Peter and his wife Karen have transformed what began as a modest bungalow and a couple of fields into a top class racing yard. Stables were built to start with – 70 boxes now, with overflow accommodation just down the road. Then came a six-furlong uphill all-weather gallop, and recently a new circular gallop, enabling horses to work up to two miles.
All of this is less than a stone’s throw from where Peter was raised in Little Newcastle, and where he first enjoyed success training point-to-pointers.
Since he started training at the top grade in 1995, his horses have been regular visitors to winner’s enclosures on all the famous racecourses in the land – most of them, of course, a long distance drive from deepest Pembrokeshire. Peter and his team clock up thousands of miles every year from Perth to Exeter via Aintree and Ascot.
Those close to Peter admire his hard work, dedication and hands-on approach to the work he loves. In the days building up to a big race, it’s no surprise to find him out all alone in a box late into the night putting the final touches to an important runner’s preparation. Peter knows by sight and by name each and every one of the horses in his care – their likes and their dislikes, and their idiosyncrasies.
Karen has a lifetime of experience working with horses – in both the show ring and as a former champion point to point rider, riding against the likes of Peter Scudamore and the young Richard Johnson.
With her race riding days behind her, along with nine broken collar bones, these days Karen is usually out riding first lot at crack of dawn and is an astute judge of horses as well as a skilful teacher of novices.
Eldest son Mickey has built his reputation, like his father, as a successful point-to-point trainer – his biggest success so far winning the renowned Aintree Foxhunters Chase.
Sean, professional jockey since 2015 and the youngest-ever leading conditional jockey that year, has two “Lesters” and over 300 winners to his name;
James, also a leading professional jockey, took the youngest ever Leading Conditional record from his brother in 2017 and became the youngest ever winner of the Welsh Grand National in 2018 aged just 16.