Having spent his entire career in the healthcare sector, Ian became involved in racehorse ownership after moving to Ditcheat, the village where Paul Nicholls’ yard is based. A village where strings of gleaming racehorses are part of daily life.
Over the last 7 years, the passion and pleasure of ownership has grown for Ian, he has been lucky enough to win a Scottish Grand National with Vicente and multiple races with the exciting young chaser Frodon.
For some time Ian has been admiring the popularity and success of racing syndicate ownership. When one of his co-owners decided to take a break from racing, Ian took the plunge and purchased a number of horses under the guidance of Paul Nicholls and his team.
The result is Ditcheat Thoroughbreds which is offering shares in nine National Hunt horses. All horses will be trained by Paul and Team Ditcheat, who have won no less than 10 Trainers Championships in the last 11 years.
Ian feels great pride in offering these shares. His focus is providing share owners a real opportunity to enjoy racing at the highest level, at a fraction of the normal cost, whilst ensuring unique, racing related, social opportunities are offered to those involved.
The finest racehorse trainers understand that they are in the business of turning dreams into reality for their owners.
None has done it better over jumps than ten times Champion Paul Nicholls who is in charge of the select team of horses running under the banner of Ditcheat Thoroughbreds.
Nicholls started as a trainer at Ditcheat 25 years ago with eight horses and an a unshakeable belief that he would be successful.
Fiercely ambitious and single minded to the point of obsession, he made an immediate impact that first season, and improved his tally of winners year on year until he reached his first century in 1998-99.
Paul has dominated the sport since he became Champion trainer for the first time in 2006 and showed a steely resolve this Spring to hold on to his title in the face of sustained challenge by the Irish trainer Willie Mullins.
It is not a coincidence that many of his greatest successes have been over fences since he has long had an unconditional passion and reverence for steeplechasers.
Paul Nicholls accumulation of glory includes four Gold Cups, a Grand National, an astonishing tally of eight King George V1 Chases, forty one winners at the Cheltenham Festival and a total of more than 2,800 wins over the past quarter of a century, 113 of them at Grade 1 level.
Yet statistics alone tell only half the story. What they cannot fully show is his God given talent and almost tangible will to win which encourages those who work for him to strive for success every bit as hard as he does.
Restlessly energetic Paul is always upgrading the facilities at Ditcheat and setting new targets. This summer he has added a new, deep, round soft sand canter which is already in full use.
Summer jumping had never been a priority for Paul Nicholls but this year he made public his ambition to train twenty winners by October 1.
He reached the target months ahead of schedule in July. It was an early declaration of intent that he will not willingly relinquish lightly his title as Champion trainer.
Harry Derham is now in second season as assistant trainer at Paul’s having taken over from Tom Jonason in May of 2016.
Only 22 he has already spent six and a half years in the employment of Paul, firstly as a professional jockey, riding 50 winners most notably at the Cheltenham Festival on Salubrious when winning the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey handicap hurdle.
He cut his riding career short to focus on his main passion of being involved fully in Paul’s yard as a vital member of his team. Young and hard working Harry often describes the luck he feels that he is able to make a living from his first love.
A regular blog writer for Paul’s website he also now fills a similar role for Ditcheat Thoroughbreds as well as greeting and entertaining syndicate members at the races.
Bryony is now a conditional jockey with Team Ditcheat this season and has already ridden several winners making good use of her claim.
The daughter of Grand National winning jockey Jimmy Frost she is a talented rider who already at the age of 23 has a fine record in West Country point-to-points and hunter chases.
Bryony gained a notable success last season when winning the Foxhunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on Pacha Du Polder, trained by Paul Nicholls.
Nicholls says “Bryony works hard, has fully earned her place within the team and is a tidy, talented rider who will get plenty of chances”.