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The Team

 Michael Owen

Ex-footballer Michael was born in Chester and began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal scorer from 1997–2004. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and he was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool.

Michael moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004 where he scored 13 goals in La Liga before returning to England the following season where he joined Newcastle United. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. Michael moved to Manchester United in 2009 as a free agent and spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City. Michael is one of seven players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. In March 2013, Michael announced that he would retire from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Manor House Stables is set in 160 acres and was converted from a cattle barn by Michael and his wife Louise, before commencing business in 2007 as a training yard with 30 horses.

By May of 2009, improvements to the facilities meant it had grown to accommodate 90 horses with an impressive lounge for owners, a brand new office and superb hostel accommodation for the staff. With further expansion in 2012 and continued investment in state of the art facilities, Manor House Stables continues to go from strength to strength.

Michael says:

"My main passions in life have always been my family and football, but I suppose a close third, is horse racing. The joy of owning a racehorse is indescribable, from buying them as youngsters, watching them develop and seeing their first visit to a racecourse. I have owned horses for many years and whenever I have time off, you‘ll find me down at the stables!"

Andrew Black

Andrew 'Bert' Black is co-founder and the original designer of the internet phenomenon Betfair. Following the successful float of Betfair on the London Stock Exchange, Andrew stood down from his seat on the main board. Andrew retains board seats at three other internet technology companies and investments in numerous others. Andrew has a lifelong interest in horse racing and in recent years his business interests have moved increasingly in this direction. He owns over 40 horses and has built a substantial stud farm in Cobham in Surrey. He is an enthusiastic analyst of equine pedigrees and has built a large database to assist him in his research.

Andrew says:

“I am enormously excited to have a significant role to play in the development of Manor House Stables – a stables that I confidently believe will be one of the pre-eminent training facilities in the country.”

Colin Gorman Assistant Trainer

Tom appointed Colin as his Assistant in 2009 and the two have forged a strong partnership, which has been the cornerstone of the yard’s success. Colin and Tom first met in the late 90’s when starting their new jobs in Lambourn as assistants to John Hills and Ralph Beckett respectively. Colin is part of a family steeped in racing. His brother Jim trains at the Curragh and his other brother, Tony, has been with Richard Hannon for 30 years and is now Senior Head Lad.

Andy Jackson Head Lad

Andy joined Tom at Lambourn in August 2008 as head lad, just before the expansion of the ONEWAY operation. Following Tom's decision to move to Cheshire, Andy was seen as an integral member of the team and was asked to relocate. Andy has worked in racing his whole life and has a wealth of experience when it comes to riding and looking after racehorses. Since moving up to Cheshire Andy has done a bit of globe-trotting assisting with our runners in Dubai, Turkey & the USA. 

Paul Gallagher Assistant Head Lad

Paul re-joined the yard in August 2013. He previously worked for MHS as a Barn Leader from the end of 2009 until 2012 before moving back to Newmarket to work again for Sir Michael Stoute. Tom promoted Paul to Assistant Head Lad in January 2014. Paul breaks in all of our yearlings at Manor House Stables. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to starting young racehorses and he has sole charge of the training programme for horses using the equine swimming pool.

Josh Bennett Barn Leader

Josh is from Southport and joined MHS in January 2013. Josh rode as a child and had his own pony, from school he went to the Northern Racing College and got his first job in racing with Richard Lee. After a year with Richard he left to join Paul Green's yard as a work rider where he spent 4 years. In his spare time Josh is an avid reader. Josh was promoted to Barn Leader in December 2016.

Hayley Ashcroft Barn Leader

Hayley is from Scotland and started riding out at weekends until she made it into a full time job. She attended the Northern Racing College and has previously worked for Ray Owen for 2 years before joining MHS. Hayley was promoted to Barn Leader in November 2017. Hayley has re-joined the team in March 2019 after a sabbatical working in racing for the winter in New Zealand.
Hayley won the prestigious 2020 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Rider / Groom Award.

Christopher Ely Travelling Head Lad

Born in Liverpool, Chris has worked at Manor House Stables since March 2007. He learnt to ride at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster. He has worked for Jack Berry and Alan Berry. He previously rode as a professional, riding one winner on Bogaz in November 2004 from 41 career rides. Chris enjoys golf and is a keen Liverpool FC supporter. Chris is our travelling head lad and has been all over the world with our runners.

Office Team

Lizzie Lea Senior Racing Secretary

Lizzie joined Manor House Stables as Racing Secretary in January 2010 following a three year spell at the Racecourse Association as Communications Assistant. A graduate from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, she also had spells as stable lass at Henrietta Knight's, secretary to Kim Bailey and ticket sales manager at Chester Racecourse. Born and bred in rural Cheshire, Lizzie has been involved with horses from a young age. She has ridden out for a variety of trainers and has trained and ridden her own point to pointers. She now owns an ex-racehorse who was too slow for MHS called Bryn Rhosyn who she enjoys hunting and eventing.                 

Lisa Taylor Consultant Financial Controller

Lisa, a chartered accountant has been involved with the yard since its very first days. In April 2017 Lisa came back as a permanent part-time member of the team in the role of consultant Financial Controller.


Nuno Santos Rider

Nuno is from Portugal and previously worked for Tom in Lambourn and joined the Cheshire team in April 2014. He got into racing as he had horses at home and was then introduced to a racing stable by a friend. He did a Conditional Course at Newmarket Racing School and has also worked for Brendan Powell. Outside of work Nuno is working on his dressage riding with the assistance of his partner Anna who is a dressage rider.

Sam Ankers Rider

Sam is from Chester and was encouraged to get into racing by his family and friends. He has attended the British Racing School and worked for point to point trainers at weekends while at school then worked for Donald McCain.
Sam is a great asset to the yard helping Paul to break in the yearlings during the winter months.

Jessica White Rider

Jessica joined the team from the British Racing School in March 2017 and her favourite horse in the yard is Sha La La La Lee.

Derwyn Williams Rider

Daz re-joined the team in January 2020 having spent 5 years working as Head Lad for Donald McCain. We are delighted that he has re-joined our team as he brings a wealth of racing experience to MHS.
Outside of work Daz enjoys going fishing.

Adam Pike Rider

Adam joined the team in January 2020. Adam is from Liverpool and has previously worked for Donald McCain, Scott Dickson and Lisa Williamson. Outside of work Adam enjoys show jumping and watching football.

Ray McCarthy Rider

Ray along with his wife Michelle joined the team in February 2020. Ray previously worked at Richard Hannonís yard for 14 years. Outside of work ray likes to play Golf.

Michelle McCarthy Rider

Michelle along with her husband Ray joined the team in February 2020. Michelle previously worked at Richard Hannonís yard for 20 years.

Maisie Ashbrooke Rider

Maisie joined the team in January 2021 after attending the British Racing School in Newmarket. Locally born, Maisie is from Wrexham and has been involved with horses all of her life. She holds her Level 3 diploma in equine care from Coleg Cambria.

Riders - Part Time

Debbie Gallagher  Rider

Debbie joined the yard in March 2017. Debbie is married to head lad, Paul and has worked in racing most of her life. She returns from a break from the sport to assist in the swimming pool area.

Hannah Edwards Rider

Hannah joined MHS in November 2015 having previously spent 2 years at Donald McCain in Cheshire and 3 years at Mark Tompkins in Newmarket. She has ridden all of her life and her family live locally near Wrexham. Hannah was a Barn Leader for two years at MHS before having her twin girls in 2019.

Yard and Ground Staff

Simon Joseph Groundsman

Simon is from Chester and has lived here all of his life. He left school at 16 and went straight into an apprenticeship at a golf course as a greenkeeper where he stayed for 4 years. He then spent time working at Cholmondeley Castle, gardening and tractor driving. Following a brief spell in Ireland putting up temporary stabling at events, Simon joined MHS in October 2008. Simon is a keen fisherman and in the summer he can regularly be found attempting to catch the fish in the MHS ponds!                 

Javed Iqbal Yardman

Javed is from Pakistan and he joined Manor House Stables in November 2008. At home he has 4 dogs and enjoys watching cricket and football.

Nasir Ali Yardman

Nasir is from Pakistan and joined Manor House Stables in April 2009.

Henry Owen Yardman

Henry joined MHS in March 2017 as a full time member of the team. Locally born & bred, Henry has been involved with the yard since he was at school and regularly worked at weekends and went racing. He has completed an equine course at Reaseheath college in Nantwich. Outside of work Henry likes going to the gym.

Maurice Bailey  Box Driver

Maurice has been involved in the racing industry for all of his life and been part of MHS for numerous years. Maurice regularly drives our runners all over the country and is a great asset to the yard.

External Expertise

Heath Equine Veterinary Practice

Heath Equine Veterinary Practice took over the veterinary care of the horses in December 2020.

William Threfall Farrier


Will qualified at Morton Morrell in 2007 and after he qualified he worked for Godolphin for 3 years and has worked on multiple group 1 winners after that he had a short spell at William Haggis for 2 seasons before relocating to Cheshire to work for Tom Dascombe. Will specializes in thoroughbred race horses and corrective work within the racing industry. Will started at MHS in September 2014.

Annie Chantler Equine Chiropractor


Annie is particuarly interested in Veterinary Orthopedics and poor performance. She founded Wetreins Equine in 2012 with the aim of providing a more reliable and effective service for people worried about poor performance of their horse as well as treatment for back pain and soft tissue injuries.

DGS Horse Transport Transport

DGS Horse Transport Ltd was set up in 2001 by David Sherlock to provide the Thoroughbred Industry with first class Equine Logistics. They supply safe and reliable transport services for studs and race horse trainers, including Manor House Stables and Donald McCain Jnr. They offer a National and International service, with regular trips to Ireland and France and they attend all major sales.