History of The Downs Stables Findon
The main yard at Findon comprises of beautiful buildings, flintstone walls and a beautiful lawned centre piece.
Going back to Victorian times a trainer John Porter, winner of seven derbies, was head lad at the stables for 10 years. Then there was also Bob Gore a trainer of two Grand National Winners, Jerry M (to whom there is a headstone standing just before the entrance in to the main yard) in 1912 then later on Covertcoat in 1913 a tear in which 22 horses started out with only 3 to finish.
Prior to Josh Gifford there was the Great Ryan Price who had Fred Winter and Josh Gifford as stable jockeys and who won a Grand National with Kilmore and campaigned top hurdlers like Beaver II, Hill House, Le Vermontois and Rosyth.
In February 1970, Price called Josh Gifford in advising him to give up the saddle and take over so that Ryan himself could concentrate on Flat horses.
Josh trained from 1970-2003 having his first winner at Plumpton with Cheers Echo on April 16th 1970.
Josh trained Aldiniti to win the Grand National in 1981 who was owned by Mr Nick Embiricos. Perhaps the Grand National’s most fairytale winner. Bob Champion fought back from cancer to ride injury plagued Aldiniti to glory in the 1981 race.
Josh also trained the great Deep Sensation to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1993.
Other Festival winners Golden Minstrel 1988 Kim Muir Memorial Chase, Vodkatini- 1988 Grand Annual Chase, Pragada - 1988 Coral Golden Hurdle Final, Envopak Token - 1989 Sun and Alliance , Paddyboro- 1989 Mildmay of Flete Chase, Comandante - 1990 Arkle Challenge Trophey, Foyle Fisherman - 1991 Mildmay of Flete Chase, Fighting Words - 1994 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase and Brief Gale - 1995 Sun and Alliance Chase.
Nick took over from his father Josh in 2003 with a small team of 30 horses. Nick is a Grade 1 winning trainer , who trained Straw Bear for JP McManus to win The Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Straw Bear also won two Grade 2’s , The Top Novice hurdle at Aintree and the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. Some of the good horses Nick has in the yard at the moment are “Mystic Dreamer” who won the mares bumper at Cheltenham in April 2019. The Mighty Don who won at Cheltenham in October 2018. Did theyleaveyououtto who won a listed bumper at Ascot, Belargus, Glen Rocco, Fairy Rath, Theos charm and many more.
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