OUR KEY STAFF
Team Ditcheat's engine room
Team Ditcheat does not run itself – behind the scenes with have a fantastic and loyal team that keep everything in check and running along smoothly.
Pupil Assistant Trainer
Originally from Wexford, Ireland Andrew has worked full time at Manor Farm Stables since July 2012. In that time Andrew proved himself to be a reliable team player with his feedback from work, input on the schooling ground and performance on the track as an amateur jockey. Prior to joining Team Ditcheat, Andrew rode a number of winners in Irish point-to-points, another five under rules and he had ridden for Ireland around the world in the fegentri series. Andrew started his new role as Pupil Assistant Trainer in July 2014 and has quickly become a key member of senior staff both at home and on the racecourse.
Pupil Assistant Trainer
Originally from Herefordshire Jack studied agricultural business management at Reading University while gaining valuable experience in all corners of the world throughout the last few years in his holidays. Australia was first on the list at Bell View Park Stud, after that a stint with Mikel Delzangles in France and a summer with top Irish Trainer Ger Lyons. From day to day while at University Jack rode out for Nicky Henderson’s powerful Lambourn based yard. A season as pupil assistant to Kim Bailey was his first port of call after his graduation and a year on from that he has now taken up the same role here in Ditcheat.
Jack is based at Highbridge our lower yard for the mornings, works hard in the afternoons checking horses on turn out and ensuring the training facilities are smart and up together at all times. A dedicated reader of the form and racing fanatic Jack is a solid member of team Ditcheat.
Assistant Head Lad
David is Head Lad at the Highbridge yard in Ditcheat. He has always been a keen follower of racing with his interest sparked by the family point-to-pointers from a young age. David also rode in six point-to-points before gaining a degree in History at Reading University, graduating in 2007. David then decided to pursue his passion for National Hunt racing and gained valuable experience when working under Malcolm Jefferson for three seasons. He later joined Team Ditcheat as a lad at the beginning of the 2011/12 season and was appointed Assistant Head Lad in July 2013.
Assistant Head Girl
Irish-born Rose has worked at Manor Farm Stables since 2003 and prior to that time managed our Highbridge operation. She is now second in command at the main yard to provide Clifford Baker with some assistance now that we have over 80 horses in that yard. In addition to this Rose trains point-to-pointers from her home at nearby Batcombe.
Travelling Head Girl
Kate started at Manor Farm Stables back in 2009 and spent a couple of seasons with us, firstly as a work rider and then as a full time member of staff. After a spell as Travelling Head Girl for Harry Fry, Kate returned to Ditcheat in December 2016. Kate rides out every day and has ridden in both point to points and Arab races, including riding 4 winners. Outside of racing Kate has successfully competed in various equestrian disciplines and has been a regular instructor at Pony Club Camp for the Blackmore Vale Pony Club.
Travelling Head Girl
Donna has been part of the team since 1998 and attends most meetings with the horses, overseeing the travelling and staff arrangements on race days. When not busy at the races Donna also rides daily work in Ditcheat and has been the regular rider to the likes of Thisthatandtother, St Pirran, Shotgun Willy, Denman, Irish Saint and Pacha Du Polder to name but a few.
Sarah started in 2006 after four years as secretary to flat trainer Ralph Beckett. She assists Paul with entries, declarations and other racing arrangements. Sarah rode 36 point-to-point winners and formerly rode out daily at Manor Farm Stables. Having been lucky enough to partner Master Minded, Big Buck’s and Taranis up Ditcheat Hill on occasion, these days she prefers her office chair and eventing as a hobby with her own horse!
Lina joined us in 2010 and manages the accounts at Manor Farm Stables. Lina has an equine background having worked in racing, point-to-point and eventing yards. She took time out when her children were born and used the opportunity to gain an accounts qualification. Racing is her first love and she was very happy to be able to re-join the industry in a more administrative role.
Hannah rejoined the team in August 2015 having previously spent seven years working as a stable Lass. During which time Hannah was lucky enough to look after some amazing horses, including Master Minded, Al Ferof and Celestial Halo. Hannah’s new role involves a combination of office work and riding out.