Team Ditcheat's superb team of riders
At Ditcheat we have a superb team of jockeys led by Sam Twiston-Davies, Harry Cobden and Sean Bowen, backed up by some up-and-coming conditionals and top notch amateur, Will Biddick
Sam heads up our jockey team. With over 450 winners to his name including six Grade One winners and four Cheltenham Festival winners he is already established as one of the best jockeys riding today. Originally from Naunton in Gloucestershire Sam is the son of Gold Cup winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies with whom he has achieved some notable career highs. Sam broke on to the scene as an amateur when landing the Cheltenham Foxhunters aboard Baby Run in 2010 before turning professional at the end of that season.
A Conditional Jockey’s title quickly followed, in a season that saw him claim the prestigious Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Becher Chase along the way. More recently Sam has played a key role in some memorable victories for Team Ditcheat. He recorded his first winner for us at Wetherby in November 2013 shortly before steering the legendary Tidal Bay to victory in the Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle on the same card. Sam rode over 100 winners in one season for the first time in the 2013/14 season and recorded his first success as number one jockey at Manor Farm Stables aboard Pressies Girl in May 2014.
Sean capped a brilliant first season as a conditional jockey by winning the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Just A Par on the final day of the campaign for two of the yard’s long standing owners Paul Barber and Graham Roach.
Sean was also crowned champion conditional at 17 in April 2015 with 51 winners despite missing around six weeks with injury mid season. Further highlights included a treble at Chepstow on Welsh Grand National day and another notable treble at Haydock.
He first made his name as a fiercely competitive, mustard-keen rider on the pony racing circuit.
2015/16 was the first season Harry spent at Manor Farm Stables and he made quite an impression. Within months of arriving he recorded his debut Cheltenham victory aboard Old Guard, a month later winning the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle aboard the same charge.
He reached 30 winners in his breakthrough season finishing second in the conditional jockeys title and winning the hands and heels training series.
Harry is a focused, driven young man who allows the horse to run underneath him and he has already had some great results on the big days coping well with the pressure of a big race.
Son of Matt Sheppard the Eastnor-based National Hunt trainer, Stan joined us after leaving school when just 16 years old. He is now in his third year at Manor Farm Stables and having ridden 18 winners as an amateur in the 2015/16 season, he has made the step up to the professional ranks.
Massively improved over the last few years Stan is a hard worker who does a fantastic job on the tricky Marracudja everyday at home. Last season’s highlights included finishing runner up in the National amateur title, riding 19 winners between the flags and winning on Captain Buck’s at Taunton for Paul.
Keen to always improve his riding technique Stan, with luck, will do well over the next couple of seasons as his claim remains a valuable asset to us.
Daughter of legendary Grand National winning jockey Jimmy Frost. Bryony rode as an amateur jockey from the age of 16. She won the National Novice Title, the Devon & Cornwall title twice, Wessex area once and in 2016 the National Hunt Girl’s title. In March 2017 she rode her first Cheltenham Festival winner on Pacha Du Polder in The Foxhunters. Now holding a Conditional Licence, Bryony’s first ride as a professional was a winning one aboard Black Corton at Worcester.
Henry joined us in July 2017 having spent last season with Kim Bailey riding as an amateur. Born into a racing family, Henry’s mother Anthea is not only clerk of the course at Kelso and Cartmel, she also assists William Derby at York. Henry grew up in Perthshire, Scotland and has been in the saddle for as long as he can remember. Cheltenham College was home for him through his teenage years where although a successful student academically, the sporting field was always his favourite place to be. Hockey and Tennis followed closely behind his passion for Rugby in school and as a result made for a jam packed term life, but for Henry racing always came first.
Successful 12 times in the point to point field and 5 times under rules so far, he has now taken the next step and turned conditional with us. Intelligent, likeable and thoroughly hardworking Henry is a great asset to the yard and we will look to fully utilise his seven pound claim this year.
Alex, who grew up in Inverness spent his first season as a conditional jockey with Lucinda Russell, riding 8 winners and gaining valuable experience before joining us in July 2017. An all round sports fan who did a stint running semi professionally for the Inverness Harriers, competing mainly in the 3000 metre steeple chase, which he did alongside an extensive academic career studying for six A levels. Sport always took priority while English, physics, chemistry, human biology and higher level Mathematics occupied his mind elsewhere.
This fan of festivals and Dance music is a well mannered and intelligent young man who has fitted in fantastically well into our team, Alex is an improving rider who will get his chances for the yard.
Champion point-to-point rider for the past five seasons, Will Biddick is very quickly becoming the most formidable name in the pointing field.
In the 2014/15 season he smashed the record number of winners for a season which stood at 56 adding another 12 to that total posting a massive tally of 68, a record he is busy trying to beat once again.
The son of a Cornish farmer will spent some time as a conditional jockey with Venetia Williams before turning back amateur, with his weight posing a problem in the professional ranks.
Not only does he regularly provide an education for our young horses in the pointing field he spends time breaking in horses and getting to know head strong or troublesome youngsters.
A brilliant asset to our team of jockeys, Will is a fun loving hard working character who is a popular guy in and around the yard.
Like many of our other young men with licenses in the yard, Lorcan left school after completing his GCSE’s and has quickly made a good impression within the yard.
Pony racing was his way into the sport and a friendship with Sean Bowen encouraged him to move from his native Wales to learn his craft here at Manor Farm Stables. A talented hard working young man who rides point to pointing and will get his chance for us under rules as the season develops.