Racing - Western House Stables, Melsonby prepare for Yorkshire flate season

PUBLISHED: 02:22 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:20 20 February 2013

Alan Swinbank

Alan Swinbank

A new racing club is launched by trainer Alan Swinbank at stables in the Yorkshire Dales. Carolle Daniels tells us more

The start of the Flat season is once again upon us and Yorkshire offers some of the best racing in the country at the racetracks around the county. At Western House Stables, Melsonby, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, all the staff have been hard at work preparing for what they hope will be a successful season. This is where youll find the training yard of Alan Swinbank and where both youngsters and older horses have been produced to win nearly 600 races under both codes.

To mark the start of the season a new racing club has been launched, the Alan Swinbank Racing Club, which, its hoped, will benefit new as well as existing owners. It offers the racegoer the opportunity to become more involved in racing and to follow the clubs four horses at ownership level.
The club is unique in that if any horse becomes injured or for any other unforeseen event it cannot race, a replacement will be introduced, to ensure members continue to enjoy racing to the full.

Tallahassee will be the first of the horses to run, she was a winner of two races for the yard in 2010, so she knows her job well and will be the leading lady. Dancing Paddy, a well bred four-year-old will represent the club in maiden races, hopefully following on in his familys footsteps, he should have no problem picking up a race in the early part of the season.
Over the years the yard has grown in numbers and strength and a few of the past winners include Collier Hill who won the Gr.1 Hong Kong Vase and the Canadian Pacific International. Collier was also placed twice in the Gr.1 Sheema Classic and won a total of 15 races in eight countries and over 2 million in prize money.

Many others after winning in the UK have been sold on and have subsequently won Group races both at home and abroad for their new owners. Notably Valbenny winner of Miesque Stakes, G3, Senorita St, G2 and Breeders Cup H/c, G3 and narrowly beaten in the American Oaks and Del Mar Oaks, G1. Formal Decree after winning the Cambridgeshire went to UAE and won twice in Nad al Sheeba before wining in the USA. Loukas won at Ayr last year and then for new owners in Santa Anita, USA.

At Western House Stables there is a selection of youngsters just waiting in the wings for new owners to start them on a wonderful journey into the world of racing.

The team, including his assistant Bill Haigh, who was a successful trainer at Malton before joining Alan to work riders and stable hands, are all individually chosen and form part of the winning organisation; all are valued, dedicated and caring professionals.

The facilities are suitable for both Flat and National Hunt and include a 1-mile grass and 7f AW gallop, a new AW jump lane with regulation hurdles and fences has been laid down so whatever the weather they are able to school horses, there is a wash area for cooling down and sand arena, turn-out paddocks and horse walkers.

For more information call 01325 339964, email or go to

The print version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

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