There are many aspects of being a great trainer, but one of the most valuable is having a good team. Kevin will be the first to admit that without the hard work and support of his staff, he would not be able to do what he does.
Experience, strength, tactically aware are just some of the traits Tom has shown throughout his career. He has been a stalwart of Northern racing and his talents have shone through at the highest level. Having notched a first group one with Tangerine Trees, Tom again hit those heights with a pair of superstar sprinters. Linking up with Kevin, Tom will be remembered for his long time association with Brando, capturing the Group 1 Prix Maurice De Gheest. He then struck up another winning relationship as Glass Slippers came along and Tom delivered one of the best rides of a sprinter when taking the 2020 Breeders’ cup Turf Sprint.
Having begun his career with Tommy Stack, Shane arrived in England with 30 winners under his belt and and the hunger to learn. In the two years he has been at Hambleton Shane has become a familiar name in Northern racing and in 2015 rode his claim out to become a fully fledged professional. He continues to improve and impress with his style and strength in the saddle and has now cemented himself as a vital part of Hambleton Lodge. Quickly developing into one of the leading young jockeys in racing and has caught the eye of many owners and trainers. Shane rode his first listed winner at the beginning of 2016 when steering the Ed De Giles trained Frosty Berry to victory at Nottingham, the first of many big wins.
Oisin McSweeney (5lb)
Like many before him, Oisin made the journey across the Irish Sea to build on his career in Britain. Having arrived in late 2020, Oisin quickly made a name for himself in the north. Based at Hambleton Lodge, many trainers latched on to his talent with a 7lb claim and that did not last long as he was down to 5lb in 2021. With 23 winners to his name in 2021, Oisin is an apprentice on many people’s radar and he will be aiming to continue on that upward trajectory. With hard work and dedication, Oisin has all the traits to be a star of the future and his claim can prove invaluable for our team.
Curtis Wilson-Ruddock (7lb)
Curtis has been with the team for a few years and always had the ambition to one day become a jockey. In 2022 he passed all the qualifications and took the leg up for his first ride under rules. He has taken to the track well and certainly caught the eye with his 7lb claim. He will now be looking to build confidence along with experience to continue progressing with journey as an apprentice jockey.
Assistant – Adam Ryan – the son of Kevin, he delved into the world of racing after his higher education. To gain some valuable experience he spent a year with breeding experts Coolmore. Working along side the team has enhanced his knowledge of the sport, hopefully enabling him to one day follow in his father’s footsteps.
Yard Manager – Steve Haworth – an integral part of the team, Steve oversees the everyday running of the yard. Whether its breaking in yearlings or bandaging a leg, his years of experience and horsemanship ensure the operation runs smoothly.
Yard Manager – Ray White – after a career as a jump jockey, Ray went onto work for some of the biggest names in racing. Stints with M.Channon and J.H.Johnson has given him the invaluable experience that make him a great asset to the team.
Yard Manager – Jason Parkhouse – after many years experience in the saddle and with pre training Jason brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. He was part of the team who celebrated Amadeus Wolf’s famous Gr 1 win and returned to help bring further success.
Secretary – Helen Blacker – has been with us since 2006 running the office and ensuring the business runs smoothly. Keeping the owners up to date, making entries and declarations or keeping all details in order, Helen is key to the efficiency of how the yard runs.
Travelling Team – It is vital that all horses arrive safe and sound at their respective meetings and we are fortunate to have a great team of drivers. With a fleet of 2 stallers and a 5 staller horse box, we have the capability of meeting the needs of our horses travelling needs. Louise Kelly, Sarah Wilson and Kay Fillery also ensure that owners have a great race day experience when they are representing the yard in Kevin’s absence.
Steven Hillen – Steve has always been a keen racing enthusiast. After many years working in the racing industry, his vast knowledge of the sport landed him the job of assistant to Paul Cole. After much success with one of the best trainers around, he went on to pre training horses and later into the bloodstock game.
Steve Hillen has built a reputation as being one of the best in the business and his ability to spot potential in young horses is second to none. Along with Kevin, they have created a formidable partnership. As a bloodstock agent, Steve’s objective is find the best horses from the thousands seen every year. Winners equal success and with horses such as; Bapak Chinta (gr2 Norfolk) Bogart (Redcar 2yo trophy) African Skies (gr3 Princess Margaret) Balmont (gr1 Middle Park) Blaine (gr2 Gimcrack) Astaire (gr2 Gimcrack,gr 1 Middle Park) and many more, he has proved year after year that he is at top of his profession.
The highest echelon in racing are the Classics and Steve broke new ground in 2014 when The Grey Gatsby took the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club, giving himself and Kevin their first classic success. It showed once again what a great partnership they have and the future looks bright with Steve looking for the next stars.
Becky Hillen – With so many horses to see during the sales it is an impossible task for one person. Becky works the sales with Steven and her keen eye for a horse is invaluable to Kevin. Having worked in racing she knows how to spot a nice horse and her tireless efforts during the sales season has led to plenty of nice horses arriving at Hambleton Lodge.
With such an impressive strike rate of winners you can take a look at all the success stories that Steve and Becky have sourced – www.hillenbloodstock.co.uk
Not only is there a great team in place at Hambleton Lodge but Kevin also works alongside some of the best medical professionals in the sport. With their help it ensures every horse has the best care possible to maintain their health and well being.
Vet – Peter Hynes MVB MRCVS – After qualifying from the University College Dublin, Pete gained vast experience working in Australia, Dubai, Britain and the USA. He set up the Yorkshire Equine Practise and was soon working alongside Kevin bringing his knowledge to Hambleton Lodge. He is in the yard regularly to keep up to date with all the horses well being and his enthusiasm for the sport means he has a great working relationship with Kevin, ensuring the horses are always in their peak physical condition.
Back Specialist – John Patterson – With all the stresses and strains the horses go through in their training it can cause aches and pains which always need attention. John is one of the best in the business with a great understanding of the horse’s anatomy. Always on hand to check problems and apply any therapy required, his techniques can transform a horse in minutes and have them back to moving like a ballet dancer.
Dentist – Chris Napthine – The teeth are an area that can affect so much in a horse’s training so it is important to maintain them. Chris is regularly up at the yard maintaining the teeth and helping to prevent any problems from occurring. With some of the most up to date equipment the horses are cared impeccably and this shows with their health, happiness and results on the track. No stone is left unturned and Chris has the knowledge and patience to ensure that each horse receives the best treatment available to them.
Farriers – Joe Rose, Libby Smith, Hugo Serisier – You will hear many people involved with horses claim that everything starts with the feet. As the point of contact with the ground the foot is vital to a horse’s training which means a good farrier is essential. Fortunately we have not one but three skilled farriers who are in daily to check on the horse’s well being. Joe, Libby and Hugo meticulously check, trim and shoe each horse to ensure the foot will support the horse through all their physical exertions drastically reducing the risk of injury. Happy feet equals a happy horse.