby’s last jumps meeting before Summer when Craigdancer defied his 16-1 odds to win the 2m4f handicap hurdle under a brilliant ride from Dougie Costello. 6 yo Dancer was having his first try in a hood and it worked better than any of us could have dared to hope. He has always had an abundance of energy and is what I can only describe as a hyperactive juvenile in his work at home who has so much energy he has to let everyone know how well he is feeling by bucking and leaping about in excitement. So its down to yours truly to ride him out but fortunately I think he is great (providing I have long stirrups) After Dancers bold and gutsy performance to beat the favourite by a neck on Thursday I can only describe his win as the ride of the week by a determined Dougie. It was a first outing as sole owners for the gents who bought Dancer recently,  under the ’Chessymillars’ name, although they have had shares in many others before so the winners enclosure has been well visited.

May 20th 2015

A great start to the new season with a winner and a 2nd on our first outing to the races. After a super 2014/15 season Houndscourt came up trumps to beat a strong field at his favourite track of Sedgefield in a 2m4f chase on ground softer than he prefers. Cara Court, following up his outing a few days earlier in a charity hunt race at Skipton which was to be a ‘sweetener’ for him proved it had done its intended job when he came 2nd in an extended 3m3 chase. Half the fences had been omitted due to the rain the previous day which worked against him otherwise he looked like being the winner. We look forward to an exciting summer with both these boys along with all our new recruits who have recently arrived from the sales and Ireland. These include a multiple winning chaser rated 123, a 6 yo flat and hurdle winner, a winning bumper horse placed over hurdles and a less experienced well bred 5yo gelding. All are up for sale to stay in the yard so please get in touch for further details.


March 14th 2015

Spring is in the air and the horses are upping their game, we celebrated with another winner this week. This time it was Cross To Boston at Hexham who won from the front in a 3mile chase by 5 lengths given a great positive ride by John Dawson. He had also come second a few weeks ago at Sedgefield, on his first run for us so we were expecting a good show. Pindar was narrowly beaten coming second last week back at Catterick and is back on form now the dry ground is here. I will up him to 2 ½ miles next as he would appreciate a little further.

The yard is really buzzing with horses happy to give us their best which is what we aim for. The sales are coming up in April and all we need now are a few more people interested in getting involved with higher class potential winners. I am keen to up the class of horse we are winning with and have a number of considerate owners willing to invest but a few more would ensure we have plenty of choice to find the right horses. My rates are extremely competitive and packages are individually tailored. If getting involved to any level interests you then please get in touch with me to discuss if we can fulfil your needs. I always find horses to suit owners and vice versa, it ensures everyone enjoys ownership.

January 30th 2015

After the snow and frost of the last few weeks we are finally seeing an end to the annoying racing bugs lingering about in racing yards across the country due to the mild climate. After we had such a super winner on Boxing day we were followed by the usual hike up in the handicap for Houndscourt (along with a few other placed horses) so since then we have been ticking along quietly waiting for a bit of better ground to appear.

The new barn is completed and in use which is brilliant for us in this wintery weather with indoor tie up rings, clipping areas and feed stores all under one roof with the large pens for 9 horses all together. See new photos below


IMG_0091.                  IMG_0095        IMG_0101     IMG_0098.   IMG_0096

My original Monarch stables re-sited.   4 of the airy indoor pens.         AAF enjoys his new view.             The tack room.               Lauren cleans some tack

Dec 26th

A great Boxing day trip to Sedgefield for the Golden Syndicate when Houndscourt won the 2m4 chase beating the favourite. Sam Drake rode an enterprising race with ground on the soft side and Sherbet, our NSPCC Bobble hat day celebrity campaigner, who pulled his best out of the bag to run up an easy victory in the end. With the 6 shareholders present bringing along a crowd of 15 friends and family there was a whole lot of shouting and cheering from them all to welcome him in. We continued to celebrate by squeezing in to the winners room by drinking them out of champagne …What a great way to round off Christmas.



Nov 15th

With hunting fogged off we decided to canter the horses alongside the river today, the ground is always dryer than any other land on the farm following days of constant downpours. The horses love to go for a good long paddle afterwards and some get more carried away than others. Urban Gale who is feeling very well and now ready to run again loves the water, he splashes and thrashes. With him and Jesus both trying to duck their heads under the deepest it can get quite hair raising to be sat aboard them. Here is Herbie (UG) having a splash around with Pete today….Note how high the River Wharfe is after 24 hours of heavy rain!


Nov 11th 2014

A great run today for Houndscourt at Sedgefield who came 3rd  in the £10k novice handicap chase against a strong field. He enjoyed every minute and gave Sam Drake a perfect round of bold jumping. It looks like the Golden Syndicate have another exciting prospect to look forward to this winter.

Well done Stef who got another Best Turned Out award with HC, her third in a row. He looked amazing.


houndscourt hc

Nov 6th 2014

Finally the horses are well again and back firing on full cylinders after a brief period where, as seems to have been the common complaint in most northern yards recently, sore throats affected quite a number with the mild weather. We have entries for Cara Court and Houndscourt who will be having his first outing for us next week and is in excellent form, despite carrying a higher handicap mark than he deserves. Also Force of Habit had his first run back last week at Sedgefield after returning from a knee injury and finished a creditable 5th after needing the outing. Craigdancer has had a soft palate operation and will be back for his third run over hurdles in a few weeks, we look forward to him picking up a race once he has his mark and can finally breath properly as he is such a game little lad.

The new barn is well under way and quite a number of the new pens are ready for use. It is such a luxury with all 9 new boxes under one roof yet so open and well ventilated, the horses we have tried in their to test the drainage seemed to have loved it. It should be ready before Christmas so owners can enjoy their first chance to have a look around and share a mince pie with us. We have lots of new owners joining us in the syndicates this winter so I cant wait for them to experience the thrill of the races and hopefully a winner or two to follow this season.

Sept 30th 2014

A disappointing day at Sedgefield. Firstly Pindar had to be pulled out after developing a mild case of colic the previous evening. Pinnie enjoyed another day out hunting on Saturday and had risen 8lbs for winning last time out, the race looked ideal for him but there will be plenty more chances for him. Cara Court (who felt fantastic at home) and Craigdancer both ran flat and after getting checked over by the vet afterwards were found to have sore throats so will be given antibiotics and 10days easy cantering. This time of year the weather causes problems for all livestock, mild warm weather breed bacteria rather than killing it, mixed with the stress of travelling and racing the horses can pick up a cough easily enough. Fortunately early October is quiet so a few restful weeks wont hurt. So onwards and upwards for winter…. the Christmas calendar is out and there are lots of races for us on Boxing day which we all look forward to.

Sept 16th 2014

Another winner for the yard as Pindar romps in at Sedgefield in a 2 mile chase ridden very well by Dougie Costello. After a few disappointing runs where he has not shown much interest or confidence for his racing I took him out to enjoy a days hunting just 4 days ho. He absolutely loved it, he was up jumping all the rails and walls like an old pro, watching the hounds and pulling his jockeys arms out. It must’ve worked to rejuvenate his mood as he travelled better during the race than he has yet. We also ran a 5 yo called Craigdancer to come 4th in the 2m4 novice hurdle. He showed plenty of promise and jumped extremely well. He looks to have a bright future according to Dougie, his jockey.

Aug 24th 2014

cc winning cartmel (2).   jesus wins (2)

Another win for Cara Court, this time at Cartmel ridden by John Dawson, a 2m5 chase. Jesus took it up jumping the last with the long run in of half a mile to have us holding our breath with the favourite sat in second. He stayed on well and won easily in the end to give the ‘Golden syndicate’ gang another day to remember. Urban Gale gave a bold run to finish 3rd on ground on the quick side for him. With a few niggles hindering our routine in the last month he rallied well under top weight. If the handicapper drops him now he should find things easier next time. Overall a great day for us…


July 26th…

pete working

Pete is well under way with building the new pens in the old cubicles. Enjoying his new toy for the weekend, we have tonnes of stone to shift before setting to erecting 3 monarch stables and 6 large open pens which the horses seem to prefer allowing them freedom to move around when they are inside. We have a brand new tack and feed room ready. Times are changing, 40 years ago my father built the cubicles himself and seeing them dug out was quite emotional. Lovely memories of a busy dairy farm with plenty of lads helping out over a busy hay time with Grandmas wonderful hay teas, raspberry buns, corned beef sandwiches and a vat of steaming tea. We will never be lucky enough to see those carefree times again but progress must move us all forward.

July 20th

Cara Court returns after a holiday in great form to finish 2nd, getting beaten just ½ length at Cartmel in the 2m5 chase. He jumped well and looked a picture, well done to John Dawson who gave him a great ride and never gave up. Jesus is back in the building…… all bodes well for his younger sibling, new arrival Houndscourt, after yet another decent display from our Court Cave gelding.

July 17th 2014

With a new purchase arriving in the yard this week it has caused some excitement. 7 year old Houndscourt has won over hurdles and on the pointing field but is still a novice over fences. He is by Court Cave, the same sire as Cara Court who has won us 5 races. Although rated quite high at 120 over hurdles this horse has come with a similar story to CC when he arrived 18 months ago… having got a bit bored of life in their previous regimes and finding the level they were racing at rather too competitive. We are hoping a fresh yard, a totally different routine including hunting and cross country schooling following a short holiday will rejuvenate ‘Sherbet’, as my son has since named him, as much as it has Jesus (CC) I am very excited for his future as he has some degree of ability and the racing in the north is slightly less competitive than the big southern tracks he has been aimed at previously.  Watch out for him this Autumn….

sherbet Sherbet tows his handler round the ring, must be a family trait!

June 7th 2014

Urban Gale put up a brave performance to come 3rd at Hexham in ground too soft for him off top weight yesterday. He is a real trier and has been placed or won on all his 3 starts for us now despite going up 12lb since arriving from Ireland.

We have a new horse in the yard, Jimmy the Hat, who has won over hurdles and fences this year, he is very high in the handicap and will need to be dropped. He is a lovely athletic horse who jumps well so I am looking forward  to getting him on the track. Pindar is back and ready to run after a holiday and he is very well, and absolutely on fire at the gallops….although he may need his first run out to get some confidence back after a fall.


May 1st 2014

A great start to the new season with a new Irish recruit Urban Gale winning on his first start for me at 14-1. Ridden by Sammy Drake ‘Herbie’ put his head down and kept pulling more out of the bag at his first try over 3m3. Gaining him a new nickname ‘the terrier’ he jumped economically and quick to trounce the opposition. Cara Court also ran a great race over 2m to finish 2nd. He should pick up another race soon. The yard are all in great form with some spring grass inside them – fresh is one way to describe how they are feeling!! All the owners and I enjoyed Champagne whilst counting their winnings… a great day out guys, thanks for coming along.

For a short spell it put us near the top of the trainers table too…




April 22nd 2014

Two new horses have just arrived from Ireland tonight – both are recent winners and ready to run. We will be working them on the gallops tomorrow so I am really looking forward to seeing how they go. Their full  details will be up here soon! Very pleased to see Escape To The West run a nice race at Market Rasen yesterday for his 3rd hurdle start so he will have a handicap mark this week. He is improving and seems to love the better ground. A stayer in the making.

Skipton races is held next Saturday May 3rd and we are busy building the course for it. I do hope to see you all there. Should be a great day out. See the ex- Wetherby specialist Mr McGoldrick who is making an appearance at 1pm, first race 2pm. Bar, bookies, fair, trade stands, home made refreshments etc  £20 a car under 12s go free.  Heslaker farm Skipton BD23 3AD.



April 4th 2014


unnamed (2)


Just back from Sedgefield with Cara Court who has succeeded in winning the Golden Syndicate another race (above) Given a super front running ride by Jonny England he won the 2m4 0-120 chase in good fashion despite being just out of the handicap. The ground was soft, not ideal for him, but he didn’t seem to mind it when the favourite came to challenge two out and battled on decisively. He has now won us 5 races in the space of a year, and it looks like there is more to come now he has won at this level. We may now head to Wetherby in 10 days….

March 6th 2014

The ground has finally come right for Force of Habit who has been waiting for the sun to show us how good he can be. He ran a very decent 2nd place to top weight Dark and Dangerous at Catterick in a novice handicap chase over 2m yesterday with some excited owners watching from the stands. He was given a very patient ride by John Dawson and jumped superbly for the talented rider, staying on after the last he was gaining with every stride to just get beaten by the top weight who has been rated at 125 over hurdles at his best. We look forward to a great summer season ahead with him now.


January 27th 2014….

What a great way to start 2014…Cara Court wins at Catterick on 1st January 2014. The outsider in soft ground on a wet windy day. It is good to see he recovered from his virus quickly and remains in fine fettle after his race so he should be back out again soon.

Our little star Marino Prince has finally retired from racing due to slight arthritus in his joints – he has won 10 races and almost £50,000 prize money so he deserves to find a super home where he can relax and enjoy an easier life (although I suspect he’d be far happier being a racehorse – I have never known a horse who loves his racing as much as Prince) I hope we can find him a suitable home to enjoy his new career as a hack, he really is a little character.

SSJ 258

Prince winning at Southwell in 2013


2013 has been an amazing year for us – the best yet with 10 winners under rules and even a winner with my slow pointer! I have some wonderful owners and together we have enjoyed some great days racing this year and many others before so I would like to thank them all for their continued support. We all realise owning horses is a rollercoaster ride and the euphoria of winning is their ultimate reward for their patience and understanding throughout the season. 2013 years winners include…

Peaks of Fire

Cara Court   – AND NOW A DUAL WINNER IN 2014

Marino Prince

Mystic Academy


Leac an Scail

In The Haven

Vardas Supreme


Best Wishes to all of you for 2014

Jo and the team