Yorkshire Jockeys Horse Racing

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Name: Ruth Carr


Training Location;  Stillington, 10 miles north of York

Single/dual license? Dual but a long time since I had a NH runner

  1. How long have you held a license? 12 years
  2. Training Facilities, including how many in the team;
  • 6f circular carpet gallop
  • Multiple loose exercise facilities including our unique “two at once” lunge ring
  • Set of three starting stalls
  • Three horse boxes
  • Horse walker
  • Many different turn out fields, pens and paddocks on light, sandy land for all year turnout
  • 4 fulltime members of staff, 5 part time and several visits a week from jockeys to ride out

Number of horses in training/capacity; 55 in training, 59 stables plus a 3-bay isolation unit

What is your background/introduction to racing?  I was born into a family heavily involved in horses, I learnt to ride before I could even walk – on a donkey borrowed from Scarborough beach for the winter! The donkey was upgraded to a Shetland, and I was soon hooked. Riding show, gymkhana and jumping ponies through my early school years, I was soon begging my Grandfather, David Chapman, to ride his racehorses. It soon became a daily routine to bike to Granddad’s and ride a couple on the gallops before catching the bus to school.

I couldn’t wait a day too long for my first race ride, and on my actual 16th birthday I was lucky enough to have a ride in an Amateur Riders Race at Redcar. There were 28 runners and State Governor, a horse trained by David Chapman (Grandad) and owned by his brother John unfortunately finished last! Undeterred, and after lots of perseverance and hard work, I went on to ride 28 winners on the Flat, 8 over Hurdles and about 20 Point to Point winners during my racing career.

I represented Great Britain in a Euro America Competition, having rides at Lonestar Park and Laurel Park in America and 2 rides in Germany. I also rode in the Lady Riders Challenge Series in Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava. In 1997 I rode 13 winners in all, 9 on the level, both Turf and All Weather, making me leading Amateur Rider on the flat. My proudest moments were when riding winners against the professional jump jockeys – mostly men in those days!

I assisted my Grandfather, David Chapman for fifteen years before taking the license when he decided to retire in 2008.   Those years were spent learning his unique training methods. The importance of treating every horse as an individual has been greatly impressed on me – how to make their time enjoyable, the importance of varying their routines, and how to keep them happy in their minds. 

  1. Favourite horses either currently in training, you’ve previously trained or seen in your lifetime; hard to narrow the list down!
  • “Soaked” a quirky but talented gelding Grandad trained, he won 19 races in total and 9 in 1998.  He refused to race once and often took a lot of persuasion to go down to the start!
  • “Quito” a rig and another tricky customer trained by Grandad.  A proper horse, winner of 20 races including the Ayr Gold Cup, was also 2nd in the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup only beaten a neck.
  • “Sovereign Debt” gave us some super days out at the big meetings winning at AW finals day, a G2 at Sandown, Diomed at Epsom on Derby Day and the following year he got a great reception at York after winning the Ganton Stakes.
  • Also soft spots for current horses Kylie Rules, Poyle Vinnie, Khazaf and Sharp Exhibit.
  1. Which jockeys do you regularly use? James Sullivan and Jack Garritty.
  2. Three horses to follow this season and why?
    1. Which courses will suit (preferably Yorkshire!)
    2. Preferred distance
    3. Grade
  • Kylie Rules at Beverley loves it there over the extended mile although is also effective at slightly less.  She looks better than ever physically and hopefully will be competitive off her mark which is 25 pounds higher than this time last year.
  • Ripon specialist Pipers Note starts the season on a much reduced mark.  He still shows all his enthusiasm at home in the twilight of his career and it would be lovely to see him coming home in front at Yorkshires Garden Racecourse.


  • Be Perfect has done us proud over the years.  He enjoys the undulations of Catterick, is effective over 1.4f and a bit further.  He is a great ride for an amateur or apprentice and is happy to make the running or be held up.Favourite Yorkshire course and why; everyone wants to have a winner at York but York winners are hard to come by and Ripon has been a happy hunting ground for us as was Beverley last year.Anything else of note e.g records held, funny stories, memorable race days, first winner etc.  I’ve got a funny story about Grandad and I and a member of the armed forces wearing a kilt at Catterick…. Put it this way we found out what the army lads (don’t) wear under their kilts.  It’s fair to say Grandad was a lot more embarrassed than his 18yo Granddaughter!