George and Candida have grown the business together over the past 8 years. Laughing at the same jokes, sharing the inevitable disappointments, celebrating the good days. George spent far too long shouting down telephones in the City, whilst Candida was an extremely talented business-woman, nominated for “Business Woman of the Year” in 2005. The decision to take out a Licence to train racehorses in 2008 saw a massive sea change in both their lives. Their passion for the sport of horseracing, and their desire to see the business succeed at the highest level, has been a potent mix. By surrounding themselves with some exceptionally talented people, George and Candida have seen the business grow and flourish in recent times.
Having met at the historic Kildangan Stud, Patrick and Valerie then spent many years as work riders in Dubai. Returning to the UK, they set up a highly successful breaking and pre-training yard in Northamptonshire. Taking in horses from several of the country’s leading trainers, they soon forged a reputation built on hard work and professionalism. When George and Candida bought Far Westfield Farm in Warwickshire to launch their training career, Patrick and Valerie joined the team. They both have an intuitive understanding of the thoroughbred racehorse, and are supremely talented riders and judges of a horse.
Gemma started with us at Manton on a part-time basis, riding out several lots each morning. She swiftly became an integral part of the team, and we were delighted when she agreed to move with us to Robins Farm. And when the position of Head Girl became available, Gemma moved seamlessly into the role. A pivotal position, and one that she has taken on with great skill and dedication.
Andrew arrived with us recently after successful careers both in the Navy and in the Square Mile. As Finance Manager for the business, Andrew’s role is diverse and varied, and extremely important. A first point of call for owners, both new and long standing, Andrew’s understanding of the business is of utmost importance. And he is settled into his new position with great aplomb.
Julia joined us at Robins Farm having worked here previously with Olly and Hetta Stevens. She has been hugely instrumental in ensuring our early months here have passed smoothly, and her organisational skills are superb. The role of Racing Secretary requires many skills, and Julia has proved herself more than up to the task.
The working relationship between us and the vets with whom we work is of huge importance and significance. Rob has very quickly become a trusted guide and mentor on the veterinary side of our business, and his concise and measured diagnoses are much appreciated. We are very fortunate that the team at Sussex Equine, and Rob in particular, agreed to take on our business when we moved to Robins Farm. Sussex Equine have a state of the art practice, and it is of great comfort to have them on our team.
When Rob Van Pelt cannot be with us, Kirsty is his more than able deputy. A relatively new addition to the Sussex Equine team, we look forward to working with Kirsty in the years ahead.
Becky is with us on a regular basis, and both her pre and post race treatment of our equine athletes is hugely beneficial. As with humans, horses suffer from a variety of aches and pains. Becky’s skilled work ensures that they head to the races without any niggles, and gives them the best chance of performing to the best of their ability.