Meet the Team
Nick Gifford- Trainer
Grade 1 winning Racehorse Trainer. Nick started training in 2003, taking over from his father Josh. He trained Point to Pointers for a few years before taking over Downs Stables. He's had many good horses such as Straw Bear who won the Top Novice at Aintree, The Fighting Fifth and The Christmas Hurdle all ridden by A.P.McCoy.
Ruth Gifford - ( Nicks wife) Marketing Manager, Syndicate Manager. Ruth supports Nick at home and at the races. Ruth manages the social media, sources fillies to lease, re -homes the Ex-racehorses, runs The Nick Gifford Racing Club. She also looks after the staff , organises the weekend rotas and recruits the staff and deals with any HR issues.
Nick’s sister Tina (Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalist Event Rider)is a big support on the racing yard, riding out and helping school horses that need extra help to improve their way of going. Tina has two children to look after as well as her team of eventers so is always on the go!
Tina is the racing secretary and has been with us for many years and is a huge part of our team and loved by all.
Andrew Veale- Head lad, Head travelling lad.
Andrew oversees all the day to day running of yard and travels with most of the horses to their races. He has been working in racing for over 20 years and is an amazing horseman. He has been with us for many years and prior to that worked at Di Grissell’s as Head lad for 7 years and also David Gandolphos. He breaks in all our youngsters. Andrew was a finalist at the prestigious “McCoy’s” in 2017 for Stable Person of the year.
Izzy Mills - Rider
Izzy is an ex point to point rider and has always worked in racing. Izzy has her own yard to run but comes with a wealth of experience and is great to have around.
Vova Stepanyuk – Gallops Maintenance Man/Work Rider
Vova is from the Ukraine. He’s been with us since June 2008. He worked for James Bethell for 2 1/2 years and Richard Whitaker for 5 months, prior to that. He is a valued member of the team and quite a cheeky character!!! He can turn his hand to anything. He rides the strongest and the sharpest horses on the yard. He has many talents.
Chloe Whitelam - Stable Lass
Chloe joined the team coming straight from Equine College, this will be her third season with us. She is a great young girl who rides well, She gets on well with everyone and is very proactive and keen to learn.
George Sturgis - Rider
George is an event rider who has been riding out for us since August 2018. He has evented up to Advanced and is a great asset to the team.
Dan - Yard man
Dan is a key member of the team and does everything on the yard, from mucking out to operating the walker, holding horses for the vets and Physio.
Gerry Enright - Rider
Needs no introduction, ex jockey for Josh Gifford and trainer. Now retired to Findon, Gerry rides out two lots every morning and is a real asset to the yard and pretty much part of the family.
Geena Gover 17 years old.
Geena is at College and works for us part time at weekends and during the holidays.
Judith has worked for us just over a year, but she has known the Gifford family for many years, as she used to work for Josh and Althea. She is vastly experienced and a great team player.
Alvero Back Vet Ltd
Alvero comes in a few times each month to treat horses. He is a member of the Royal veterinary College of Surgeons.
He is a qualified chiropractic vet and acupuncturist. He is a valuable member of the Nick Gifford Racing Team, treating horses after they have run or just if they have a niggle here and there.
Rob Van Pelt
Rob is our vet Sussex Equine Practice in Ashington. Rob has worked with Nick and the team for nearly 20 years and we have a very good relationship with the practice.
His knowledge of Thoroughbreds and especially racehorses is second to none.
Robs interest in racing saw him nominated to the committee of the Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons, acting as Secretary for 4 years before becoming chairman. Recently he has been appointed as an "Advocate For Racing" dealing with the press and giving Q&A sessions at race meetings.
Rob is a member of the Veterinary Advisory panel for the Horserace Betting Levy Board and also Chairman of the Infections Diseases Codes Committee.
Rob is always on hand at the end of the phone for Nick. He knows all the horses on our yard.
Martin is one of our farriers, who lives less than a mile away.
He has worked on the yard for years , starting out when Josh was training.
He is on the yard every week and loves a bit of golf too !
Stuart is our other farrier who deals with a lot of the young horses and horses with remedial shoeing requirements. He has worked with Nick and the yard for years.
Casey is a valued member of our weekend team. Her father worked for Nick as travelling head lad and Josh prior to that. Casey works in aviation during the week and basically works for us whenever she is free, even on Christmas Day!
Ella Biba Rohman
Ella worked full time for the yard back in 2015-2017. After going off to pursue a career away from racing she has returned and is a key member of our weekend team . Ella runs a weekend for us . She is a great asset to the yard .