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) Ruth runs the business side of things, finance, marketing, staff,holidaylets, syndicates. Ruth supports Nick at home and at the races. Ruth manages the social media, sources fillies to lease and re -homes the Ex-racehorses. She also looks after the staff , organises the weekend rotas and recruits the staff and deals with any HR issues.
Kirsty Huff - Head Girl
Kirsty is our Head Girl, with vast experience not only as a work rider but she has worked in both flat and jummp yards. Kirsty has also worked with Breakers and in Pre Training. It is great to have someone with her experience. She is a great assest to our team.
Andrew Veale- Travelling Head Lad
Andrew is responsible for travelling the horses to race meetings, speaking to jockeys, owners and the management of the race day. He also breaks in the youngsters . Andrew was a finalist at the prestigious “McCoy’s” in 2017 for Stable Person of the year.
Vova Stepanyuk – Gallops Estate Manager/Senior Work Rider
Vova is from the Ukraine. He’s been with us since June 2008. He is an exceptional member of our team. He can turn his hand to anything. He rides the strongest and the sharpest horses on the yard. He has many talents. Vova was a finalist in the Godolphin Stable Staff of the year Award ! for his dedication to racing.
Ella Garland - Assistant Head Girl
Ella is now an integral part of the team having started working part time on weekends for us a as a teenager. Ella is a natural rider & is keen to always learn. She now assists our Head Girl Kirsty in helping run the yard. Ella was also a finalist in the Godolphin Stable Staff of the year awards as Best Newcomer.
Ally-Marie Hollway - Stable Staff/Rider
Ally graduated from The British Racing School in October 2022 and started her apprenticeship with us in November. A great member of the team who is learning all aspects of life as a Racing Groom.
Izzy Mills - Work Rider
Izzy is an ex point to point rider and has always worked in racing. Izzy is a true asset to the yard, a brilliant rider/horsewoman. Izzy is always smiling and loves her horses. Izzy breaks in our youngsters too.
Hannah West - Stable Staff/Rider
Hannah is an apprentice who joined the team after completing her NVQ1 at The British Racing School. Hannah ow has her Amateur Jump license & plans to ride in P2Ps this winter.
We have a fabulous team of girls to cover the weekend. Phoebie, Elsie, Georgina, Amy and Lara.
All horsey girls who ride or have their own horse at home.
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.
Dan Hutchenson- 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.
Casey Watson- Stable Hand
Casey is a valued member of our weekend team/Evening team. Her father worked for Nick as travelling head lad and Josh prior to that. Casey works in aviation during the week and helps us whenever she is available.
Alvero Fernandez - 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.
Tabitha Worsley - Conditional Jockey
We are very lucky to have Tabitha come school our horses. We have a long standing connection with Tabs, she is like one of the family having worked for us many years ago. She is a valuable member of the team and rides exceptionally.
James Davies - Jockey
James has been with us for many years now. An under rated jockey who has ridden us many winners. James is an exceptional rider who looks after our horses and always gives good feedback after races.
Stuart Packham - Farrier
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.
Kyle Lowery - Vet
Kyle is our dedicated vet, he knows all our racehorses and is a key part of our team.
BSc, BVSc, MRCVS
I graduated from the Onderstepoort Faculty Of Veterinary Science (Pretoria, South Africa), in 2010. Since then I have completed an internship in Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery at Clinique Equine de Meslay in Meslay du Maine, France. I have worked In both South Africa and Australia. I completed the University College Dublin certificate on Equine Sports Medicine in 2016. I have a keen interest in Equine Sports Medicine with a keen focus on the poor performing show jumper and racehorses.