Seven Springs Stables & St Wendreds Stables
If you can provide any photos associated with this stable, or additional information to fill any gaps then contact johnwslusar@gmail.com

Seven Springs Stable was named after the seven wells of Newmarket and Exning which were in existence well before Newmarket became a centre of excellence for flat racing in the United Kingdom. The central, and most ancient, of the 7 wells was named after Saint Wendreda, also known as Wendreth, a 7th century Anglo-Saxon princess who was the daughter of King Anna of East Anglia. She grew up in the village of Exning, on the outskirts of Newmarket, and became a nun and herbalist, but was also noted for her gift of healing the sick. In the early days a spring known as St Mildred's, which evolved into St Mindred's well, was thought to be the source of the healing water Wendreda used. Although St Mildrede is mentioned in a 1530 document about Exning, the first occasion it is shown on a map is as Minzin Well in 1836. However, later research revealed that St Mindred and St Wendreda are thought to be one and the same person, as there is no further mention of St Mindred.

NEWMARKET RACECOURSES
For over 4 centuries racing has been staged in Newmarket, but how have the racecourses evolved from an initial starting point at Fleam Dyke Pumping Station, some 8 miles from the town, with a winning post barely 200 metres from the town centre, into two world recognized, excellent racecourses and a universal acceptance that Newmarket is the Headquarters of racing?
To access an interactive racecourse map showing over 50 individually named racecourses CLICK HERE. The map will enable you to:-
1. Determine when extended races over 8 miles, 6 miles and 4 miles began to be replaced by the courses now visited by thousands annually;
2. Consider how the challenge of crossing the Devil's Dyke was overcome;
3. Contemplate why the town no longer has a steeplechase course despite having at least 5 courses during the past 2 centuries;
4. Examine the practicalities of having up to 48 starting posts and winning posts;
5. Appreciate that it was not financially viable to have an open racecourse spread widely across the heath, with a finishing post barely 200 metres from the town centre;
6. Research how and why the Cambridgeshire Handicap has been contested over 3 different courses.
NOTE: The map does not make mention of 2 particular courses:-
(i) Sefton Course (also known as the Cambridge Road Course)
Source: 1970 Raceform. Used from 1959 to 1975.
(ii) New Circular Course
The Circular Handicap was run on Friday 29th October 1875 on the New Circular Course of about two miles.
Source: London Standard (30th October 1875): ''the horses started near the Turn of the Lands, ran back way of the Cambridgeshire Course towards the Ditch, and afterwards proceeded down the side of the Tan Gallop, and turned into the Rowley Mile near the Bretby Stakes starting post, finishing at the stand at the end of the flat. Except in the hollow near the Cambridgeshire start the runners should have been visible all the way if the sky had been bright and clear''.
Another report hoped that the Circular Handicap would become a feature in future programmes, as it would be contested in front of the new grandstand which would be completed in about a year and would be able to accommodate thousands.
(I am grateful to Tim Cox for bringing attention to these 2 courses.)
Enjoy researching the intriguing history of Newmarket and its many racecourses.

St Wendred's Well
Such was the belief in the healing properties of the water of St Wendreda's well that some superstitious trainers insisted their jockeys took their mounts down to the well to drink of the waters prior to an important race. In 2015, when Ilka Gansera-Leveque purchased the main yard of Seven Springs Stables, she named her newly acquired stable Saint Wendreds Stables. There is still evidence of the original springs along the Hamilton Road in the grounds of the Hamilton Stud, and showed up on ancient maps as Favin's Head, or The Marshes. The first occasion Seven Springs shows up on Ordnance Survey map as St Wendreda's well is 1927, although they are certainly not present on the 1891, 1892 or 1894 OS maps. 'Seven Springs' also occur at Upper Lambourn, Taplow, Steeple Aston, Pen Selwood, Gosberton and Iron Acton.

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1836 map shown above. Seven Springs Stables is 10. NOTE that both Flavin's Head and St Mindred's Well are marked on the map.
To enjoy the experience of a day at Newmarket races in May 1838 CLICK HERE
The map opposite, shown courtesy of Ordnance Survey, indicates the location of the Hamilton Stud at the start of the 20th century. The land on which the Hamilton Stud, and its surrounding fields, once stood is now replaced by training establishments which, in 2020, were named Heyward Place, Charnwood, Frankland Lodge, Lemberg, Hamilton Stables, Carriageway, Hamilton Hill, Shadowfax and Seven Springs Stable.

1990-2018 Bill O'Gorman
Between 1969 and 1988 Bill O'Gorman enjoyed many successful seasons at Graham Place, including the incredible 1984 season when his two-year-old Provideo won 16 of his 23 races. In 1989 he moved to Calder Park Stables as a stop-gap until he could move into his newly built Seven Springs Stables in 1990. Very early on in his time at Seven Springs he trained the tough Timeless Times, who won 16 times as a two-year-old, equalling the record of Provideo in 1984, also trained by O'Gorman, and The Bard in the late 19th century, who went unbeaten in 16 two-year-old races. At Seven Springs O'Gorman did not match the two Royal Ascot successes, Brondesbury in the 1982 Norfolk Stakes and Superpower in the 1988 Norfolk Stakes, he had enjoyed at Graham Place, although Mac's Imp did well for him.
Bill always produces interesting, excellently researched and well written articles on a number of racing related topics. These include articles on The History of the thoroughbred, thoughts on Weight for Age, and a thought-provoking article on Tod Sloan and the American Invasion.
1990 Coventry Stakes MAC'S IMP 2/1 fav owned by Tamdown Ltd, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
1990 Richmond Stakes MAC'S IMP 2/1 fav owned by Tamdown Ltd, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
1990 Phoenix Park Stakes MAC'S IMP owned by Tamdown Ltd, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro

TIMELESS TIMES (Timeless Moment-Lovely Hobo)
9th April 1990 Trillium Maiden Stakes at Wolverhampton TIMELESS TIMES 7/4 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
12th April 1990 Roecliffe Stakes at Ripon TIMELESS TIMES 6/4 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
21st April 1990 Clifton Stakes at Thirsk TIMELESS TIMES 3/1 owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
25th April 1990 Richmond Stakes at Catterick Bridge TIMELESS TIMES 2/5 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
8th May 1990 Metropole Challenge Cup at Folkstone TIMELESS TIMES 8/15 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
24th May 1990 Grinton Stakes at Catterick Bridge TIMELESS TIMES 11/10 joint fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
1st June 1990 PO Mauritius Stakes at Newcastle TIMELESS TIMES 4/5 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
2nd June 1990 Powderhall Stakes at Edinburgh TIMELESS TIMES 8/13 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
9th June 1990 Hornby Stakes at Catterick Bridge TIMELESS TIMES 4/5 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
12th June 1990 Youngsters Stakes at Pontefract TIMELESS TIMES 4/11 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
25th June 1990 D Hicks Stakes at Windsor TIMELESS TIMES 4/6 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
26th June 1990 S&P Stakes at Newbury TIMELESS TIMES 7/2 owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
2nd July 1990 Spindrifter Stakes at Pontefract TIMELESS TIMES 8/13 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
6th July 1990 Cottingham Stakes at Beverley TIMELESS TIMES 30/100 fav owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
23rd August 1990 Nightfall Stakes at Salisbury TIMELESS TIMES 11/10 owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro
4th September 1990 Timeform Futurity Stakes at Pontefract TIMELESS TIMES 11/2 owned by Times of Wigan, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Alan Munro

Emma Samantha O'Gorman, born April 1974, daughter of trainer Bill O'Gorman, rode almost 150 winners in her professional career and was stable jockey for her father for a number of years. She was noted for her riding style, modelled on that adopted by top American jockeys, and she was crowned top female twice, firstly in 1992.

AFRICAN CHIMES ridden by Emma O'Gorman
January 1992 Leicestershire Claiming Stakes at Southwell AFRICAN CHIMES 2/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
January 1992 Antrim Claiming Stakes at Lingfield AFRICAN CHIMES 2/1 fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
February 1992 Crusader Claiming Stakes at Lingfield AFRICAN CHIMES 11/8 fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
March 1992 In the frame Claiming Stakes at Southwell AFRICAN CHIMES 8/11 fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
March 1992 Robin Claiming Stakes at Southwell AFRICAN CHIMES 6/4 fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
June 1992 Electric Handicap at Bath AFRICAN CHIMES 10/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
October 1992 Levy Board Claiming Stakes at Lingfield AFRICAN CHIMES 13/8 fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
December 1992 Julius Caesar Claiming Stakes at Southwell AFRICAN CHIMES evens fav owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
June 1994 Regional University Sprint Handicap 5f at Beverley AFRICAN CHIMES 9/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
June 1994 Fibresand Handicap 6f at Southwell AFRICAN CHIMES 2/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
October 1994 Falling Leaf Limited Stakes 7f at Lingfield AFRICAN CHIMES 9/2 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman

With thanks to Bill O'Gorman for the above photo shown courtesy of Proshot
November 1994 Taurus Handicap 5f at Lingfield AFRICAN CHIMES 6/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
April 1995 Birdforth Handicap Stakes 7f at Thirsk AFRICAN CHIMES 12/1 owned by D G Wheatley, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Emma O'Gorman
newmarket 1918e.JPG (26765 bytes) Newmarket 1940.JPG (18535 bytes) newmarket 1948e.JPG (10601 bytes)

2015-present Gansera and Stephane Levenque
When Bill O'Gorman stepped down in 2018, the main yard of the stables was purchased by Gansera Levenque and her husband Stephane. Ilka Gansera-Leveque, currently the only female trainer in the United Kingdom who is also a trained veterinarian, learnt her trade whilst an apprentice jockey with Bruno Schuetz in Germany. To widen her experience, she spent a year with the innovative Monty Roberts in California at his Flag Is Up Farm, and graduated as a vet in 2009. She completed her British Trainer's course in 2012, after which she launched her training career, initially leasing Saffron House Stables in the latter part of 2014 after Charlie Fellowes moved to St Gatien Cottage Stables. She, and her husband Stephane, purchased the main yard of Seven Springs Stable, with a capacity for 32 horses, in 2015, when Seven Springs was split into two parts, naming her part Saint Wendreds.

I am grateful to Carmen Garvey for the image of this very rare plate which somehow managed to end up in a bargain store in Rapid City, South Dakota where Carmen lives. Carmen enjoys collecting horse memorabilia but couldn’t believe such an item would find its way to 'the middle of nowhere’' in South Dakota, USA.

© John Slusar 2020

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

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