GEORGE & CANDIDA BAKER
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.
PATRICK & VALERIE MURPHY – ASSISTANT TRAINERS
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 SPANSWICK – HEAD GIRL
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.
DEAN BRADFORD – TRAVELLING HEAD LAD
Deano joined us during our time at Whitsbury, and moved with the team to Manton. When the opportunity to take on the role of Travelling Head Man arose, Dean stepped up to the plate. His care for the horses whilst travelling and at the races is second to none, and he quite rightly wins a large number of ‘Best Turned Out’ awards. He is a very valued member of the team.
MARCUS WEEDON – SECRETARY
Marcus grew up at Robins Farm, as his father Colin was the first trainer to set up here in 1986. After successfully escaping a career in teaching, he became Racing Secretary to Ian Williams and then Paul Cole. He subsequently served ten years with the BHA as handicapper and stipendiary steward, before moving abroad to be frustrated by Bahrain, shot at in Cyprus and, most recently, survive two years unscathed by the “very tricky” racing environment of Malaysia. He came to work for George and Candida hoping for a quieter life, which so far has not materialised!
JACEK BOBKIEWICZ – VETERINARY SURGEON
‘Jack’, as we all know him, has lived a fascinating life including an extremely reluctant stint of compulsory military service in his native Poland. That was just prior to the fall of communism, for which he modestly refuses to take all of the credit. Since then, he has had a variety of experiences, including working for us at Manton, and was most recently in Saudi Arabia at a veterinary practice which served the trainers at Riyadh racecourse. “Nearly every horse there had something wrong and needed to be medicated, so I learned a lot” was his characteristically blunt verdict. He is now putting his skills and knowledge to good use in our much more caring and animal-friendly environment at Robins Farm, while also developing a surgery and practice in the Midlands.
Jacek has particular expertise in lameness and the mechanical gait of the horse, and more about him can be found at https://gosfordhillequine.co.uk/about-us
BECKY DEAN – PHYSIO
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.
TOM PHILLIPS – TS PHILLIPS FARRIER LTD
Tom has been our Farrier and shoeing our horses since we began training 11 years ago. He is a first class farrier and can fix all difficult hoof problems. He is a keen runner and has a number of dogs which he trains with great success