An African proverb states 'it takes a village to raise a child' and a similar concept can be applied to training a racehorse. The core team of staff who work at Culverhill under the direction of Nick are part of a much larger team that includes owners, jockeys farriers, vets, feed merchants and administrators who all play a vital role in helping the horses reach their full potential.
The work riders, grooms and assistants at Culverhill collectively have many years of experience in the equine industry throughout the world and are dedicated to the care of the horses here. At Culverhill staff are not allocated specific horses to look after and therefore get the opportunity to ride many different types of horses each day which we feel enhances the skills of the staff and provides a varied experience to the horses.
Known as the 'Genius of George Nympton' (amongst other less illustrious titles), Nick was not born into a racing family. He started his career at 19 years of age as a stable lad to Willie Musson - who trained in Guildford. Despite having never sat on a horse Nick assured his potential boss he was a competent horseman. Of course the illusion didn't last long but Nick stayed with Willie for a couple of years.
Nick dreamed of becoming a trainer but realised he was never going to be able to purchase a yard on his stable wages so decamped to Devon with Sarah (Willie's secretary) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the hope he could return to racing in the future. Thirteen years later they bought a farm with land and started training pointers and then under license. Although sucessful with the horses the marriage ended in the late 90s.
Nick met Jane, a fellow Chartered Accountant shortly after and married again. In 2002 they bought Culverhill Farm - a derelict dairy farm in George Nympton and set about transforming it into a racing yard able to compete at the highest level.
They won numerous big races early on and two McCoy Awards for top small yard in addition to the Crystal Cup. The tally of Grade 1 wins now stands at 11 and most of these are through horses Nick purchased himself in France where his fluent French allowed him to build up excellent relationships with breeders. Nick and Jane now hold separate licences and still both train from Culverhill Farm.