AUGUST OWNER INTERVIEW - DAVID SHUTTLE

Interview Image

BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)


After travelling a little as a young man, I started my own retail business in Beaconsfield. It was a fairly up market venture and the business was very rewarding, I enjoyed it everyday. Now retired, I live in Princes Risborough with my lovely partner Shantha. I have a daughter Lara who was a very good rider and a son Joseph who played a good level at cricket.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Boxing Day 1965, my parents took me to Kempton Park. My first bet (I was 13) was on Glenn, ridden by Terry Biddlecombe…..it won!

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

At present I am with “Does he Know” at Kim’s. I have also been involved in “Fizzy Dancer” a most beautiful mare and Desaray a very unlucky horse. I also have an interest in a six year old chaser “Classic Ben” with Stuart Edmonds.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

We took my grandfather a racing innocent to Sandown Park. In those days, touts would sell racecards costing a shilling (5p) marked with “the winners”. He cornered my Grandfather who was now overwhelmed and demanded silver, Grandad gave him sixpence (2.5p) and walked off, the touts bottom lip hit the grass.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Cheltenham Festival is in a class of its own however, for friendliness at Wetherby takes some beating.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

I always admired Kim’s racing credentials and a mutual friend spoke highly of him so I signed up.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Racing is in the competitive entertainment business – treat your customers to excellence in customer care!

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

I would wish to be Marcus Evans, the owner of Ipswich Town FC to show a blend of love and hard nosed business. To put the feel good factor back into the club and sense of belonging. Having sad that Frankel has a steady job!


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

My friends say never meet your heroes as you are always let down! My five would be Geoffrey Boycott, Bill Bryson, Diane Keaton, Hilary Benn (as a stand in for his father) and David Mould….an eclectic mix.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Both

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Any well crafted vegetarian dish. In my opinion New Zealand is the finest country in the World. My favourite restaurant is Champers in Barbados, a lovely setting, good food and kindly serviced, also not pompous like many of its rivals. Best TV programme…University Challenge.

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

I want to continue my riding lessons learning to jump, and then ride a racehorse over a couple of fences. Whilst having a six month sojourn on a narrow boat.

What are you most looking forward to?

My family close and extended is very sporty, spending time at Lords with my son or at horse trials with my daughter, Badminton with my partner. I am very lucky, long may it continue.

 

 

 

 

 

JULY OWNER INTERVIEW - TOCKY MCKIE

Interview Image

BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Ian and I live and farm in Northumberland at the foot of the Cheviot Hills. We have a mixed arable and livestock farm, lots of Luing cows and calves and Romney sheep. Oh, and far too many horses, hunters, point to pointers, brood mares and foals and competition horses. We have two grown up daughters, Jess, who is mad about Eventing and Rose who helps run the office and manages our holiday letting business, www.crookhouse.com We moved north from Buckinghamshire in 2003 to escape from the rat race.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

When I was very little, some of my early memories were of my mother and father going off racing, they had horses in training with Tim Forster, who Kim spent some time with, learning how to muck out properly. Also I vividly remember the mares and foals on the stud, and was brought up with the Sporting Life all over the kitchen table, so I suppose it was inevitable that racing was going to play a big part in my future.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

When Kim first took out a licence sometime in the seventies, not quite sure exactly but it was shortly after the war anyway, I was in one of his first syndicates with several of his other girlfriends. So it is exciting to be involved again all these years later with Yeavering Belle, it brings back lots of memories.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

I was fortunate enough to train a few winners in the eighties and nineties, one or two at some big meetings. But of late, aged 61, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and the preparation of riding in a charity race at Aintree. I finished a close third, Ian won it needless to say. I well remember, before we were married, Ian and I rode together in a Maiden Point to Point at Kimble. There were 26 runners and I was a long last, and terrified, for most of the way. Ian was having a shocker on his horse and it was just a matter of time before he fell. When he did so, three from home he got kicked a hundred yards from the fence by the other runners. He eventually got up on all fours and was just catching his breath when I came along and knocked him over again, I never heard him swear like that before, completely unnecessary I thought. It was a close run thing that our friendship survived, especially as I got up to win.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

I have two favourite Racecourses. Towcester, sadly no longer and Kelso, voted Britain’s friendliest racecourse. I was leading trainer at Towcester for several seasons, so it holds a special place. Kelso is such fun, a country racecourse run by sporting people, we were slightly disappointed that Yeavering Belle didn’t make it in May, maybe next season. I love the Goodwood July meeting, more relaxed than Ascot, but still an excuse to dress up, and as much as I try, I can find nothing can better Cheltenham in March, just to see the quality of the horses makes my neck shiver.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Drinking gin with Ken and Biddy, his parents. They lived just down the road and they were both extremely kind to me and great fun.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

In the morning I would take on the BHA as they need to get a grip of regulation. There are so many mixed messages coming through causing unnecessary damage to our sport. They do not appear to take into account the practitioners interests or understand simple horsemanship. As an amateur steward I hear a lot of dissatisfaction from a senior level. British racing is the envy of the world, why do we need to emulate the mundane stuff from the far reaches of the globe. The goodwill is there, I may need a little help from Kim though. In the afternoon I would go to the House of Commons, lobby all the detractors, and not leave until I have secured a deal on the levy to guarantee the future of racing. Oh, and I would tell the RSPCA to go and ……. themselves, our poor queen.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

It would probably be a sports star, maybe Joanna Conte or someone like her. Just to be so fit and in the zone, working out how to get the edge and understand the mental strength. It would only be for a day though, I would need a strong gin by the evening.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Rod Stewart for a little light entertainment during and after dinner, the Princess Royal for her straight forward approach, Boris Johnson to discover what he is really thinking,  Alastair Down for his in-depth knowledge of the wine list and Jeremy Clarkson for his calming influence.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

I am afraid the sweeter the better.

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Anything with a baked potato goes down very well, simple food, nothing too rich. Mallorca with the family is still a favourite, even after all these years, but the Maldives, just to put the feet up, is hard to beat, and the beeches of the West Coast of Scotland for taking the dogs. The Platja Mar, Formentor, Mallorca, a real treat, they cook fresh fish straight in front of you. You cannot beat Sunday lunch at the Dunraven Arms and for a night on the town Quaglinos has everything. I usually fall asleep after about ten minutes of the television being switched on. I did manage to stay awake during Killing Eve so it must have been good.

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Just right at this moment I could think of nothing better than a long soak in a hot bath.

What are you most looking forward to?

To see Jess ride around Badminton would be a dream, I am not sure if I could actually watch though, and it has been a long time since I led in a winner at Cheltenham. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

JUNE OWNER INTERVIEW - LOUIS GILL

Interview Image

BACKGROUND - A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc.)

I run a video production and photography company (The Cotswold Film Company) with my friend Pete. I live in Cheltenham with my girlfriend Emily, she is slowly getting into racing although isn’t happy when I order framed photographs of horses for our house!

The business is also based in Cheltenham, although the beauty of the video Industry is that you end up working in many different locations. My family live locally and my brother now helps me with video projects. The love of being behind a camera came from my father; he is a very talented photographer. I don’t come from a racing background but have definitely given my mum the racing bug; we go to Cheltenham and Royal Ascot together every year.

How did you first get involved in racing?

My love for racing really stems back to the Cheltenham Festival. Being from Cheltenham I loved the way the town transformed for that one week in March. My family were not into racing although did watch the Gold Cup. I was always curious about the buzz that surrounded the Cheltenham Festival and had to discover what it was all about. I’d buy the Racing Post on the way to school and highlight all of the horses that I thought would win. Eventually I started going every year, my teachers would joke that ‘Louis is ill that week’, no questions asked! A few years on and I wanted to combine my interests, I wanted to start filming and photographing racehorses and this would eventually lead on to getting involved with racehorse ownership.

What horses are you/have you been involved in both with Kim and other trainers?

I have a share in Mergeela with Kim. Mergeela provided me with my first winner on a racecourse, a night that I’ll never forget. I also have shares in three point to pointers in training with Max Comley. They are Knockaderry Flyer, Cloudy Joker and Bitofblinding. They all run for ‘The Jump On Board Partnership’, a new syndicate that I help manage. I also used to have a share in a horse with Richard Phillips called Tangley.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

There are too many to choose from although a few stand out. Having my first runner at Cheltenham at the hunter chase night this year would be one of them and feeling so proud of the horse (Knockaderry Flyer). The best though has to be my first winner, when Mergeela won at Wincanton we all had a pleasant surprise. Walking back to the winners’ enclosure in an empty racecourse with my friend Cam. We were all laughing in disbelief but also really happy that she’d left her first two runs behind. Sometimes it’s the little stories in racing that mean the most.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Cheltenham on that special week in March, it’s one of the greatest sporting spectacles. I am a fan of Warwick racecourse as well and always have a good day out there.

How did you get involved with Kim?

As mentioned above, I really wanted to combine my two big passions in life, video production and horse racing. I contacted Kim with the idea of making a documentary back in 2015, he kindly invited us to the yard and we started talking through ideas. Kim brought up the issue of staff shortages in the racing industry and we decided to make a video that would help show what goes on behind the scenes of a racing yard (Racing Stories - Life At The Yard). We followed a number of Kim’s staff doing their daily routine, they also narrated the documentary. Kim has a fantastic online presence and that original documentary really helped kickstart us to make many more films in racing. In the future we are planning to launch a production company specifically for the equine industries. When we first came to Thorndale Farm I said to the crew that one day I’d love to have a horse with Kim, never did I think that four years later I’d have a winner!

If you were in charge of racing for a day, what would you change?

Prize money, I think there needs to be a bigger incentive to get new owners into the sport and more importantly to keep current owners in the game. This has to start from the bottom up. The prize money effects field sizes which then lead to small attendance levels at the smaller racecourses. Owning a racehorse is brilliant fun, the memories made from it are far more important than any prize money won, however seeing a bigger ROI would definitely be a good thing for owners!

Away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?  

Rick Stein. Then I’d spend the whole day cooking myself lovely food!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

I think I’d reunite 5 of my friends. I could think of an endless list of celebrities but how often is it that you can catch up with your 5 best mates all at once?

Do you have a sweet tooth or savoury tooth?

Savoury.

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, TV programme?

I like French food, especially seafood. There is a lovely French restaurant in Cheltenham called ‘Petit Coco’, me and my girlfriend really enjoy eating there. I actually love France for a holiday destination too, good food/wine and some stunning coastline.

I don’t watch a lot of TV; in fact I only ever watch live sport and the news. Maybe being behind a camera and editing screen so much makes it hard for me to watch TV?

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?

I’d play 18 holes at Augusta National!

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to trying to expand The Cotswold Film Company; we’re always looking at new technologies and ways to develop. I also look forward to the journey with all of my current horses and hope for many more good days out!


 

 

 

MAY OWNER INTERVIEW - MARK & MARION HUDSON

Interview Image

BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

We met through politics in the late 1990’s and moved to rural Kent in 2006, complete with dogs and the children’s hunters.  Marion retired from farming and politics then, whilst Mark worked in the City before moving in 2018 to work for an Investment Bank in Abu Dhabi where he lives.  Marion travels between the two and Mark flies back for race meetings when he is able to, and to see his beloved dogs!  We have three children (Charles, Lucinda and Ellie, all of whom love racing) and three young grandchildren (Harry, Daisy and Verity).

How did you first get involved in Racing?
BOTH: Marion has always ridden and the three children grew up ‘Pony Clubbing’ and hunting with the West Norfolk. Mark is far too uncoordinated to be able to ride and instead regularly donated to various bookmakers’ retirement funds over the years.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

BOTH: With Kim: Milord, Sunblazer, Un Ace, Younevercall, Bandon Roc and, most recently, Espoir de Romay courtesy of our friends, the formidable Foreman sisters.

We were also previously in two of Amanda Skiffington’s syndicates with Nidnod and Magical Path, trained by Hugo Palmer.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

BOTH: We are very fortunate to have had a few.  Within four months of racehorse ownership, Milord came 4th in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival.  We made so much noise in the O&T stand that people were taking pictures.  Then A.P McCoy rode Un Ace as his last ever winner at Ascot in the Waitrose Novice Handicap Chase in 2015: we have watched that race once or twice and still cannot believe that the horse won.  Last week, on Champions Day, Younevercall won the Betfair365 Grade 2 Select Hurdle at Sandown in some style.

Daughter Lucinda warming her hands under Willie Mullins’s waistcoat at Ascot one year is also of note.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

BOTH: The Open Meeting at Cheltenham in November - a big picnic in the car park with family and friends followed by excellent racing.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

BOTH: Mark was introduced to Kim by a friend at the 2011 Open Meeting at Cheltenham.  A large glass of red was immediately proffered, and Mark came back to Marion informing her that they were going to look at a horse at Andoversford the following day. That horse was Milord and that was it!  We have loved every minute of it and would never have horses with anyone else.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Mark: probably the prize money.  There are so many syndicates and partnerships now that I do worry about the long term viability of some lovely smaller courses without encouraging more owners.

Marion: extend the break between the end of one season and the start of the next, to give not just the horses, but all of the staff, a breather.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Mark: Theresa May – to show her that it’s not that bloody difficult.

Marion: The writer of The Archers.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Mark: Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Roger Moore, Kim Bailey and my darling wife.

Marion: Assuming it’s a joint dinner party with my husband - The Princess Royal, Jilly Cooper, David Hockney, William Hague and Nancy Mitford.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Mark: savoury – Buck’s Club Welsh rarebit

Marion: Chocolate!  Enough said.

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Mark: A cooked breakfast / African safari (for my 50th in 2020) / The Sportsman or Wiltons / Millennium – a late 1990s spin off of The X Files that no one will have heard of.

Marion: Fish (esp. sea bream) / Italy (esp. Florence) / The Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent / Endeavour

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Mark: Be with my three dogs……and, of course, Mrs H.

Marion: Fly in a TARDIS to Abu Dhabi to be with Mark

What are you most looking forward to?

BOTH: Brexit
 
 
 
 
 

APRIL OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN & SUSIE KOTTLER

Interview Image

BACKGROUND - A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

We both grew up in Northamptonshire, and vaguely knew each other as children. We've been married since 1962, spent a few years in Northern Ireland but have lived in Worcestershire since 1966, bringing up our four daughters with their ponies, guinea pigs, cats, racing pigeons, a jackdaw, and a fine terrier of uncertain pedigree whom they named “Bruvvver” and humanised practically to the point of basic conversation.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

J: From a very early age being taken by my parents to meetings at our lovely local NH course at Towcester.  At the age of 16 I was made (unofficial) school bookie. Turf accountancy didn't really come into it; I made my own odds, very dangerously offering extremely high prices on what I thought were no-hopers.  I somehow survived, but had M'as Tu Vu won the 1956 Grand National, I would have had to have disappeared for a long time.  I had enticed people to back him at 200/1, versus the market odds of 40/1.  (He mercifully failed to finish the race).


S: I was a member of the Pytchley Hunt Pony Club, and I have many happy memories of the Pytchley point to point at Guilsborough.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

We've had interests in a few horses over the years, but the first horse we owned outright was Fed on Oats. He was a hurdler trained by David Nicholson, who won a few races and gave us a lot of fun.   We also have Charlottes Webb owned jointly with our daughter Emma, and a number of her offspring including of course Sea Story with Kim who won a couple of bumpers last year.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Impossible to choose the best between Arkle's third Gold Cup, Sea Bird in the Arc and Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot; and Alleged when he won the Arc for the 2nd time, in a hack canter. With regard to this last race, when we arrived in Paris on the Saturday evening (1978) it was pouring. The local evening press decided that the very soft going would ruin Alleged’s chances, and its odds lengthened accordingly but with extremely good fortune we encountered the incomparable triumvirate of Vincent O’Brien, Tommy Stack, and Lester Piggott staying in the same little hotel as us; I asked them if Alleged would cope with the ground, and they assured me that he would love it; our winnings covered the cost of our trip. 

Numerous funny incidents of course but one that sticks in our mind is years ago travelling home from the Arc with a friend who struggled to understand the difference between imperial and decimal measurement and at huge cost found himself taking home for his wife a truly colossal container of Chanel No 9 which having ordered and had gift-wrapped he felt he couldn’t refuse to pay for. We think she must be still going strong on it after 40 years.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Obviously our local course Cheltenham, but also magnifique Longchamp and wonderful Newmarket. As you scan the racecourse and the surrounding area at Newmarket, we always feel that you sense the history of the sport. We think it is a most special place.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

One visit to Kim’s yard was enough to make us decide to send our horse to him. A good decision.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

J: I would have all betting done through the Tote, as in France, in order to put an end to all the bookies’ horrible telly adverts. The mute button is the most used on our remote.

S: I’m very happy with things as they are!

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

S: No-one I can think of!

J: The world's Number One golfer.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be

S: John Betjeman, Hillaire Belloc and my three best school friends.


J: T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Gina Lollobrigida and Sofia Loren. We'd all have a lot to talk about.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?


S: savoury
J: sweet (Jack Sprat)


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

S: I like holidays in the sun.

J: Holidays on Scottish rivers where the food is the best.   Cape Town in wintertime.

Both: We like Caraffini, Le Colombier, and Boisdale, all in London.   Our 2 favourite TV programmes are both highly intellectual: University Challenge and Dad’s Army.


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

J: I'd like to find a miracle cure for my dreadful putting.

S: I'd like to go on a lovely relaxing holiday in the sun.

What are you most looking forward to?

J: See above

S: Sea Story racing in the autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - EMMA BUCHANAN

Interview Image

BACKGROUND - A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I'm married to Alexander (Lander to most people) and we have two sons and a daughter (Rory 26, Johnnie 25 and Saphy 19) who are still very demanding on my time even though they are no longer at home.  They put this down to my need to meddle.  I meddle, or at least dabble, in various other things that keep me busy and interested.  Home is in a village near Wantage. I own Sea Story jointly with my parents, John and Susie Kottler.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

I started gambling as a very small child.  I'm joking really, but my father used to get me to call the bookies and place his bets so he wouldn't miss the TV coverage.  Mum and Dad always went to Cheltenham with their friends, and took me and my three sisters, Polly, Sarah and Lulu, often crammed into a sports car, not remotely suitable for a family of six.  We all loved the routine and tension of a race day, which invariably started with missing the first race because of the "bloody traffic" and ended long after the last race, stopping outside Cheltenham to pick up fish and chips to take home in newspaper.  The racing itself had us all transfixed as children, and we carefully scrutinised every horse from a knee height view in the paddock before standing on tiptoe at the Tote to place a 30p bet.  We'd say solemnly "It's for my father", whilst pointing to the stranger behind us in the queue, and it usually worked.  

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

My first horse was about 15 years ago, owned jointly with Mum and Polly, a novice hurdler called Dash for Cover with Jonathan Portman, who gave us some fun but retired early through injury, the horse not Jonny.  A couple of years later Henrietta Knight phoned Polly and said she'd found a promising mare in Ireland that would make a nice broodmare one day, so the three of us bought her and she ran in our colours with Hen, and then with Tor Sturgis.  Breeding was the last thing I wanted to get involved in back then, but as it turns out, I love this other dimension to racing, and here we are with her sixth foal due in May.  Sea Story is her second foal, and is the first in training with Kim for me and my parents.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

My favourite moment was Sea Story winning a bumper at Ludlow, because when you breed a horse, I think you long for a moment of justification, but being at Ascot for Frankel's last race was fabulous too.  There go Frankel and Sea Story being mentioned in the same sentence again!

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Cheltenham has it all and nothing beats the first day of the Festival.  Naturally I'm also a fan of Ludlow now.  
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?

When Sea Story was in pre-training with Willie and Mandy Bryan we asked them who was particularly good with mares.  They suggested a few, but of those it was Kim we saw first, and there was no need to look elsewhere as we immediately liked the whole atmosphere of the yard, the way they do things and the level of communication with owners. And Kim's blog!


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

I'd arrange discounted or free entry to racecourses for the under-25s; Lots of them can't afford it.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Theresa May, so that I could have a big Cabinet reshuffle.  

Failing that, my daughter as she's on her gap year in South East Asia.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Joanna Lumley, Jeremy Paxman, James Dyson, Peter Crouch and I suppose if we had his wife, Abbey Clancy, too it would keep Lander happy.  Lander loves ballroom dancing.   I'm exaggerating, but he was glued to Strictly week in, week out, when Abbey Clancy was on and talked of little else at the time.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Both!

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Food: I love any food that's freshly made with good ingredients, and it doesn't have to be complicated.  Really good buffalo mozzarella and very ripe tomatoes can be perfection.

Holiday: Family holidays, with friends too, that involve being out all day, like skiing or stalking / fishing and reconvening for supper and late nights.

Restaurant: Atmosphere is as important as food.  I love Cecconi's (Burlington Gardens) where the food is fab and the green chairs and bar stools were designed by my sister, Lulu about 15 years ago.  If we want a restaurant where we can get stuck in, Boisdale of Belgravia is a favourite with wonderful fresh Scottish food, great service, live music and a cigar terrace.

TV:  Killing Eve was the best thing I saw last year.  ITV Racing and University Challenge are weekly fixtures.

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

I'd love to go and spend three to six months in another country.  No offence to anyone!

What are you most looking forward to?

The Festival.  Politics returning to normal.  Friends coming to stay next weekend.  Liverpool winning the Premier League. The Spey in May.  

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - COLIN STEWART

Interview Image

BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)


A retired schoolmaster, I taught economics for 41 years at Bloxham School and was a housemaster there for 18 years. I am single and have been retired for 7 years, but still live in
Bloxham.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

An uncle and aunt persuaded me to visit Peter Harris's stables in 1998, where they were involved in partnerships. One of the partnership managers there was a certain Peter Kerr. I bought a share in a two year old and have never been without a share in a horse since. It was a wonderful way of escaping the intense boarding school bubble that I lived in.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
 
I was involved with half a dozen horses on the flat with Peter Harris then Walter Swinburne. Since moving to Kim I have been involved with Lion on the Prowl, Silver Eagle, Mor Brook, Sunblazer, Younevercall and Vinndication. I am one lucky owner - all six have won races.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
 
I love the adrenalin rush every time any of my horses runs and have had many excellent days at the races. But undoubtedly the best was last November at Kempton, when I first watched David Bass win on Vinndication at Carlisle, on the big screen, then saw Mikey Hamill ride Younevercall to a comfortable victory at Kempton. This was followed by protracted celebrations with the rest of the excellent "Youneverknow" partnership
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
 
I am a member at Newbury which I think is an excellent course for both jumps and flat racing and I love the Royal meeting at Ascot. But above all I love the wonderful variety of race tracks you get in the UK. It's often quite an adventure following your horse to the likes of Cartmel, Perth or Market Rasen.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
 
Peter Kerr is to blame. He suggested coming to an open day at Kim's. I was bowled over by the welcome and friendliness of Kim and the staff. I also couldn't resist what I thought was probably my last chance to buy a progeny of Saddlers Wells in Lion on the Prowl.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
 
The prize money
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
 
I think it would be David Attenborough - I love travelling and am envious of the extraordinary experiences he has had in many of the less accessible places in the world.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
 
I would invite any five people who would be guaranteed to listen with enthusiasm to my ramblings on subjects such as: my recent travels, horse racing, politics, economics, education etc. etc. Unfortunately I doubt such people exist. In fact it's probably just as well.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
 
Both unfortunately - I'm an inveterate 'nibbler'.
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
 
I love curries, but they have to be authentic Indian - I love Southern India. This gives the clue to my favourite holiday - travelling in India - sights, sounds, smells and wonderful people.
I will watch any sport on television, (I recently found myself riveted by a game of ladies' netball.)
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
 
Flying (first class) to South America. (My current project is travelling the Andes.)
 
What are you most looking forward to?
 
Vinndication running at Cheltenham. (What dreams are made of!)
 
 
 
 
 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN & LAURA GARRETT

Interview Image

Background - A little bit about yourself....

We have been married for 50 years. We bought our own garage/repair business in Kington, Thornbury in 1972 and retired in 2007. We worked in the business together for 35years and moved to Maismore, Gloucester in 2007.

How did you first get involved in racing?
 
We joined a syndicate which was being put together in Dick Baimbridge's point-to-point yard at Hill, Berkely, approximately 30 years ago; the horse being Autumn Green. In our opinion, our best horse was Titmus Bramble who took us to many places and won the Weatherbys Chase P.P.O.R.A Young Horse Award West Midlands Area in 2004.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
 
We currently have shares in Another Venture, Red River, Commodore Barry, Pond Road, Lord Apparelli and the latest in Adjourned.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
 
Going to Killarney Races with several hundred racegoers going towards the entrance, and a gentleman running towards us arms out stretched, grabbed my hand and pushed two tickets into it and ran off as quick as he came without a word being said. I thought I was being mugged!
 
Which is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
 
Cheltenham - Not the Festival though
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
 
Reading an article in the local paper about Another Venture and the Maggies charity, there were some shares available and we wanted to get involved.
 
If you were in charge if racing for a day what would you change?
 
Making the owners and trainers rooms larger because they have not really taken into account that more horses are being syndicated these days.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
 
Alan Titmarsh - For his gardening knowledge, not for his wife!
 
If you could invite any five people for dinner who would they be?
 
Kim Bailey
Felix Francis
Michael McIntyre
A.P. McCoy
Clare Balding
 
Do you have a sweet or savoury tooth?
 
Sweet
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant and TV programme?
 
Roast Duck, Ireland, Ronnie's in Thornbury or North 5 in Winchcombe, Most sport programmes
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
 
Having had a visit before, i would enjoy a further look around Aidan O'Brien's facilities.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
 
Having a Gold Cup winner!
 
 
 
 
 

DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - IAN & PAM FARNSWORTH

Interview Image

Ian – I was born and bred in Gloucestershire in a third generation dairy and arable farm near Cirencester. My grandfather bred shire horses winning many trophies showing and sent out a team of stallions to serve mares around the country. I was involved in breeding pedigree Friesian Holsteins and exhibiting at the Royal & National Dairy Shows. I retired from the family farm 20years ago after selling the milking herd and worked on a large arable estate in Cirencester. I retired for the second time 7 years ago but still drive various agricultural vehicles during harvest. After milking cows 365 days a year, my promise to Pam on retiring the first time was to travel; this we do every winter which invariably results in missing race meetings. We have two children and four grandchildren currently.

Pam – I was born in Cheltenham and was a pony mad child. I eventually acquired my own at the age of 12 which was designed to “keep me away from boys” to quote my father (it worked). I hacked out on Cleeve common overlooking Cheltenham racecourse and spent the week every year at Pony Club Camp which was held on the course; the stables acting as dormitories. I then joined young farmers to find a rich husband – I found Ian! My love of science led me to a career as a scientific officer in the clinical chemistry department at Gloucester Hospital, where I analysed blood and other bodily fluids. I left to have my two children Lisa and Edward.
In 1914 part of the farm had been requisitioned as a WWI airfield and then was handed back in 1922. In the late eighties the family were approached by an aerobatic company who wanted to buy the area and re-instate it as a grass airfield for the Crunchie Flying Circus. Ian agreed and after I begged him that a condition of the sale would be that I could do a wing walk, I was duly strapped on a fuselage of a tiger moth and got a superb view of the countryside whilst trying to keep my mouth closed to avoid insects. A unexpected bonus was my mother-in-law not speaking to me for several weeks as she considered it irresponsible. I then went onto exhibit at Fairford International Air Tattoo the year two Russian fighters collided; we flew over the wreckage on the second day.
My second career was, and still is, accounts and bookkeeping for small companies. I am also chair of watershed riding for disabled in Coates ad we have recently completed a large expansion of our facilities, kindly opened by Adam Henson in September this year.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Pam – I used to get off the school bus in Prestbury and run down the road past Frenchie Nicholson’s yard to get to the far side of the course at Cheltenham to watch the field sweep past in the Gold Cup.

Ian – Meeting Pam

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

Our first horse in training came 15 years ago, which never made it on a racecourse. We currently have a share in “the slowest horse in the yard” Knockanrawley whom Pam immediately bonded with in the field due to his quirky personality. His first run for us and Kim resulted in a win, beating his stable companion – well documented here before. We also have a share in Silver Kayf and the youngster Pond Road.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Ian – Walking from the pre-parade ring at Cheltenham into the Parade Ring with Silver Kayf and the roller coaster if emotion at Ayr thinking Knockanrawley had passed the winning post in front, only to discover he had been beaten into 2nd place!

Pam – The experience of Knockanrawley finishing third on the BetVictor Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham as I had always dreamt of having a runner at Cheltenham not really expecting it to come true.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Pam – No question, Cheltenham, but I do also enjoy Newbury

Ian - Cheltenham

How did you first get involved with Kim?

A fellow owner Carol Bailey invited Pam to Thorndale to see one of her horses. Clearly, Kim was at a loose end that day as he gave Carol and Pam a tour of the whole farm and practised his full charm offensive - he was a lot younger then. Pa succumbed to those charms and came home to tell me that she had two horses in Sparville and Buffy the Beetle. The camaraderie and enjoyment of being owners, even a small part, proved addictive.

The experience and the welcome given at Thorndale, led us on to our three current horses. It has proved to be huge fun and the benefits of a partnership are sharing the highs and lows with ones co-owners and of course the delightful Peter Kerr.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Both – we would change how prize money is structured to increase money at the lower end of National Hunt Racing.

Pam – Improve course facilities for all the staff.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Ian – I would like to be the speaker at the House of Commons in order to “sort out” the MPs and engage them in sensible debates.

Pam – I would thoroughly enjoy taking the role of the physiotherapist for the England Rugby Team when playing an International match at Twickenham. Rugby Union is also a passion of mine and I could get to manipulate all those powerfully built male bodies!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Ian – Michelle Obama, Dan Snow, Brian Cox, Tim Peake and Boris Johnson

Pam – The Princess Royal, Baroness Trumpington, Louis Pasteur, Tim Peake, Tanni Grey – Thompson


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Both - Savoury

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Ian – Food: Well matured cheeses. Holiday: Exploring the Cappadocia region of Turkey on horse back with extraordinary landscapes and delicious food often prepared in local homesteads. Restaurant: Prithvi in Cheltenham, TV: Sport.

Pam – Food: I love all food, Holiday: My favourite holiday was riding along the wild coast in South Africa with deserted beaches to gallop along, shop wrecks and the wide open veldt, not to mention the delicious wines. Restaurant: I don’t have a favourite restaurant but I like all restaurants that serve superb ingredients simply cooked. TV: Spooks

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Ian – Orbit the Earth to get a unique perspective of our stunning planet.
Pam – Freeze my life as it is now for a few years and continue to enjoy it to the full.

What are you most looking forward to?

Ian – Going on a fantasy bear hunt with my grandchildren on our next family holiday.
Pam – Spending a happy and healthy Christmas with our Grandchildren and 97 year old mother-in-law who is now speaking to me.

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - KEVIN CLANCY

Interview Image
BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
 
I’m Kevin Clancy and I am the Managing Partner in “The May We Never Be Found Out Syndicate”. The Syndicate is made up of my Brother Dermot, My sister Mary and Brother in law Stephen Cannon along with the younger members of our family who all love racing so each of them have a small piece of “Two for Gold” we also have Oli Bell the racing commentator (Kim is like a father figure and mentor to him) in our group as he was at school with Dermot’s children so we had to include him. The name “May we never be found out” is an Irish toast that our Dad used to use whenever we were together as a family.

I live with my wife Mary in Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire with our 3 Labradors, we are very lucky and have five wonderful children but thankfully they have all left home so just the dogs now. Henrietta (36), Michael (34), Elizabeth (31), Patrick (29) and Conor (26) the two girls are married to two lovely lads Matty and Phil and we have a lovely grandson Gabriel who is nearly a year old.

After studying civil engineering at college I joined the family Construction Business and have spent my entire career in “Clancys” where I have worked with my Brother Dermot and my sister Mary since graduation. We now have several members of the 3rd generation in the business so my time is coming to an end and hopefully more days in the future spent racing.
 
How did you get involved in Racing?

As a family we have been fortunate to have a box at Ascot for almost 50 years so we always went to the races together and naturally decided that we would own together.

I started with “Mr Clancy”, then the rest of them got involved with Fairly Lively, Quite lively, Imperial Vintage, The Rainbow Hunter, Crazy Jack and now Two for Gold. We have had mixed fortunes with our horses, mostly good times but always fun and we’ve been to Racecourses throughout England and Wales. You have to go to Fakenham, Market Rasen, Ludlow and Uttoxeter to name a few to really appreciate National Hunt Racing. All the courses are different but usually very welcoming.

Imperial Vintage was a horse that gave us heart failure every time he went on the course because of his jumping but, after he finally won we decided that we would send him to the sales. Little did we expect Venetia Williams to buy him and within 6 weeks he had won 3 races and over £ 40,000 in prize money with one of those being a race at Cheltenham when he was the only horse to finish and picked up all the prize money. He then managed to do himself damage in a race and he was never seen again. Kim and I were getting fed up with people asking us why we sold him however, we were eventually proved right but it was an uncomfortable period; we have had plenty of laughs out of the situation since although we wouldn’t have minded the money. Our relationship with Kim survived that period, but there is always a lot of luck in Racing and it’s not always the good variety.

What is your funniest experience in Racing?

A few years ago in January 2014 we went to Doncaster for the Sky Bet Chase with the Rainbow Hunter, we had no great expectations of winning and the weather was awful. In the hour before the race we had torrential rain, gale force winds and then finally thunder and lightning, we were expecting the end of the world. My wife Mary and I thought what are we doing here getting soaked, windblown and frozen and when we met Matt in the parade ring before the race it suddenly became very dark the clouds were so heavy. Of course Kim was no where to be seen, he had gone to Cheltenham and was probably drinking fancy red wine in a nice warm box with his posh friends whilst us true racegoers with the assistant trainer, in a fetching bobble hat, were braving the elements.
After our victory at odds of 15/1, of course we received the congratulations of the master trainer but, those of us that were at Doncaster have always doubted he actually watched the race! I have often thought we should have commissioned “I was at Doncaster on the 25th January 2014 survivor’s medal”!

Our glass of Bulgarian red with no interference from management was appreciated by Matt, Mary and I once we got out of the rain and into the owners and trainers bar. That was a fun day and when discussing it with Matt last week the story is certainly being embellished a little as time goes on particularly when Kim is listening.

What is your favourite Racecourse or meeting?

I love Ascot, lots of great memories and it is a fantastic facility with wonderful racing of both flat and National Hunt, but then again Cheltenham is very special and the quality of racing is out of this world at The Festival. However, having been to the Grand National with The Rainbow Hunter on three occasions, it’s hard not to feel privileged to have been involved in what is clearly a unique race. Our family had a few wonderful days at Aintree and if you haven’t been, I would put it on the “To Do List”, maybe Two for Gold will get us there.

How did you get involved with Kim?

 I think my friend John O’Neill recommended Kim over 25 years ago and he has become a welcome addition to our guests whenever we are entertaining at Ascot always good value to everyone he meets and as long as you give him a glass of wine quickly never badly behaved. The perfect guest who rarely gives tips but likes to keep my brother Dermot and I on our toes by mentioning various holes in  the roads that he has spotted on his travels and suggesting it must be something to do with us .On a more serious note we have the greatest respect for Kim as a trainer yes he has been around for a while but he has adopted modern communications and his blog is consistently informative and it encourages involvement with the yard and his steady stream of good results is testament to his ability

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

There is a huge amount of money involved in Racing but it appears to me that it is disproportionally distributed. The welfare of the horses and the people who work and care for them seem a long way down the food chain. The massive profits that the bookmakers and betting exchange generate should be somehow funnelled back into the sport. It is very difficult to make it pay as an owner; the prize money that is available is not commensurate with the risks that are involved with owning and racing horses. There needs to be a more equitable balance between the prize money and the actual costs of competing, with a fair reward to the owners, trainers and yard staff. The profit made by third parties with no risk doesn’t seem fair and in the long term it has to change. I don’t think that would be achieved in a day.

Away from racing, who would you trade places with for one day and why?

That’s simple it would be Francesco Molinari the Italian Golfer. He won this year’s Open Golf Championship and always hits the ball straight and never seems to get in trouble. I would head off to Lahinch Golf Course in County Clare in Ireland and play a round of Golf on what is one of the great golf courses of the world. Maybe for just once in my life I could have a round that I could be proud off and enjoy a drink in the bar afterwards with a sense of achievement.

If you could invite 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Bill Clinton    
Joe Cocker
Nelson Mandela
Tina Turner
Bridgette Macron

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Simple just give me a “Chocolate éclair” any day

What is your favourite Food, holiday, restaurant and TV programme?

I love going to Portugal or Ireland and I adore good food but in particular Seafood of all kinds and I am not fussy, if it’s a pint of Guinness or a decent glass of Wine it depends which country that I am in at the time.

My favourite restaurant is “the Sir Charles Napier“in Radnage near Stokenchuch, seriously good food with an excellent wine list at reasonable prices

TV, whatever sports programme is on whether it’s racing or rugby doesn’t matter

If you could do anything you wanted to right now what would it be?

I don’t actually have any burning ambitious that I feel I am missing out on but, I have been working a long  time and I feel I should, in the future, do less work and more holidays and have more days out so that’s an evolving plan.

What are you looking forward too?

Well the glass of wine that I will be having with my wife when I get home tonight will be a good start. My long term ambition would be nice to have a winner at Cheltenham, if only to see the smiles on Kim and Matts faces and the party that all of us would have afterwards!
 
 
 
 
 

Bailey’s Blog

21-08-2019 07:01:54 in General by Admin
Plus10 and dry when driving in. There is nothing I enjoy more than walking round the fields looking at my youngsters..Babies.. Last night was no exception.. Lovely as these horses are it is nearly time for them to start work. Time to start turning good looking horses into good racehorses? Dreams....The future.. David Bass and Tom Bellamy were in this morning for a couple of lots. Peter and Loi...

Read more...

Read More