Kings Farm Stables
If you can provide any photos associated with this stable, or additional information to fill any gaps then contact
1937 Lord Sefton, Roderic Gubbins
Kingsdown Stables in Upper Lambourn was a project initiated by 7th Lord Sefton, Hugh William Osbert Molyneux, and completed in 1937. As well as stables and Kingsdown House there was a Head Lads house and 3 cottages. The first trainer to utilise the stables was Roderic Gubbins who moved from his Kingston Warren stables to the new stables in November 1937, bringing with him Our Hope, runner-up in the 1937 Champion Hurdle behind Free Fare. It was Gubbins who had 10 separate stables built on the nearby King's Farm, and the new stables continued to be usde by Kingsdown Stables as second yards by many of the trainers based at the main yard, including Atty Persse, Major Peter Nelson and J P Nelson. After 1977 the number of stables increased tp 18.

1946-1955 Atty Persse
Harry Seymour Persse, universally known as Atty, was born in 1869 and was commissioned a second-lieutenant in the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry on 28th June 1899, but resigned his commission on 13th September 1902. He began training shortly afterwards in 1903, training for a significant period in Stockbridge, sending out no less than 34 Royal Ascot winners from the Wiltshire stables, and was crowned Champion Flat race Trainer in 1930. His most famous horse was the grey flyer and spotted wonder, The Tetrarch, who won the 1913 Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting when ridden by champion jockey Steve Donoghue, and was thought, at the time, to be the fastest two-year-old of all time. The horse also won the Woodcote Stakes, National Breeders Produce Stakes, Rous Memorial Stakes and Champagne Stakes. However, he developed serious leg trouble before he could start his three-year-old career, and never raced again.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1830 map shown above.
His first Royal Ascot winner, Sir Archibald, won the 1907 New Stakes, later renamed the Norfolk Stakes. In addition to the numerous Royal Ascot wins, Persse chalked up 4 English Classic successes, firstly with Sweeper (SR 1970) in the 1912 2000 Guineas, followed by the great Tetratema (SR 2077) in the 1920 2000 Guineas, with Silver Urn (SR 1866) landing the 1922 1000 Guineas, and finally in 1929 Mr Jinks (SR 1951) won the 2000 Guineas. Atty co-wrote the novel 'Trainer and the Temptress' which was made into a silent film in 1925. He continued to train at Stockbridge until after the Second World War, moving to Lambourn in 1946 just two years after his only son tragically died. He continued to build on his Royal Ascot successes whilst at Kingsdown Stables, winning the 1948 Britannia Stakes with Marconi for Lord Sefton, followed 3 years later by a Royal Ascot treble, firstly with Bob Cherry in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, backed up by Val D'Assa in the Royal Hunt Cup, and completed by Stephen Paul in the King Stand Stakes. His final Royal Ascot winner, when he was 83 years of age, was Queen of Sheba in yet another Royal Hunt Cup victory. His wife died in 1953, but Atty lived to the ripe old age of 91, dying on Monday 5th September 1960 in a Windsor hospital after collapsing at his Ascot home. In his will he bequeathed a painting of The Tetrarch by Lynwood Palmer to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, expressing the hope that the Queen would do him the honour of accepting the painting. His will amounted to £152,668 which, in todays terms, was worth £2.8 million, the larger share of which went to his 18-year old great nephew Richard Persse, then in the Royal Marines.

1955-1967 Major Peter Nelson
Peter Nelson, born in 1913, served in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, reaching the post of Major during his 4-year tenure, but in 1947 he successfully applied for a trainers licence, basing himself at the Old Malthouse Stables in Lambourn. In 1955, after the legendary, Classic winning trainer Atty Persse retired, Nelson took over Kingsdown Stables in Upper Lambourn. Peter was married to Marguerite and they were blessed with 2 sons, John and Charles, who both followed their father into training racehorses. Peter's most famous winner was Snow Knight who unexpectedly landed the 1974 Epsom Derby by 2 lengths at 50/1 in the hands of Brian Taylor. However, Peter was not a one trick pony, for he registered 7 Royal Ascot victories, firstly in the 1951 Bessborough Stakes with Proud Scot 100/6, before winning the 1952 Coventry Stakes with Whistler 2/5 fav, then Weeber 10/1 won the 1955 Queen Mary Stakes; Greek Streak 100/8 won the 1966 Fern Hill Stakes, better known as the Sandringham Stakes; the 1969 King Edward VII Stakes went to Vervain 10/1, Trinity Term 6/4 fav won the 1970 Chesham Stakes, while his final winner came in the 1974 Kings Stand Stakes with Bay Express 9/4 fav . He enjoyed raids at the Glorious Goodwood meeting, landing the 1962 Stewards Cup with Victorina owned by Sir B Mountain, and repeating the success in the same difficult to win race in 1971 with Apollo Nine. Peter retired in early 1976 and handed his licence over to his eldest son John who trained at Kingsdown for a year. Peter collapsed and died in February 1998 aged 85, while his wife Marguerite died on 24th June 2004, both being buried in Upper Lambourn cemetery.

1968 G E Maiden
G E Maiden trained a small string of National Hunt horses at Kings Farm for a year in 1968. His most successful horses were The Braggart and Darnick Tower, each winning moderate chases.
1968 Newman Novices Chase at Chepstow DARNICK TOWER 4/1 trained by G E Maiden and ridden by Ron Hodges
1968 Redditch Handicap Chase at Stratford THE BRAGGART 100/8 owned by Mrs G D Griffin, trained by G E Maiden and ridden by Tim Norman

1978-1979 John Nelson
John Nelson, born in 1952, is the oldest of 2 sons of Peter and Marguerite Nelson and followed his Derby winning trainer into the profession. When his father retired in early 1976 John took over his licence, having been his assistant prior to taking over the reins, but within a year John had moved to new stables at Kings Farm, adjacent to Kingsdown Stables, allowing younger brother Charles to bring his 21 strong string to Kingsdown.
m k l m m
1980-1983 Michael Blanshard
Michael Blanshard, born in Dorset on 25th February 1954, is the son of a Dorset vet, growing up surrounded by animals, and he particularly liked being in the company of horses. He began riding out for trainer Bill Marshall at his Whitsbury Stables and, after completing his compulsory education, he joined Henry Cecil's Freemason Lodge stables aged 17, following him to Chestnut Tree Stables, Newmarket in 1972 when Henry's stepfather Cecil Boyd-Rochfort retired. He then worked for Barry Hills and Henry Candy in and around the Lambourn area until he took out his own licence in 1980, starting his career at King's Farm Stables. In 1982, as Doug Marks brought his training career to an end, Blanshard leased half of Lethornes Stables, taking full charge in October 1983.

1995-1997 Charlie Mann
Charles James Mann, born on 3rd April 1958 in Dumfries, left school aged 15 to join the Newmarket stable, Flint Cottage, run by Peter Poston. After a period with Poston he became an apprentice at Boroughbridge, Yorkshire under the guidance of Tony Gillam, partnering his first winner, La Valse, at Southwell in the Burton Joyce Novice Hurdle. His promise was recognised by Nicky Henderson and Charlie moved to Windsor House Stables, Lambourn in 1979. He turned professional and always dreamt of winning the Grand National, or the equally thrilling Czech equivalent, the Velka Pardubicka. Sadly, he attempted the Aintree Grand National 4 times, each time on a seeming no-hoper; in 1981 on Tenecoon 100/1 he was unseated at the 11th, the open ditch; in 1983 on Williamson 100/1 he was brought down at The Chair; in 1986 on Doubleuagain 500/1 he was knocked over at the 17th; in 1987 on Lucky Rew 500/1 he was unseated at the first and thought, enough is enough. He did record a number of wins in high profile races, not least the Mercedes Benz Chase, the Fullwell Chase at Kempton and the Geoffrey Gilbert Hurdle, but although he had retired from English racing in 1988, he was still able to ride abroard. In 1994 he contested his beloved Velka Pardubicka, the Czech Grand National, partnering It's a Snip 7/1 and finished a creditable second to Erudit. Undeterred, he returned the next year on the same horse, winning the 1995 Velka Pardubicka on 10-year-old It's a Snip 7/2 joint favourite. By the time of his Czech victory, and after riding 149 winners, Charlie launched his training career in 1993 at Newlands, Upper Lambourn, straight after a period assisting Cath Walwyn. Within a year he had moved to Kings Farm, Upper Lambourn, remaining there between 1995 and 1997, and then purchased Whitcoombe House from 1998. It was at this point of his career that he trained his most successful horse Celibate, winning many Handicap Chases, culminating in a victory in the Grade 1 BMW Chase at Punchestown in 1999, having previously landed the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury.
1995 Douglas Concrete Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter IT'S A SNIP 6/1 owned by the Icy Fire Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Jason Kavanagh
1995 Velka Pardubicka (Czech) IT'S A SNIP 7/2 jt fav owned by the Icy Fire Partnership, trained and ridden by Charlie Mann
1995 Widnes Handicap Hurdle at Haydock CELIBATE 15/2 owned by Stamford Bridge Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Muredach Kelly
1996 Stakis Casinos November Novices Chase at Cheltenham CELIBATE 6/4 owned by Stamford Bridge Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1996 Cusop Handicap Chase at Hereford IT'S A SNIP 5/1 owned by the Icy Fire Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Jason Kavanagh
1997 Ferry Boat Handicap Chase at Kempton CELIBATE 7/4 fav owned by Stamford Bridge Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1997 Frogmore Handicap Chase at Ascot CELIBATE 8/1 owned by Stamford Bridge Partnership, trained by Charlie Mann and ridden by Mick Fitzgerald

1999 Noel Chance
Noel Chance, born in Dublin, Ireland on 18th December 1951, was educated at St Patrick's High School, Downpatrick, and freely admits that school was a low priority in his thoughts, with racing set on a much higher plane. He inherited his love of racing from his father, a Head Lad who died when Noel was just 2-years of age. Noel launched his training career near The Curragh, in his native Ireland, in 1974, after working for Sir Hugh Nugent at The Curragh from 1967 and then gaining further experience in Neville Begg's Sydney yard in Australia in 1971, but he was much more successful when he was enticed by owner Michael Worcester to transferred to Folly House Stables in Upper Lambourn in 1995. The next year he won the Towton Novices Chase at Wetherby with Mr Mulligan, who then followed up in the Reynoldstown Novices Chase at Ascot. He further repaid Worcester's faith in him by winning the 1997 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Mr Mulligan at 20/1 a year later. In 1999, when Mark Pitman decided to move across to Weathercock House after his mother announced her retirement, Noel Chance was able to move firstly to King's Farm on a temporary basis before going to the historic Saxon House Stables, announcing himself as a public trainer, landing the Sun Alliance Chase with another of his stars Looks Like Trouble, but even Chance would have thought it long odds against winning a second Gold Cup with the horse just 12 months later.

2001-2003 Gary Brown
Gary Brown only learnt to ride a horse at the age of 23, but he was encouraged by his friend, the trainer Gary Moore, and went on to win the 1994 Martell Foxhunters Chase at Aintree on the John Manners owned Killeshin at 8/1. He had already ridden winners for Manners, including a 100/1 winner in a Leicester maiden chase, but his riding career was cut short on 3rd November 1995 in the Undergear Terra Tire Novices Chase at Uttoxeter. He was riding the unfancied Regal Aura 66/1 which fell at the first fence, rupturing Gary's spleen and pancreas, and ironically bringing down the horse named 'No Pain no Gain'. In 1999 he decided to launch his training career and, it is believed, was based at Kingsdown and then Kings Farm Stables, Upper Lambourn, for 3 years from 2001 before spending 6 years at Sir Tony McCoy's Lodge Down, Upper Lambourn yard. He retired from the training ranks in 2014, but returned a few years later at Henrietta Knight's West Lockinge yard.

© John Slusar 2023

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

Copies of the above books are only available by emailing stating your requirements, method of payment (cheque payable to W.Slusar) or Bank transfer, and the address where the book(s) should be sent.
Download an order form
  Quantity Cost
Volume 1 North of Hatfield £19.99 + £4 postage    
Volume 2 South of Hatfield £14.99 + £3 postage    
Volume 3 Wales & Scotland £9.99 + £3 postage Sold Out
Volume 4 Ireland £9.99 + £3 postage    
Volumes 1 - 4 £54.96 + £5 postage    
Postage & Packaging    
Email order form to