Michael and Sharon began training racehorses in 2002 at the family farm in Staverton, initially with a small string of point-to-pointers. They both shared a life-long passion for horses and have been involved with them for many years but now the direction of their lives was gradually changing course. With more owners, and with success following success on the point-to-point scene, decisions had to be made about the future.

Enthusiastic owners were looking to run horses under rules so Michael decided to approach Andy Haynes, who trained at nearby Limpley Stoke, with a view to bringing a few horses to his yard to train under rules. Michael worked closely with Andy and was subsequently given sole responsibility for the jumping team at the yard.

Many winners followed, the most notable being the enigmatic Border Castle who ran away with the Scottish Champion Hurdle in 2008. The horse had been bought by Michael and Sharon only a few months previously and ran in the colours of their syndicate, the Staverton Owners Group.

Owner pressure persuaded them to set up their own National Hunt yard and early in 2010 Michael and Sharon found themselves facing a whirlwind of change as they planned all that had to be done. With the commitment already made for Michael to attend the courses at Newmarket they put into action the plans which would transform the yard in readiness for their new venture. (see facilities)

In June 2010 Michael was granted his dual purpose license to train at Staverton. To the delight of the Staverton team the first success followed only a few days later when Players Please won at Wetherby under Timmy Murphy. More recently the yard has also enjoyed successes on the flat proving the versatility of the team, most of whom have been with Michael and Sharon for several years. Friendly and loyal, they support Michael and Sharon and the owners through the highs and lows of life in a horse racing yard!

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The yard continues to expand with more horses from both existing and new owners. Each year Michael and Sharon welcome owners, from near and far, to an Owners Evening which includes a tour of the stables and a parade of horses, followed by a party. Newcomers are most welcome!

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