Alex Swinswood – Head Lad
Alex started at Saxon House in December 2010. He began work in racing with Robin Dickin at the age of sixteen and after spells with several other trainers, he spent a year as Head Lad to Reg Hollinshead.
Early Racing Memory: “I used to watch the racing with my Dad and Grandad. We always used to go to Uttoxeter or Wolverhampton.”
Racing Highlight: “Getting a horse called Prairie Minstrel back to the course to win three chases. He had tendon trouble and the vets said he wouldn’t race again.”
Best Racing Memory: ”Istabraq winning his third champion hurdle. There are loads of highlights but I love watching a champion defend his title and he was a legend.”
Hobbies: Fishing, watching football, talking rubbish and eating biscuits.
Pet Hate: Slow people! “I hate slow walkers, drivers and slow workers.”
If his house was on fire, he would save his dog. “She’s a boxer-labrador cross and she’d be top of the list.”
Jodie Hayward - Work Rider
Jodie got into racing after seeing an advert for a stable groom at Mick Channon’s. “I loved it and have been in racing ever since.” She has worked for a number of trainers in the Lambourn area and has been riding out at Saxon House for so long she can’t remember when she started!
Racing HIghlight: “When Tony McCoy finally won the National, because I backed him!”
Personal Racing Highlight: “Leading up Inya Lake when she won the Molecombe stakes at Glorious Goodwood when I was working for Mick Channon.”
Hobbies: High octane sports
Pet Hate: Going slow.
If her house was on fire she would save her family photos.
Katie Hughes – Groom
Katie started at Saxon House in 2012 and got into racing after wanting a change from Eventing and Dressage, and has worked at other Lambourn yard’s including Nicky Hendersons’ and Barry Hills.
Racing Highlight: “I was really proud to be involved in the Henderson team when they had a really good season, as I got to ride some top-class horses.”
Personal Racing Highlight: “Leading in my first winner for Barry Hills, Angels Will Fall. She was one of my favourites.”
Hobbies: Going out, gym and dancing.
Pet Hate: “Watching people bite their finger-nails! Yuck!”
If her house was on fire, Katie would save her mobile phone, “And anyone in the fire of course!”
Racheal Kneller – Apprentice Jockey
Racheal got into racing after doing a week’s work experience in a racing yard whilst at school. “It was the only equine discipline I knew nothing about and I knew I wanted to work with horses. I loved it and after that I was hooked!” Having started out with a local point-to-point trainer at sixteen, she got her first job with Heather Dalton during her A-Level exam leave. Racheal then spent four years as an amateur jockey with Reg Hollinshead, before moving to Saxon House in October 2010.
Racing Highlight: Frankel’s scintillating Guineas win.“He’s just amazing to watch and nobody expected such a performance from the horse. It makes me feel proud to be involved in a sport with such talent.”
Personal Racing Highlight: “Winning the ladies’ title on the Arab Racing circuit for two years running, as well as my first apprentice winner. It gave me a lot of confidence!”
Hobbies: Snow boarding, water skiing and shopping.
Pet Hate:Slow drivers and burping “It’s disgusting and just plain bad manners.”
If her house was on fire, the one thing she would save would be her Chihuahua Ruby “She means the world to me, even more than my Louis Vuitton collection!”
Lee Newnes – Jockey
Lee has been around racehorses all his life and has always wanted to be a jockey. He has been at Saxon House almost continuously since 2002, with just a short stint at Charlie Mann’s.
Racing Highlight: When his idol Tony McCoy deservedly won the Grand National aboard Don’t Push It in 2010. “McCoy is just a legend and nobody deserved it more.”
Personal Racing Highlight: His first winner aboard Sonny Jim at Worcester, on the 1st June 2003.
Hobbies: Football, athletics and watching Rugby Union Internationals.
Pet Hate: Being a proud Liverpool man, his pet hates include Manchester United and smoking.
If his house was on fire, the one thing Lee would save would be his mobile phone.
Clarissa Price – Groom
Clarissa got into racing because of her love of horses. “I’ve always thought there couldn’t be anything better to do than fly up the gallops. Racing is by far the most enjoyable and rewarding industry to be in.”
Racing Highlight: When AP won the Grand National!
Personal Highlight: “I haven’t had any major ones yet but i’m sure there’ll be plenty to come.”
Hobbies: Photography and going out and about.
Pet Hates: Rihanna and Football
If her house was on fire, Clarissa would save family photos.
Mick Thornley – Work Rider
Got into racing after being told if he became a jockey he would be both rich and famous. “I was lied to on every count.” He joined Saxon House in February 2011 and has worked for many trainers both here and in the USA.
Racing Highlight: Secretariat winning the 1973 Belmont stakes. “He won by 31 lengths in two minutes and twenty-four seconds. i.e he ran one-and-a-half miles at twelve seconds a furlong… Sprinters rarely do that over five furlongs!”
Personal Racing Highlight: “Any horse that you’ve been involved with, that you’ve ridden most of the time, winning a race or races: it’s a hell of a boost to one’s job satisfaction!”
Hobbies: Surfing “sadly a long walk to the ocean from Lambourn”, camping, reading and walking the dog.
Pet hates:“Racing For Change, the BHA, the lack of cohesive leadership in racing, trainers asking your opinion, then ignoring it completely, “I could go on… Oh the joys of being a grumpy old git”
If his house was on fire, he would save his wife and dog “They come as a package.”