The running of an operation as large as Kingsclere is extremely labour intensive and there are around seventy people employed at Park House, with the majority of staff directly involved with the riding and general care of the horses in training. Teamwork and attention to detail are essential, and the support team is organised to ensure that the operation runs smoothly and effectively, and that the horses receive a very high standard of care.
The stable staff work from 7am until 12:30pm carrying out stable duties and morning exercise, and from 4pm until 6pm when the horses are groomed and some are exercised. Each lad or lass looks after between 4 and 5 horses each, doing them every afternoon and also taking them racing. This enables horse and carer to form a relationship and means that anything out of the ordinary is likely to be spotted quickly.
There is a good balance of stable staff at Kingsclere, with many of the more experienced lads having worked and lived at Park House for many years and a talented group of younger riders showing huge promise for the future. They are all well catered for with hostel accommodation and regular meals provided for the younger staff, as well as five flats and twenty cottages for the older and senior staff.
The stable staff are managed by four Head Lads: Kevin Hunt, Dylan Holley, Ross Burdon and Maddy O’Meara. Each Head Lad is responsible for the welfare of horses within their respective yards and for ensuring that a high standard of work is maintained within the yard. Our senior travelling staff are Leanne Masterton, Simon Humphries, Varvara Batsman and Nathan Cheshire, who are all familiar faces at the racecourse.
Tessa Hetherington acts as Andrew’s racing manager, helping in the yard and on the gallops in the mornings and working on race programming and form analysis in the afternoons.
Eugene Cullen is Park House’s resident farrier. He and his assistant Abbie Bayley are responsible for the maintenance of the horses’ feet and ensuring that they are appropriately shod for training and racing. Our vet is Simon Knapp, Clinical Director at Scott Dunn’s Equine Clinic. He and his team are vastly experienced in the assessment and treatment of racehorses and play an invaluable role in the yard.
As with any training establishment, the maintenance of the yard and the gallops is also a priority and there are three full time gallop and maintenance men employed to ensure that the facilities at Kingsclere are maintained to the highest possible standards.
Another key figure essential to the smooth running of operations is racing secretary Lindy Rees who, together with her assistant Lily Blunt, oversees entries, declarations, accounts, payroll and all the other important functions within a racing office. She is also responsible for ensuring that all horses are compliant with any legal and regulatory requirements and have the correct documentation at all times.
Lastly we must not forget Mary Gee who has worked at Kingsclere for many years, keeping an eagle eye on the books!