Gemma Hogg Assistant Trainer
Gemma has worked for Micky Hammond Racing since 1998. She is married to Tim Hogg, who until recently was Head Man at George Moore’s neighbouring stables and now works for Jedd O’Keeffe.
Gemma has been Assistant Trainer for the last nine years and is very much Micky’s right hand girl. She deals with entries and declarations, oversees and helps with feeding and mucking out, regularly rides work and runs the office with Karen, but Gemma can also take full charge of the yard when necessary. She is also the team’s mentor for new staff and staff that are working towards their NVQ level 2 or 3.
Gemma has NVQ levels 1, 2 and 3 which she achieved at the Northern Racing College. “The worst part of my job is occasionally losing horses through injury, the bad weather that we get in the winter and not getting my own way!!! I really enjoy most things about what I do, but especially love jump racing.
“My most memorable times were when Heidi III won the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster (in 2001) and more recently Hollins winning the Goodwood Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 2011. I now keep busy looking after Deep Water, one of the yard’s stalwarts, who is in retirement with me”. Gemma enjoys going out for meals with her friends, going to the cinema and looking after her puppy, Izzy.
Gemma has ridden a winner under rules, bringing Micky’s Charlotte Vale home in front in an amateur riders’ handicap at Hamilton on 27 June 2007 and has also competed in a charity race at Cheltenham aboard yard stalwart Amir Pasha, raising £2,500 for Greatwood and celebrating her 30th birthday in style!
Gemma’s hard work and commitment to Micky Hammond Racing led to her being named Employee of the Year at the 2016 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards, as well as winning the Leadership category, the boss simply said “Gemma is Micky Hammond Racing” and we really can’t argue with that.
Karen moved to Middleham in 1996 in order to work with Micky. Previously, she had worked as a part-qualified accountant for a conveyor belting manufacturer in Hull, however the lure of Middleham was too strong and she joined the yard as secretary.
This role has varied over the years, Karen currently deals with all our accounts, Weatherbys and BHA matters, combining her racing knowledge with her ability for numeracy and administration. The team would be lost without her and fellow racing secretaries hold her in high regard. Married to Chris, Karen still works full-time for us, but does the majority of this work from home due to the birth of her twins Harvey and Francesca in 2005. “I love being involved with the yard and I have made many friends over the years. The greatest pleasure is seeing the yard have winners – showing everybody’s efforts culminating in success.”
Becks, from Leeds, is Gemma’s younger sister and she joined the team on a full time basis in September 2011 after learning her trade in Ireland, spending 5 years working as head girl and successfully competing in point to points. During her first Flat season with the yard in 2011, Becks rode her first winner on Terenzium in an amateurs’ handicap at Hamilton, coincidentally the same race Gemma had won on Charlotte Vale four years earlier; Becky has now ridden a total of ten winners over both jumps & Flat, having made her UK jump debut on Fair Spin in 2011 and partnered her first winner over hurdles on Catawollow in April 2013.
Becky race rides for other trainers but does the majority of her riding for Micky, she can ride at a minimum of 9st and her most valuable winner so far was aboard Sand On Fire in a $38,500 Arabian bred race at Sam Houston Park in Texas, and she went on to finish a close second in the final of that prestigious world championship series in Abu Dhabi.
While she was on the sidelines due to a serious knee injury in 2014 Becks kept herself busy training hunter chaser Maxwil, who won a point to point at Whitcliffe Grange near Ripon at the first time of asking in March of that year, giving our head girl yet another string to her bow!
In her spare time, Becks enjoys going to the gym, hunting and skiing. She also loves walking her dog Paddy and going back to Leeds to relax with her friends and family.
Becks leads our string at work on the moor and is a popular and highly enthusiastic member of Middleham’s racing community with a razor-sharp wit and an opinion on most things! “My favourite part of the job is schooling over fences, getting advice from the boss and the professionals that come in. I don’t particularly like how cold it is up North but I won’t complain as it rains 11 months a year in Ireland!!!
“Apart from riding my first winner, seeing Angel Meadow run in the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket is literally the proudest achievement of my career at Micky’s so far, it was just so satisfying.”
Becks’ experiences over the past couple of years, including her injury, her road back to the saddle, her fundraising achievements and her IFAHR series rides, have been recognised in the 2016 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, in which she made the final three in the rider and groom category won by her fellow amateur jockey, Alyson Deniel.
Becky is proudly sponsored by Barracuda Search and would like to thank them, as well as Micky and all our owners, for their continued support.
Joe is originally from Sheffield and he has worked for Micky Hammond Racing since 2008, after completing racing college and having a brief stint at Ian Williams’ yard. He has done really well despite a couple of injury setbacks and is currently riding better than ever, recently finishing the 2015/16 season with a career best total of 26 winners.
Joe’s first winner was aboard San Deng for Micky at Catterick in January 2011, a horse he also won on at Wetherby later that year. He went on to ride 25 winners in his first four seasons, including his first chase success aboard Alderbrook Lad on New Year’s Day 2014, he had his first double at Cartmel last May and with the regular winners his confidence has grown and his profile has risen. He now also rides regularly for some of our neighbouring trainers and has struck up an excellent partnership with Simon West’s exciting hurdler Maximiser.
Joe has worked wonders with some of our horses on the track, particularly Master Of The Hall, but his partnership with Just Cameron has really put him in the public eye as they chased home top novice Un De Sceaux in a Grade 1 at Punchestown last May and went on to finish sixth to Sprinter Sacre in the 2016 Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.
In his spare time he goes running with his dog Bella, watches racing and goes to the gym to keep fit. An extremely keen all-round horseman and a genuinely nice lad, Joe has been a first team member of the Great Britain Horse Ball squad and he aspires to be a top National Hunt jockey.
“I enjoy my time working here, learning my trade from a former top class jockey and brilliant trainer”, Joe says. “I appreciate all the support and criticism I get from the boss. We have a great team and I enjoy the laughs and bantering that goes on no matter how good or bad things are. I would like to thank all the owners for their continued support.”
Joe was also voted Hexham’s best looking jockey of 2014.
Lauren Lucas Stable Girl and work rider
Loz joined us straight from the Northern Racing College in September 2o13 and quickly made a massive impression leading up around the northern tracks.
A natural in the saddle, she became a hugely popular member of Middleham’s racing community and played a major role in our upturn in fortunes, proving a flagbearer for the yard and giving the benefit of her experience to any new members of staff.
Loz left in December 2015 to work for Sophie Leech but has now come home, she was born to work in Middleham and we’re so pleased to have her back.
Loz was a finalist in the 2016 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff awards, in the David Nicholson Newcomer category, giving her due recognition for her contribution to our recent success.
Robbie Fitzpatrick Apprentice Jockey
Robbie joined the team here at Oakwood Stables on a full time basis in August 2015 having done plenty of work riding for us over the early part of the season. We already knew him well as he’d ridden three winners for us and he was previously based with Karl Burke up at Spigot Lodge, so he’s a familiar face in the village.
Born in Kilkenny, 22 year old Robbie rode his first winner aboard Dark Lane at Wolverhampton in March 2013 and enjoyed his most successful season so far the following year with 13 winners, losing his 7lb claim when he won on our own Diddy Eric for the second time in six days at Carlisle in August.
He’s had plenty of experience, having spent two winters race riding in Dubai, he’s also worked in the United States and ridden winners at Ascot and Sandown, giving his CV an even more impressive look! Robbie is a hard working and very likeable lad and he’s excellent value for his 5lb claim, he partnered his first winner as our apprentice aboard Lacerta at Newcastle last summer and we’re delighted to have him on our side.
This year Robbie has partnered three winners from limited opportunities, including Ginger Jack in a big Saturday handicap at Thirsk, he’s also ridden three winners from three visits to Germany for trainer John Hillis and represented Ireland in the prestigious Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak apprentice jockeys’ series in Copenhagen.
Finian O’Toole Conditional Jockey
He previously worked for Charlie Swan in Ireland and rode a point-to-point winner aboard Where’d Ya Hide It in a maiden at Ballingarry in June 2014 before coming to England to ride for Malcolm Jefferson.
Fin spends plenty of time in the gym and goes running every evening, he’s a natural riding over fences and he gave Alderbrook Lad a really lovely ride to land his first winner under Rules in a £12,500 handicap chase at Cartmel in June, judging the pace perfectly from the front.
He went on to ride 17 winners during 2015/16, eleven of which were in handicap chases, a brilliant effort in his first full season.
In total he rode for 24 different trainers during that campaign which highlights the high regard in which he’s held and the highlight among many excellent rides was a sparkling treble at Sedgefield in February aboard Oscar O’Scar, Verko and Roxyfet.
Fin currently claims 5lbs, for which he’s fantastic value.
Fin has made a big impression with his race riding, he has a fantastic work ethic and we know there will be plenty more winners to come!
Along with several horses, seventeen year old Joe moved across Middleham to join us from Phil Kirby’s yard in late 2014.
Joe, from Carlisle, has been riding since he was four years old and it’s always been his ambition to be a National Hunt jockey, he has had over 30 rides in the increasingly popular Pony Racing series and had his first ride under Rules aboard Lowcarr Motion for Phil Kirby at Doncaster in November 2014, finishing fifth.
2015 was a pretty good year for young Joe, he led up Just Cameron to finish a fantastic second in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novices’ Chase at the Punchestown Festival and he rode his first winner under Rules aboard Minella Hero at Hexham in June (above) before making a dream start to his point to point career when he won on Justin Landy’s Knocklong on his first ride between the flags at the Ratcheugh meeting at Alnwick in December 2015 (below).
Joe has since ridden a further seven winners in points, including a double at Charm Park on Easter Monday, he’s currently among the leading novice riders in the country and he partnered his first hunter chase winner with an excellent ride aboard Ardea at Hexham in April.
Lauren Steade Apprentice Jockey
18 year old Lauren, from Sheffield, joined us in the early spring of 2015 having previously worked for Tom Tate. She’s a graduate of the Northern Racing College and her dream has always been to follow in the footsteps of her grandad, Jack, who was a National Hunt jockey based in Middleham.
Little Loz has made giant strides with her riding over the past twelve months, probably more than any rider we’ve ever had here. She’s recently taken out her apprentice licence and will be race riding for us on the Flat this summer, and she fulfilled her ambition when she rode Shalamzar to finish fourth in an apprentices’ handicap at Pontefract exactly a year to the day since she started working for us. In her spare time, meanwhile, we know she is a rather good singer so we hope to keep hold of her even if Simon Cowell comes calling!
Catherine Walton Amateur Jockey
An extremely talented jockey and superb race rider, Catherine joined our team on a full time basis in May 2015. At the age of 29 she has already ridden over 100 point to point winners and 40 winners under Rules, the majority of which have been over jumps.
Catherine has been leading northern point to point lady rider on six occasions, she was champion lady amateur on the Flat in 2013 and she came close to winning the AGA Lady Riders’ point to point series in 2014 when she won four races in the series including one on our own Maxwil at Whitcliffe Grange.
She’s probably best known, though, for her association with the hunter chaser Ockey De Neulliac, on whom she’s won at Haydock and Cheltenham and she also rode him in the 2014 Foxhunters Chase at Aintree where they came down at Valentine’s Brook when still going well.
Catherine and Ockey De Neulliac in action (photo copyright Caledonia Sween)
Catherine will continue to pursue her highly successful amateur career on the Flat and over jumps whilst also riding out and leading up for us. Her spare time and weekends are taken up with her point to point riding and she also likes to go hunting when she has the chance. She’s also won a camel race at Catterick.
In August 2016 Catherine was invited by the AJA to ride in an Arab bred race in Ostend, Belgium, which she won, qualifying her to compete in the prestigious IFAHR Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship in Abu Dhabi. And in typical fashion she won that as well, aboard a mare called Rb Dixie Burning, making her a world champion after only two rides on Arab breds!
Jordan Smith Stable Lad and work rider
Jordan is originally from Manchester but has spent most of his life on this side of the Pennines. He’s 21 years old and has been riding out for us on and off for a few years, finally joining the team full time in the autumn of 2015.
A Northern Racing College graduate, Jordan is an extremely competent rider with plenty of experience, he has also worked for Mark Johnston here in Middleham and spent some time earlier in 2015 with Jeremy Gask down in Wiltshire before coming back home. He led up his first winner for us at Carlisle in December.
Outside of work Jordan enjoys gaming and listening to heavy metal music, and sometimes he even does both at the same time.
Kate began training her own horses in 1992 and had a winner with only her second ever runner under Rules when Northumbrian King won a novices’ hunter chase at Huntingdon in April that year. She went on to enjoy a successful 20 year training career, sending out a total of 127 winners, mainly over jumps, from Sharp Hill Stables just up the road from us in Middleham.
Before handing over the reins at Sharp Hill to Phil Kirby at the end of 2012, Kate was associated with some highly successful and much loved horses, notably 2009 Eider Chase runner-up Morgan Be, tough chaser Huka Lodge and high class hurdlers Nevertika and Stopped Out.
Kate wanted to stay in Middleham when Phil Kirby planned to relocate to Saltburn and we were more than happy to welcome her on board, her knowledge and experience, not to mention her banter, have already made her a valued addition to our team! She looks after our racing tack, drives the horsebox, leads up on busy days and rides her beloved Everaard, one of a number of Phil’s horses whose owners wanted to remain in Middleham, on the gallops.
The boss with our apprentice jockeys Lauren Steade and Robbie Fitzpatrick at Pontefract
Sue loves her horses and takes great pride in their appearance, it’s no coincidence that we’ve won a string of best turned out awards since Sue started working for us including a well deserved prize for the beautifully turned out Master Of The Hall in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day! Sue leads up for us on busy days, and also looks after our horses when they are having a little break from racing and are away from the yard on their holidays.
Tim Jones Stable Lad and work rider
Local lad Tim, from just down the road in Jervaulx, joined us in May to help out around the yard and ride out, he’s already proved himself a more than competent work rider and he’s been busy leading up our horses at the races too, having his first lead up with Strait Run at Catterick in June. Tim has had plenty of previous riding experience with his own pony, Mitch, who takes up most of his spare time and competes in show jumping events at a local saddle club, but Tim also enjoys going racing with work and meeting up with his mates. He’s a really nice, hard working lad who loves the friendly atmosphere in the yard and he’s eager to learn from the senior staff, his favourite horse is Roxyfet (below) and it’s a pleasure to have him around.
Huggie Thompson Brown Conditional Jockey
21 year old Huggie had nine rides in point to points and rode a winner between the flags for John Ferguson at Dingley aboard The Rodeo Clown (pictured below) in May 2014, he’s a very accomplished rider who has worked brilliantly with some of our horses on the gallops and he deservedly gained his first win under Rules when he partnered Tuscan Gold to victory at Catterick in January 2017 with a very strong ride.
In his spare time he enjoys running, playing football and watching the ice hockey. He’s very keen to pursue his riding career and we’re really pleased to have him in our team!
Stephanie Bradley Racing Coordinator and work rider
Steph joined our team at the start of 2016 as racing coordinator, she is responsible for preparing the racing equipment for all our runners and making sure that they get to the racecourse with the correct gear. Steph is from just up the road in Leyburn and has worked in racing for four years, she came to us from David O’Meara’s and she loves going to the races and everything about the sport, look out for her leading up for us around the local tracks!
Aidan Macdonald Stable lad and work rider
17 year old Aidan joined our team in the summer of 2016 having ridden out for us on a number of previous occasions. He’s from Hawick in the Scottish borders and has loads of riding experience, he’s also competed in pony racing and he’s a very popular young member of the team.
Amanda Donkin Work rider
Amanda has years of experience in racing, riding out in both Newmarket and in the north. She is a qualified counsellor and divides her time between work and riding out for Team MH, mainly at weekends, her knowledge and experience are second to none. Amanda (pictured below on a day at the races with Becks) is a really valuable member of the team.
Ian Clarkson Work rider
A really valued member of the team, Ian has been with Micky Hammond Racing as long as Micky himself! Ian has done everything for us, namely mucking out, leading up, box driving, saddling at the races, painting, lawn cutting, gardening, carpentry, grooming the horses and general maintenance. He’s recently also returned to the saddle to ride out for us. As you can see Ian doesn’t have any spare time but if he did he would love to garden, and has won awards all over the country with his fruit and veg.
Phillip qualified from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1997 and has subsequently spent his entire career working with horses. He is Team Vet to the Great Britain Junior Eventing team, he has his own equine veterinary practice near Sedgefield and he’s also the vet to our horses, we couldn’t do what we do without him, his hard work and dedication to giving the horses the best care and attention is so valuable to our success.
Phillip also enjoys hunting and eventing in his limited spare time, and has retrained ex racehorses and shown them at RoR open days and parades.
Works for Team MH from September to March, she comes in and clips the horses, she is a valued member of the team as she saves the staff from their most hated job!! In her spare time she likes hanging out with son Sam, travelling and relaxing on the sofa with chocolate… “All donations welcome”
Martin has his own transport business, but not just taking horses to the races. He does all kinds of transport, pony shows, sales, transport to other countries etc. Martin also helps us with the horses at the races as much as he can, from leading up to saddling up. Martin was a jockey when he first started out in racing, he rode for Martin Pipe and was champion conditional in 1989. In his spare time Martin likes to go for a few pints with his mates.
Vernon Miller Blacksmith
Vern shoes all the horses in the yard, he lives locally so he is always around for when we need him. Vern has been a farrier most of his life and is very good at his job. In his spare time Vern (pictured below at the yard with Becky) likes to go out for meals and a few pints..!