Old Manor Stables is a picturesque racing yard that was once home to the most successful National Hunt racehorse of all time, the legendary Golden Miller, winner of five Gold Cups (1932-36) and the Grand National in 1934.
The late Tim Forster was also based at the yard and enjoyed notable success including training three Grand National winners. He was among the many who believe Old Manor Stables has some of the finest grass gallops in the country. To add to this, the steep hills nearby are excellent for strengthening and conditioning work.
The Bradstocks are continuing the winning heritage of Old Manor Stables and have an outstanding record for producing cheaply sourced horses that go on to win some of world’s most prestigious races, including the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Cheltenham Gold Cup 2015.
While they have never had the spending power of the bigger yards, they have continually managed to produce horses that punch above their weight. Mark and the team get a lot of satisfaction from being able to help every horse fulfill their potential whether it is in a novice hurdle at Bangor or the Cheltenham Gold Cup. This attitude towards their horses is just one of the reasons why each one of their mounts is treated as an individual and never pushed beyond their limits, rather everything they do is aimed at ensuring each horse can reach their true potential.
With years of experience, Mark and Sara can provide expert buying and breeding advice. They also make regular trips to the spring sales and are always willing to accompany prospective owners to find the right horse at the right price.
Without a bottomless pit of money to buy horses, they have always turned their attentions to looking for the best value for money. Horses with obvious form are always going to be expensive if they are any good so their approach is to look for ones that they can improve or buy as youngsters. They have enjoyed much success with horses bought for less than £25,000, including King Harald (winner of the Jewsons Novice Chase at Cheltenham Festival) and Cossack Dancer who won and was placed at Cheltenham and Aintree, to name a few.
However, another possibility that can be explored if you have suitable land for rearing horses, is to breed your own. Find out more information on our buying, breeding and schooling page.
The team is dedicated to ensuring the health and wellbeing of each horse. All youngsters are brought on slowly to ensure they have the best possible start in life, while the older ones that need retraining are schooled correctly using the expertise of the trainers and riders. The Bradstocks prefer to have horses in their care from a young age as it means they can be sure their first interaction with humans is a positive one, which helps develop trust and alleviates the stressful effects of training. It also means they know everything about each horse and this makes tailoring their individual treatment more likely to be beneficial.
As a small yard, each horse receives personalised care, which has become a staple of the Bradstocks’ ethos.
A personal plan is drawn up for each, which ensures that the horse’s welfare is monitored constantly and their personal programme can be tweaked or altered from day to day as required. With this flexibility and attention to detail, the welfare and correct regime of each horse is the main priority. All work and feeding plans can be amended if a horse is found not to have eaten up. Other reasons that an alteration might be made is if horses are found to prefer more peaceful surroundings, in which case they can be moved to the back yard. In addition, some favour being exercised in a string while others prefer being on their own. On occasions it will be right to change a certain aspect but it’s also important to know when a horse will have to be kindly but firmly told that they must get used to something that they find unsettling, and this is where the Bradstocks’ experience comes into play.
The friendly team work closely with owners to help develop each horse’s personalised training and racing plans, all of which are agreed by consensus. All owners are welcome to visit the yard and spend time watching their horse exercise on the gallops. Owners are welcome to phone for an update on their horse’s progress at any time and their family of owners love getting involved in the whole yard, and were delighted to have been in such close contact with a Gold Cup winner in 2015.
Find out how you can get involved in the buzz and excitement of National Hunt Racing, while watching your own horse develop into a champion-worthy athlete by becoming an owner – there are various options available depending on your budget and preferences.
Contact Us or call us on 01235 760780.