Trainer Sally Randell leaves Broad Hinton stables to join Fergal O'Brien in the Cotswolds
After ten months training at Broad Hinton, Sally Randell is handing in her trainer's licence and moving away from Wiltshire to join her partner Fergal O'Brien who trains at Naunton in the Cotswolds. She will be his assistant trainer.
Having helped re-establish Andy Turnell's yard after he had a stroke, Sally Randell applied for her licence in July last year. Speaking to Marlborough.News she said she approached this move "...with a stab of sadness, but with bubbling excitement."
"It's been six tough years since myself and Brodie Hampson started in a caravan in Wales and a handful of point-to-pointers - and it feels like a dream come true that we were granted a licence and most of all that I trained winners!"
After a very successful career as a jockey, Sally Randell retired from riding last year. In 2009, she became the first woman to win Sandown's Grand Military Gold Cup - riding Oakfield Legend. She won it again in 2014 on Bradley and again in 2015 on Loose Chips.
"Just over 2 years ago I made the best decision I have ever made and took a gamble and moved to Andy Turnell's yard. I worked under Andy for a year and put a lot of hard work into improving the facilities which had very much deteriorated since Andy's stroke which put him out of physical work for the year prior to taking me on."
"Horse numbers were very low and we built it all back up and as our results started to flow in so did owners!"
During that year she completed her trainers' courses at the British Racing school, Newmarket: "Andy was only too happy to let me take on the reins last autumn. I have had a great team all along the way and I owe everything to them."
On February 28 she had her first winner as a licensed trainer: Brodie Hampson rode her father's horse Goal to victory at Southwell. "It's quite fitting too that Goal - in the wonderful colours of the late Mark Hampson - would also give me my first flat winner at Brighton earlier this month."
"Racing is a tough game...and in such a financially testing climate where the cost of living is constantly increasing, we have needed constant support of our owners and with a few owners moving abroad and horses getting injured, we have been hit with a depletion in numbers and I would hate to get into financial difficulty."
Sally also cites the Broad Hinton yard's lack of a work gallop. The weekly trips to the Lambourn gallops are costly and take up valuable time.
"I have had a lot of help and support from my family, but with no backing and no big owner to replace horse numbers, we decided that to move forward we needed to join a bigger team with top class facilities."
She says she and Fergal "...are really excited to join our teams and make something even bigger for our futures. Fergal has a fantastic yard of horses ready for the winter season and we will be taking eight horses which I think will really add to an exciting time ahead."
All but one of her owners are going with her to Naunton: "I am really excited about all of the horses I am taking with me, but I am especially eager for Benechenko, Good Man Hughie and Lord of the Island to get back to the track."
Brodie Hampson, Kate Leahy and part-time racing secretary Emma Owen will become part of the team at Fergal O'Brien's yard.
Elm Cross Stables at Broad Hinton are now being marketed by Pilgrim Bond and Brewer at a rental of £2,000. The yard includes a three-bedroomed semi-detached house, 17 stables, shared use of a horse walker, lunge ring and canter track.