Having spent my childhood on the hunting field, in the pony club and competing BSJA a progression to working with racehorses came very naturally. The highlights of my pony career include producing the now infamous Jacaranda Prince from a 3yo to open level and being selected to show jump for Scotland on my coloured mare Overnight Sensation. My parents trained the odd family pointer when I was a child as well as having a couple in training locally with Alistair Whillans.
At 17 I took over the training of the family pointers and then a few years later after spending some time learning in outside yards I turned it into a small business. By 26 I had sent out 19 winners and many placed horses in point-to-points and Hunterchases, priding myself in the horses being exceptionally fit and happy come race day.
Douglas Julian gave me a great start to my professional career racking up a quick chasing Double at Kelso and since then the yard has went from strength to strength. With many winners both National Hunt and on the flat.
I am very fortunate to train in the heart of the Scottish Borders, where the many hills provide natural gallops that the horses love as they are not restricted to the same work every day. This means the young horses are always learning as they are always tackling new hills galloping on fresh ground and seeing different things. It also allows older horses a change in routine, keeping them fresh and happy. The other area which I also work hard is in the schooling of our horses. I feel that regular dressage and schooling over poles keeps horses supple and also keeps their minds occupied as they enjoy a new challenge. It also means they have the groundwork to find a successful job in retirement when the day comes.
I also strive to ensure my horses are always immaculately turned out on race day, as not only does it make the horse and owners feel great but I also think it is brilliant for the image of our sport. The best turned out money is great for buying tea on the way home to!!!