Mark and Sara have a highly talented and dedicated support team, who work tirelessly to ensure that the horses are in optimum condition both mentally and physically. The horse’s wellbeing remains a top priority and each team member’s skills and expertise helps to ensure the continued success of Mark Bradstock Racing.
From the stable lads, to the jockeys, and those working behind the scenes, discover all about the people who help to make the entire Bradstock operation run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Alfie rode ponies competitively from a young age and despite early ambitions to become a jockey, he is currently working towards becoming a top international show jumper, while still continuing to help teach the horses at the yard to jump and win top class races.
Alfie rides out every morning before heading off to work for show jumpers Graham and Tina Fletcher. He does most of the formative work in teaching horses to balance themselves and develop their jumping ability, which has made a significant impact on the horses success on the racecourse.
In 2012 Alfie became the first individual to represent Team GB in both eventing and show jumping in one season. He has also won European Gold medals at both Pony and Junior level, on horses and ponies that others found too tricky to ride, and has represented Great Britain in successful Young Riders Nations Cup teams at Deauville in both 2014 and 2015. He was also runner-up in the Young Riders National Championship at the Horse of the Year Show at Olympia and has proven himself to be an extremely talented and capable rider.
Mark and Sara’s daughter Lily has ridden for as long as she can remember, and is an integral member of the team.
Lily has a particular affinity with horses in need of a confidence boost and her help in the saddle both on the gallops and in the school has proven invaluable. She schools the horses on a regular basis using her show jumping expertise to great effect. She tailors each schooling session to meet the horse’s level of training and adjusts jumping and flatwork exercises to help develop and refine the horse’s technique. As Travelling Head Girl, she displays a real empathy that even the most nervous horse can relate to. This combined with her meticulous efficiency helps create a calm environment in which horses are able to focus all their energies on the job in hand. We can always rest assure that horses are safe under her charge.
Lily is following in her brother’s footsteps and was selected to join the British squad for the European Championships in 2014, despite having no use of her left ankle at the time after a serious accident. She continues to compete successfully in National Pony Trials and is a great asset to the team.
Nico has formed a great partnership with the Bradstocks and in 2015 he rode Coneygree to victory in the Cheltenham Gold Cup against what were spectacular odds. Coneygree had not run at all in the 2013/14 season due to injury but he had come back to the 2014/15 season and was unbeaten with the season culminating in the Gold Cup win. That day he claimed two other accolades – as the first novice steeplechaser to win the race since 1974 and the first British bred winner for 2 decades.
Having always wanted to be a jump jockey, and following a brief stint at Newcastle University, where he gave up his degree to pursue his true passion, Nico has been under the wings of racehorse trainer Nicky Henderson. Nevertheless Nicky kindly allows him to ride and school the Bradstocks’ horses whenever he is needed.
Nico first came to the Bradstocks’ notice when they asked him to ride Carruthers as they wanted to take seven pounds off his back. After discovering that Nico had a strong background in racing coupled with high levels of general horsemanship, they felt he was extremely well suited to the way they like to do things.
In the 2014/15 National Hunt season Nico won 20% of all the races he entered, which is a credit to his commitment and talent as a jockey. He always ensures that he sends email updates to those involved in the syndicate, because as anyone will tell you, working with the Bradstocks is a family effort, and for Nico, it’s important that everyone feels involved.
Nico is an ambitious but level headed jockey renowned for his ability to school the horses and help improve their way of going, whether that’s on the flat or jumping. At Nicky Hendersen’s he is the only rider who is trusted by head man Corky Browne to help back the young horses. Above all, Nico is showing that he is a gifted jockey destined for the top.
Wilson has spent his entire life devoted to racing, and rode winners while in India. Wilson is a more than competent work rider and the horses always settle to their job well for him.
Richard lives in the flat at the end of the house and, although inexperienced with horses, he loves helping on the yard and pampering the horses, whether that’s giving them a little extra time walking around the village, cooling their legs in the cress beds or just giving them picks of grass. Richard is a great help with the yard administration and marketing, a talented photographer who contributed many of the photos on this site, and is not too bad at DIY either.
Sam is the main accounts, payroll and racing secretary and general organiser of everyone. Her ever-cheerful manner is popular with owners and she is a highly valued member of the team.
Lady ‘Chicky’ Oaksey married Sara’s late father Lord Oaksey in 1988 and has since played an instrumental role in the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF), a charity offering financial assistance to jockeys who have suffered career-threatening injuries. Founded by Lord Oaksey in 1964, the fund has provided care, compassion and financial support to over 1,000 injured jockeys.
Alongside her work with the IJF, Chicky has risen to the task of raising the Carruthers family brilliantly. She echoes the ethos of the Bradstock yard with an incredible attention to detail, and has become renowned for her meticulous execution of all aspects of horse management, and the feeding and nurturing of these wonderful athletes during their formative years in the paddocks at Oaksey is second to none.
Duncan is the accountant for Bradstock Racing and after joining the partnership which took ownership of the great and late Plaid Maid, he has become the account manager of one of the most successful syndicates ever formed. He is always on hand to offer advice to anyone interested in setting up new syndicates and has a special interest in making sure all owners can reclaim their VAT under the Racehorse Owners Scheme.
Peter Milligan (aka Spike) qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2006, has been a veterinary surgeon at Lambourn Equine Vets since 2008, and his knowledge and dedication is highly rated by the Bradstock team. Spike is keen to be proactive in his role of helping to keep the horses healthy and both Mark and Sara maintain regular contact with him.
Marnie Campbell and Phillipa James work closely with all of the horses on the yard to make sure that their musculoskeletal system is kept free of pain and niggles with regular massage and ultrasound, while Tony Gilmour regularly checks them all from a chiropractic point of view. All three of them were regular visitors in Coneygree’s box during 2013 as his ridiculously long legs, which he uses to such good effect on the race track, are fragile and accident prone. The Bradstocks believe that good physios are essential to any competitive environment and all of the horses are monitored throughout their careers.
Farrier Paul Logue has needed to be at the top of his game to keep Carruthers’ flat feet well-maintained as they can be very sensitive on the roads, and this is something he has achieved with commendable expertise. Paul is always on hand to make sure that the very best is made of each horse’s feet and is quickly on the case for any bruises, pierced soles or lost shoes.
Gordy the gallop man aka Gordon Hayes is one in a million. To have fit and sound horses you need gallops in perfect condition and Gordy is tireless in his efforts to keep one step ahead of the weather. The horses do a lot of work on grass as Mark and Sara believe the horses should get the chance to acclimatise their action and limbs to the surface that they are going to race on, so it is absolutely vital that there is someone in charge they can trust. Gordy can also mend anything and his help has a significant influence on the smooth running of the yard.