Ben PaulingNews


The weekend followed on nicely after a good week with The Megsons’ Global Citizen making his much-anticipated seasonal debut and Le Breuil heading to Huntingdon for his Chasing debut.


Global headed to Ascot for the competitive Listed Hurdle over 2 miles and he didn’t disappoint, carrying top weight was always going  to be a huge ask but he ran a cracker, his jumping was superb and he showed his class throughout, he turned for home looking very much in control but between the last two carrying top weight and with it being first time out he just seemed to get tired. He ran a gallant second and lost nothing in defeat.

That run should now put him spot on and we’re are excited to see him out again, he has an entry in the Greatwood so we will have to see whether he takes this up.


Emma Collins’s Le Breuil made his return to the track in fine style and his debut over fences at Huntingdon in the same race that Willoughby won last year. With the ground on the quick side there were a few non runners so the race was a dual between Le Breuil and Real Warrior with Le Breuil going off 1/9F. He put in a fine round of jumping to win in good fashion under Daryl. He too has an entry at Cheltenham on the Friday.

At the end of the week we hit a few cross bars with horses running well but just missing out on the top spot. One to note that ran a brilliantly was Paul and Clare Rooneys’ Anightinlambourn. This lovely mare was just beaten on her debut after not having the easiest of paths through the race. She looks to have a bright future and we look forward to seeing her next time out.

This week brings up some exciting horses ready to make their seasonal debuts with the likes of A Hare Breath, Nestor Park, Creep Desbois, Cavok, Kildisart and others with entries so fingers crossed for a good few days

CHRISTMAS CARDS Don’t miss your opportunity to buy our specially designed Christmas Card in aid of RACING WELFARE please order yours £12 for a pack of 10 from Grace


The last ten days have been great for the team with the horses really rocking and rolling.


Simon Munir and Isaac Souedes’ DELIRE D’ESTRUVAL kicked off his chasing career in fine style as he headed to Carlisle for a competitive Novices event. He had good form over hurdles, so we were excited to see him take on a fence. Stowaway Magic was sent off the favourite and the two matched each other stride for stride in what was a masterclass in jumping from both Novices. Delire as he always is was brave and battled on courageously to the line winning by half a length or so. He is an absolute delight to have in training and hopefully Carlisle was just the wetting of the appetite for what is to come from this gutsy horse.


WHIN PARK got his season off to a flyer winning under Champion Jockey Richard Johnson. As I’m sure some of you will know he hasn’t been the easiest horse at points through out his career but today he firmly put that to bed by getting his head in front which would bring up a double on the day for the team. We can not thank his owner Sue for her patience with him and we are delighted he has finally rewarded this. Hopefully this is just the start of his winning ways.



This striking youngster came back in from his summer holidays stronger and looking more magnificent than before and he certainly relayed this on the track. Under Daryl he led from pillar to post not seeing another rival. He looked very much a classy individual and certainly seems to have a bright future as a racehorse. We think a lot of him and is one to note.



The week was finished off nicely with a win from Laurie Strangmans’ exciting Skidoosh up at Wetherby who on the second time of asking took a competitive Novice Hurdle under conditional Jockey Connor Brace. Loving life through out the race he looked enthusiastic and was very much in flying form jumping well throughout. Another exciting Novice who seems to be enjoying these drier conditions.


We must also mention the fabulous run that the Strawberry Fields owned MY MATE MARK produced on his re appearance to the track after so long off just being beaten. He came back in looking amazing from Rich and Tiff Morgan Evans and has developed into the most striking individual. He seems to have all the attributes you look for in a horse and certainly looks like an exciting prospect going forward. We can’t wait to get him out again.



We are this year selling cards on behalf of the wonderful charity RACING WELFARE who over the last few moths have been incredible to us and do more work behind the scenes than anyone could hope for. Go to our Facebook page to see the art work for these and order yours from Grace at £12 for a pack of 10. Go on its all for a great cause.



There are still a few shares left in this exciting club who have just had their first runner at Cheltenham where Perfect Pirate put in a great performance and we firmly believe this lovely horse should go very close next time out for information please contact An affordable and great way to live your dream of owning a racehorse.

Next week don’t miss our thoughts on an exciting weekend at Ascot and all our news from the previous week. Lets hope I’ll be writing very much of the same!

Thank you America

JALEO OR HALEO (according to the commentator!!)


It has been quite a couple of weeks with Jaleo heading stateside to run in the Grade 1 American National and he did not disapoint!

Jaleo landed the other side of the pond 10 days before the race and headed to Jack Fishers to his stables near Baltimore. Tom David met him there and did a great job making sure Jaleo was in fabulous form as some of you would have seen from our facebook page he went into the race feeling brilliant and ready to go.

Ben, Soph and Adrian Heskin who took the ride on Jaleo landed into NY on the Wednesday night a couple of days before, and hit the tourist scene before heading to Farehills on the Friday.

Our wonderful Owners Bruton Street could not have been more kind to us and accomodating. The American Steeple Chasing Association were fabulous to us and entertained us brilliantly.

You have to see Far Hills to believe it, the crowds, the picnics, the atmosphere, the race track is something to be seen and do they know how to party, if you didn't have a beer in your hand you were in the minority!

The National wasnt unitl the 6th race so plenty of time to soak up our surroundings.

Jaleo took the preliminaries very well and with first time blinkers he was sharp and alert, perhaps in hindsight a little to lit up in the race. Adrian took a handy positon hoping to get a lead off one or two but after the first circuit he had jumped him self to the front, he lead them a merry dance until a furlong out and was just headed coming up the hill after gettting a little tired, he finished a close 5th and certainly gave us plenty to cheer at for a long way we couldn't have been prouder of him and as a novice going against the season pros he certainly held his own.

What a wonderful experince we loved every second and we wish Jack Fisher and his team all the best with Jaleo who will stay out in the US to race out there. We dont doubt everyone will have a lot of fun with him and he will provide some fabulous days. Our biggest thank you goes to our owners. What an amazing experience.


Straight to Kempton as HIDDEN GLEN DELIGHTS.....

Off the plane and onto the racecourse was Sundays order of the day. Kempton hosted its first major jumps meeting of the season and with one runner on the card we waited until the last for Hidden Glen to go in the Matchbox Novices. We were delighted to see this horse run so brilliantly he sat 2nd all the way round before going infront after the last. He battled on bravely to the line in a dramatic finish to the delight of us all.

Well worth while coming home for.


On Monday we were delighted to announce that Ben will be an ambassador for BLACK TYPE we are delighted to be associated with them and are looking forward to the season ahead. We hope you enjoy the ride! Go to our Facebook to see their brilliant video.


This week see's us ramping up again with runners at Worcester tomorrow and through out the week and then to Cheltenham at the weekend.


THE RACING CLUBS PERFECT PIRATE holds an entry at CHELTENHAM on Friday in the 4.20 pm. There are still a few places available in this exciting Club so don't miss your chance to have a runner in the biggest stadium of them all. If you're interested then contact Grace in the office to buy your share.

The Winter Season is Nearly here

The new season is nearly upon us and we've been very busy at home. 

It's been a fabulous summer and the horses and staff have returned in great form. We are delighted to welcome new faces to the team. We are also thrilled that going into this season brings new facilities and the all- weather schooling ground has been in full flow and our new sand round gallop will be up and running in the next coupleof weeks. These new facilties allow us to keep improving and provide the horses with further opportunities.


We had a fantastic morning schooling this week with some of the young exciting Novice Hurdlers and some of the season pros. 

It was lovely to see the hero that is Barters Hill back schooling under Nico, as always he does everything in chill mode! We hope he will be out at the begining of November in a Novice Chase.  It will be great to get them all out and look forward to exciting times ahead. Not long now....

I guess the real excitment starts with Jaleo this week as he heads to Farehills USA for the American National on the 20th October. This talented Novice will take on the older horses and we firmly believe he heads there with a great chance.


We'll keep you posted.....


Barters Hill and Nico ping over a hurdle



KILDISART wins at Kempton


I know I know!! I’m sorry we’ve been out of coms for a while! But we needed a break after Cheltenham! Wow, what a week talk about an Irish Invasion!
As we wrote previously we had a team going into Cheltenham where we had hoped there would be plenty of live chances.
Despite some gallant runs and some not going quite according to plan this year. The wet and testing conditions would play a big part and unfortunately, some of them couldn’t quite fire in the ground.
We are happy to report though they all came back safely which is the most important thing and are ready to fight another day.


After the week at Cheltenham KILDISART who had been reserve for both his Festival runs headed to Kempton for consolation day and the valuable Silver plate handicap was on the cards for this talented 6 year old.

He travelled and jump through the race smoothly and took the lead as they jumped the second last he slightly blundered the last but managed to keep momentum going and went away again from the fast finishing Zubayr.
It was great to see this lovely Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Novice take a good prize after narrowly missing out on the opportunity to run at the festival.


This last week has been a week of nearly’s all with the likes of CYRIUSOISTRAKHJALEOCAVOKSTAGE SUMMIT all running well and being 2ndor 3rd and just hitting the crossbar. They seem in great form so we look forward to the upcoming weeks.
We look forward to seeing CREEP DESBOIS run at Haydock this weekend as he heads there for the Smarkets Challenger Chase series Final. He seems in good form so fingers crossed he’ll run well.

Look out for next week’s newsletter as we preview the exciting squad heading to Aintree, led by some familiar faces that didn’t run at Cheltenham and some fresh talent looking to make their debut on the big stage.  Let's hope the rain stops and we get some dry ground…..

Updates & Cheltenham Preview


As most of you would have heard our wonderful Willoughby will not be at The Festival this year. Unfortunately, it’s what you call bad timing. He has an infection in his foot which reared its ugly head over the weekend. It has unfortunately rumbled on for a few more days than we had hoped, and he has missed crucial bits of work that were needed for him to get to Cheltenham in the form we would want him in to be able to do himself justice and to be fair to the horse. Ultimately his wellbeing is the most important thing and you must do what’s best by him. He is so special to us and we don’t doubt that there will be many more Cheltenham's. We can not thank his Owners Paul and Clare Rooney and their racing manager Jason Maguire for their support, the kindness they show their horses makes weeks like this easier.


Well, well well! That was pretty impressive wasn’t it! If you haven’t seen the Grade 2 Dovecote then please go to our Facebook page it's worth a look.

This lovely Novice turned up to Kempton in good form off the back of a stylish win at Southwell a few weeks previous. The Dovecote had been touted as a race with plenty of depth. Humphrey Bogart a horse that had been 5th in the Derby and Scarlet Dragon who had been placed in Group company headed the charge of the flat horses.

With so much speed in the race we knew it had to be a good gallop start to finish and along with Mont Des Avaloirs the two led the field at a good pace. By the third flight he had jumped himself to the front and as he went through the gears it really was fantastic to watch this classy individual to win the race in such ease.

We are very lucky to have such an exciting new recruit and a big thank you to The Megsons for sending us such talented and exciting prospect.

All being well he heads to Aintree for the Grade 1 Top Novices and we can’t wait to see him back on the track.


Despite our main man not being amongst the squad this year, we have our biggest contingent heading to the festival, with some exciting chances Amongst them. Here is a little bit about each intended runner.

Grade 1 Albert Bartlett and Ballymore

With entries in both Grade 1 novice hurdles this lovely horse is likely to go to the Albert Bartlett on the Friday of The Festival.
This smart recruit from the Irish Point to Point Field has shown some impressive form this winter and heads to The Festival off a back of a win up at Doncaster after beating the Grade 2 runner-up Paisley Park. He has some great form against the Nicky Henderson trained Mr Whipped and he heads there in good form we don’t doubt this honest horse will give his all on the day.

Grade 1 Champion Bumper

He is quite simply a gorgeous horse who has shone bright this season and if the ground is soft will take up his place in the Champion Bumper. He won impressively at Ascot after a ding dong up the home straight with Portrush Ted he then was beaten a few lengths in what has been described as the hottest bumper of the year at Newbury in the Listed Contest. He has come out of that race superbly.

Ultima and The Close Brothers

MARKOV's form has been nothing shy of spectacular this year and it has been a pleasure to watch this horse mature into the class animal we had always hoped he was.

Unbeaten until he sadly tipped up at Haydock last time out he goes to the festival in good order. We have our fingers crossed that he gets into The Close Brothers but this might be unlikely so if he doesn’t make the cut for that he will go for the Ultima.

All entered in - Coral and Martin Pipe

These three horses will all head to Cheltenham after impressing this season in big Handicaps. The Simon Munir and Isaac Souede owned Novice Kildisart has shown fantastic form against the Handicappers and whichever route he takes this classy individual has bags of talent.

LE BREUIL a horse that we have always believed could be a graded horse and to be honest we hope he shows this as his season has been a bit chequered. He is great fettle and we hope that he shows what a classy individual we know he is. He is also in the Pertemps handicap hurdle which we will have to give some serious thought.

RED INDIAN has had a cracking season and the form of the Lanzarote has been phenomenal. If it comes up soft watch out he could be a serious contender in whichever race he heads to.

Fred Winter

This lovely French recruit has had two runs for us, he was second on his debut at Ascot and went onto win impressively at Market Rasen. He was given a mark of 128 after that day but has been dropped 4 pounds in his box subsequently so we have everything crossed that he will creep into the bottom of the Fred Winter. 

County Hurdle

As I mentioned in last week's newsletter this lovely horse is better off fresh. He has been seen on the course once and won a Listed hurdle at Sandown back in November, that day he showed the class he has. He heads to The Festival with as good a preparation as we could have hoped for and work fabulously at Kempton on Tuesday.

Martin Pipe

This smart hurdler has had a great campaign this season, he is two from four with a Listed win under his belt. He heads to Cheltenham after an impressive win at Towcester, asserting his authority on good bunch of Novice Hurdlers.
So fingers crossed and let’s hope for a good week.



After the successes of the four at the beginning of the week.
The horses continued with their run of good form towards the end of the week with GOWITHTHEFLOW displaying his class to win a very hot novice up at Doncaster.
He went off second favourite with Paisley Park who had been second in the Grade 2 Lemington Spa behind Mr Whipped as favourite.
We have always thought this talented individual would run very well and he did not disappoint putting in a fine front-running performance with Paisley Park the two battled gallantly up the home straight drawing clear of the chasing pack.
He confirmed himself as a Cheltenham contender and will head there all being well in March to one of the Novice Grade 1 hurdles.


DELIRE D'ESTRUVAL headed to a wintery and hard going Towcester last Thursday. The ground had come up fairly soft, but this French-bred recruit is not a horse to shy away from these conditions. He put on a fine display of jumping led the field from start to finish and put the race to bed in good style. He will very possible head to Kelso for the Grade 2 on the 3rd March.


A horse like A HARE BREATH known as ‘Harry’ is a horse you dream of training he has been so fantastic to us and he will always be the horse that provided us with Bens first winner at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power meeting of 2015.
Harry arrived in the summer of 2015 sent to Ben by the Embiricos family and owned by Valda who in her own right is a superb horse woman. The Embiricos family are steeped in racing history having owned many lovely horses but most famously they owned the wonderful Aldaniti who went on to win a fairy tale Grand National with Bob Champion. It is a joy to have a horse for them.
He had shown class before arriving with us and wasn’t hard to see that this was a lovely horse when he turned up. He is powerful to look at a very striking and fantastic looking individual.
As the months of September went on he worked better than any other horse, impossible to get off the bridle and to find anything to go with him he was a two-miler through and through.
His first run for us would be at the Cheltenham Paddy Power meeting. It was no secret that he had been taken to Seven Barrows to work a couple of weeks before with a couple of Nicky's two milers and whispers had gone around as to what this exciting individual was.
To say he was backed on the day was an understatement clearly the cat was firmly out the bag!
Under Nico de Boinville this Novice jumped like an old pro in a race that was run with plenty of speed he came around the home bend and powered his way up the hill to win in good style.
It was not only an exciting win for us all, but it was an emotional day for Valda and the Embiricos family who had been so patient and nursed him back to full health. He had rewarded their patience and care they showed him.
He went on that season to win at Kempton in January, we had hoped he would head for the County at the Festival that year and we firmly believed he would get in, so as you can imagine when he missed it by 1 we were all saddened. Sometimes though these things are meant to be and a few days later he was a bit under the weather.  He would head back to Barkfould Manor for his well-deserved summer and come back next season for his novice chasing campaign.
We would, however, give him one run over hurdles and he was sent into the Greatwood and back to his old stomping ground of Cheltenham. He again flew up the hill landing two lengths down at the last from the eventual winner North Hill Harvey, he was perhaps unlucky in running towards the line where he had the door shut on him finishing 4th with the first 4 finishing within a length and a half of each other. It really was a cracker of a race and once again he showed what a classy horse he is.
After that he headed to Bangor for his Chasing debut, he did this in fine style as we hoped next stop would be up at Doncaster for the Grade 2 Lightning Novice where he ran a gallant third that day and it seemed as though all roads would lead to Cheltenham for the Arkle.
I think its fair to say this day he slightly scared himself and just wasn’t prepared to take on the fences at the speed they go in the Arkle.
The executive decision was made to send him back over hurdles this season, for those of you who follow him you will be fully aware he has only been seen once on the track this year. He is a horse that loves feeling fresh and goes well when lightly raced.
He opened up this terms campaign in emphatic style at Sandown winning the Listed two-mile hurdle he now heads straight to the County at the Festival and we can’t wait to see him back on the track.


Grace/Gracie arrived in May with a wealth of experience in the equine world.
A student at Cirencester and after 3 years of what we can only believe was spent having a lot of fun and heading to the tunnel most nights with perhaps a little time spent on her course! This clever girl graduated with a 2.1.
She headed to Australia to work for Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley where she helped prep yearlings and foals for the sales and after these six months, she realised that working in this world was something she wanted to do and took up a role at Hickstead Show Ground. This role was a massive undertaking and to help put on such huge events running 4 star and 5 star show jumping where the best of the best come from all around the world to compete was a role that would put anyone to the test.
Gracie did 4 seasons at Hickstead and established herself as someone who could be relied on in the workplace but also capable of taking on a huge amount of responsibility at such a young age.
Having done all she could at Hickstead she went to work for Pippa and William Funnell, they take no introduction they are a couple who have succeeded at the highest levels in both Eventing and Show Jumping. It was a fantastic place to work but it soon became apparent that Grace wanted to work in racing, having always had an interest in the industry she came and saw Ben at the beginning of April and was offered the job to start in May and this is where the BPR story begins……
Gracie has since day one been an asset to our yard and the team. She scoops people up when they need it. Her calm attitude, Fantastic sense of humour and professional approach to her day is invaluable.

Four Winners On The Bounce!


As we have been saying for the last few weeks, we have been trying to get the horses back to full health. Finally we think we are there and they have come back with a bang these last two days. Hurray!!

Making it four wins from four starts on Monday and Tuesday.
We headed to Southwell on Monday with three hopefuls; TWO SWALLOWSBOREHAM BILL and GLOBAL CITIZEN. It was the first day we really hoped we had got them back and out the other side of the head cold.


The wonderful mare TWO SWALLOWS would be first to take her chance against the boys which included Get On The Yager who was fresh off the back of a victory in the Roland Merrick Grade 3. He would however be giving her 15 pounds, putting them at about level on ratings.

For those of you who have not seen TWO SWALLOWS; she is as small a racehorse as you’ll come across. She would be no higher than shoulder height on the average person but her heart is bigger than any other.

Partnered with jockey Nico de Boinville she went off favourite. She sat in behind the leader who was heading out to the right when jumping and the rest of the field followed suit. She dug deep coming up the home straight with Get On The Yager upsides as they had a real battle, the little mare perhaps always just in front put in a good jump at the last to help put the race to bed, winning by about two lengths. She is a very special mare and it was wonderful to see her win over the bigger obstacles.


Mike and Sue Foran’s BOREHAM BILL lined up in the 2mile 4f in what was a competitive Maiden Hurdle with some good form from a few horses coming into the race. He had run well on both his hurdle starts but had jumped left at Huntingdon on Boxing Day so the obvious choice was to go left handed next time out.

He went into this in great form so we were very hopeful he would run a lovely race. He looked fantastic in the paddock and seemed to take the prelims in his stride. Daryl popped him out in front and he looked professional, jumped straight as a dye, and when Daryl asked him to dig deep he responded well and saw it out in style.


Then came the turn of GLOBAL CITIZEN who was the last leg of this treble seeking trio. This lovely horse arrived in the yard at the beginning of January. He had showed plenty of promise in his starts, winning two bumpers, before going hurdling this season. He is not only a lovely horse, he is also the full brother to someone who takes no introduction: the wonderful A HARE BREATH, so we are delighted to have both boys in our team, both horses are lovely, striking individuals.
For those of you that saw his race we think you will agree that he won with the up most style and class. He hurdled well and showed what an exciting prospect he is. We and his owners’ The Megsons look forward to seeing what is to come from this stunning horse and hope the future is bright.
What a great day for all and well done to the team for riding out the storm that was January. Patience has paid off and it’s nice to see the horses repaying this, but more importantly it’s so great to have them better.


Tuesday brought one runner. Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s OISTRAKH LE NOIR headed to Market Rasen for the Juvenile. This lovely French recruit headed the market, with a front-running performance it was nice to see him win emphatic style for the double green colours.



Over the last month we have profiled horses and staff and today is the turn of the lovely TWO SWALLOWS. They say all good things come in small packages and that certainly is the case in this instance.
This bright as a button mare arrived with us at the beginning of the 2016/2017 season. Her owner Carolyn Walters sent TWO SWALLOWS to us after she had had some time off.
She came back into training with ease, a professional through and through, and she goes about her daily work effortlessly. With her fantastic attitude she soon affirmed herself as a favourite amongst everyone at the yard. Annabel, who rides her everyday, saw that this pint size mare had something about her from day one.
Doncaster was to be the place where she would make her first start for the yard. Tom Cannon took the reins and giving her a patient ride she jumped to the lead after the last and won in style on her yard debut. This would be the start of what can only be described as a dream season for her. Her form read as 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, topping it all off with a win at the Cheltenham April Meeting where she battled tenaciously up the hill to get her head in front just before the line. This was a fantastic ride from Nico de Boinville who has been Swallow’s regular jockey since.
After this she went for a well-deserved summer break at Stowell and came back in looking fabulous. The next year she went hurdling and it couldn’t have gone better and come this season the plan was for her to go Novice Chasing to see what she could over fences, and she has not disappointed. She headed to Fontwell for her first outing over the bigger obstacles and ran a gallant 2nd.  Her next outing was to be in a Listed Race at Newbury where she finished 3rd and gained a most sought after black type. Her last run to date was then the one you’ve just read about: a wonderful win at Southwell earlier this week.
She truly is a gem and is incredibly special to us, if only every horse had the heart that this little mare has.


‘There’s only one man for me and that’s Le Breuil/Brulee’ – Sorry Jack!

Han/Hannahbanna! Has been with us for three years after working at a couple of yards before this blond bombshell took up a place with Ben.

Someone who not only has a huge amount of knowledge but also cares, and does her horses beautifully. She is an asset to any team with the dedication she shows. They are always beautifully produced and best turned out prizes at the likes of Cheltenham have gone her way. However, don’t stand beside her when the race is going on as she’s a bit of a nervous watcher and the odd shriek comes out!

To say Han has a bit of a dream team would be fair with riding the likes of LE BREUIL and A HARE BREATH everyday. She rides very well and whether they’re tricky or chilled she will get on most horses.
She is a laugh on any night out and a great member of our team.


Fawsley & Our Feed Man

As I mentioned last week we have been in midst of a head cold, but we hope yesterday provided us with a turning point. Both horses Fawsley Spirit and Perfect Pirate finished their races and galloped to the line, they all seem well at home so just maybe we have a glimmer of hope that they are turning a corner and coming out the other side!


It was not only great to see Fawsley run so well, but just to see him on a race course was a triumph and therefore it's his turn to be in the spotlight this week.
Bought as a store from the Tattersalls June Sale 2016 for the lovely Paul Bush who sadly passed away last year. Paul was simply the perfect owner, he lit up the yard when he came to visit us, with a wonderful sense of humour and someone who was willing to give a horse all the time and patience he needed to mature. This was definitely needed in the case of Fawsley!
He was a lovely horse, who like most of Ben's stores looked like a Chaser in the making.
To say he was tricky in the first six months of having him is an understatement, he was nearly impossible to break and gave a rodeo display that no one could sit! It was soon apparent that there was something upsetting and perhaps hurting him, so very quickly he was sent for an x-ray. He was found to have kissing spine and was operated on straight away that month. He recovered for the next 3 months and was brought back in this time last year.
A big horse, he had matured over his time off, his break had not however helped this quirky horses behaviour and he still behaved like a bucking bronco.
It got to the point where he was sent away to Gary Witheford who specialises in getting a horse to come around to our way of thinking through understanding the horse and working out why they are behaving in a certain way.
This process is by no means easy and Fawsley spent three weeks there. After this Ben went down to see him and Gary recommended that he be ridden in blinkers to help focus his mind.
He hasn’t looked back since! He still maintains his quirks and that fiery 'spirit' definitely raises its head every so often, but he is very much now on the right track and becoming the horse we always hoped.
To get him to a racecourse was a great achievement. But for him to perform and finish third to two very smart horses yesterday is a credit to him and his want to win.
We are so sad that Paul never saw his horse run. We are sure he would have thought yesterday was a huge success. His daughter Rachel who has been with us all of the way on this journey must get the biggest thank you of all. Her patience and belief in the horse has allowed us to get him to where he is today.
We have every faith that he will become a lovely horse and give us all many fun days ahead.


This man needs no introduction, 'Nige' has been with us since day one and we hope he’ll be here for many more years to come.
Ben and Nigel met before Ben acquired his licence in the spring of 2013. He had been working in racing for nearly 30 years. He brought to the yard a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Starting out as a young lad in his teens, this London boy headed to Newmarket where he was an apprentice on the flat. Unfortunately, his weight was against him and he headed to the jumps yard of then Champion Trainer David Nicholson (The Duke) up at Jack Daws where he excelled as a lad. With his Conditional licence, The Duke was keen to give Nigel rides. During his years at the Dukes, he rode 6 winners and was a key part of their team. Twelve years went by up at Jack Daws during which Nigel and his wife Theresa had two children.
The time then came to do something else and go down a different route. This would take Nige completely away from racing and into a different industry for the next 15 years. He would become a postman and we can only imagine that for this bubbly man who always has a smile on his face he excelled doing this, I can’t imagine there was one person who wouldn’t of been warmed by his cheeriness.
A return back to racing was always at the back of his mind, with his family settled in Stow-On-The-Wold and his young son Danny taking after Dad with his riding skills. The sport he loved was calling out again and he took up a position at Martin Keighley’s for the next 3 years before working under Shaun Lycett for a year or so before Ben moved into Bourton Hill Farm when Nigel started as Head Lad. He had two very successful years in the role, we will always attribute the success of the wonderful Malibu Sun to Nige, they seemed to be two peas in a pod!
As the yard grew he decided to take a step back from the role and would become invaluable as the man who feeds the horses. This is as big a responsibility as anything, without this the horses simply wouldn't be able to perform how they have over the last few years.
Nigel is a huge part of our team, he smiles through wind, rain and shine, a true team player and always willing to help those younger members coming through!

Willoughby and Our Traveling Head Lad



This horse takes no introduction, he is what you dream of training and owning when you go into racing.
His presence was apparent from day one. Bought out of the Goffs Land Rover Sale as a three-year-old in 2014 after Ben's first season by Tessie Greatrex and Ben. He was bought for Paul and Clare Rooney.
Willoughby was broken in that month and then turned away before coming back into full training later that summer. His class was obvious from day one but keeping a lid on this fractious individual was tricky to say the lease. Harry Beswick, Ben's Conditional at the time, rode him and did a brilliant job. ‘Wooohhh Willoughby’ could be heard during first lot most days!
He did everything with ease and as the season went on this striking individual caught the eye of many. He was still a frame of a horse though maturing all the time. He was a big baby and when it came to his racecourse debut in a bumper at Ffos Las he provided a rodeo show to rival any bucking bronco!!
He went on to finish third and was put away for the summer. The only way to describe him when he returned was ‘WOW’! He had grown and he had matured into an even more magnificent individual.
He won his first two bumpers that year and then headed to the Aintree Champion Bumper. Unlucky in running that day, he still managed to finish a fast-finishing fifth. The patience that he was shown over those couple of years by Ben and The Rooney’s, we truly believe allowed him to become the horse and he is today.
Last year was a year dreams are made of. He started his eagerly anticipated hurdling career around Market Rasen followed by Warwick and then onto the Grade 2 Leamington Spa in January where he won this in empathic style. Next stop was the Grade 1 Neptune on Wednesday the 15th March, a date and a day that will forever live in our memory. He led from the start, turning the heat up as the race went on under a textbook front-running ride by David Bass. He showed guts and determination to fend off the sadly late Neon Wolf in which can only be described as one of the closest and thrilling finishes of the week. No words can really describe that day and the joy it brought to so many. It provided memories that will last a lifetime and a celebration (by his trainer) that will be repeated many times leading up to this years’ festival!!
He has started this season in fine style and has taken to fences with ease under the guidance of Nico de Boinville. After what was perhaps a slightly interesting start at Huntingdon, he went on to win the Grade 2 Novice Chase at the Winter Carnival at Newbury. He was then only beaten a few lengths in the Grade 2 Dipper where perhaps its fair to say the race was not run to suit him and he wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders that day. 
All being well and with everything crossed. He will head straight to Cheltenham now.
As Ben said ‘he is the horse that made all my boyhood dreams come true’ he is a treasure to us and we are so grateful to him. He is one in a million.


After profiling Willoughby it seems fitting to talk about the man that looks after him every day.
Nick is the epitome of what a member of staff should be. He is hardworking and dedicated to the yard. He goes above and beyond his role and we’re incredibly lucky this Yorkshire lad applied for one our job roles three years ago!
Nick, a qualified joiner, decided that he wanted to go into racing and therefore took up a position at the Northern Racing School to learn about the game. He did an eight-week course and headed to Tim Vaughan's for a season before heading to the flat yard of Keith Dalgleish in Scotland.
He soon realised that jumps were where he wanted to be and we had put an advert on Careers in Racing at the same time, a lucky coincidence! He applied, was offered a role straight away, and moved down with his lovely Labrador Red, who has become as much part of life at the yard here as anyone.
It soon became apparent that Nick was going to be a big part of the team from the word go. He soon made the role his own, but also he brought so much more to the team. His joinery skills were second to none and he worked overtime helping transform the yard, making improvements and increasing the size of the tack room.
After a couple of Seasons, Nick decided that he’d like to give pointing a go and took on Bath Wells as his pointer. Bath Wells had been in training with Ben and had become high in the handicap, his owners had decided to give him away as a pointer and Ben saw the perfect opportunity to put Bath Wells into training with Sophie for Nick to have some fun on.
He had his first ride in January 2016 at the Heythrop Point-to-Point. Cheered on by the yard they finished a fantastic second. Nick took some outside rides for others and had a lot of fun that season.
As the yard was growing, an opening for Travelling Head Lad became available. Nick took on this role part-time last year with Eloise and he was then appointed Traveling Head at the beginning of this season. His capability to manage staff and horses with a level head has meant that the team that go racing are efficient and always turned out well. He is fantastic with owners and we know that with Nick there the horses will always have the highest level of care.

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