Name – George Bewley
Occupation – Farmer/ Racehorse trainer
Years involved in racing – Rode in first point to point in 1990 and had point to pointers until took license out in 2008
First horseracing memory – Red rum winning its 1st Grand National
What first stirred your interest in horseracing?
Always went to the races with my father since I was a very young boy.
What was the main reason behind you becoming a trainer?
Lifelong ambition to train horses.
Career to date…
Proudest moment of career to date?
Geordies Express winning the Buccleuch Cup in 2000. This was my first racecourse win and in such a prestigious racer, meant a lot
Best horse you have trained?
Which race involving one of your own horses stands out in your memory and why?
Again Geordies Express winning the Buccleuch Cup as it was my first race course win. Nicozetto winning at Kelso whilst my son Jonathon has a winner down at Cheltenham on the same day also stands out in my memory.
In the trainers seat…
Most enjoyable aspect of being a trainer?
The look and actions of owners once their horse has won, it’s great to be involved in.
How many horses do you currently have in training and do you plan on expanding?
Currently have 9 and would like to expand to around 15. I don’t want to be a big trainer with over 50 in; I want to keep a small string of good horses.
What is the one major advantage of your current training location?
The natural facilities, hills and river frontage.
What is the best facility you have at your disposal for training the horses?
1000 acres farm. I own 1000 acres of mixed terrain, from steep hills to flat land with varied scenery and different gradient gallops. I find this the key to training horses.
How do you cope with the bad weather that can hit the borders in the winter time?
We do have a small indoor school but try best we can to get the horses out as much as possible, this can prove difficult though.
How do you see the yard progressing in the coming year?
Hope to continue going from strength to strength and to fill the remaining 5 stables would be good.
Which horse currently in training to you wish you had in your yard?
What race (that you had a runner in) do you wish you could re-run (good or bad)?
Inoogoo’s recent run at Aintree. I feel if the fences had been included on the home straight he would have been much closer. He was squeezed out slightly on the run in and this sacrificed a place or maybe two
Which race do you wish you had a ‘live contender’ for?
Racing and the general public…
In your opinion what could be done to attract new fans to the sport?
Very difficult one but I fell additional terrestrial TV coverage would help.
Do you think Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, etc…) has had a positive impact on racing and how else do you think it could be used to further promote the sport?
Twitter has especially helped increase my profile, I think it is a great way of getting information out to potential owners and fans. Very handy being able to view goings and issues on twitter first thing, it stops me having to log on to my racing admin account.
Improving the sport…
What one thing would you like to see implemented to improve horse racing…
a) on-course? Increased prize money – luckily I heard there was a planned increased for 2013.
b) off-course? Again more TV coverage
Horses to follow…
Which horse in the yard should we look out for in 2012/13?
Are there any Dark horses in the yard to follow for this season?
Which of your older horses still has the ability to surprise us in the future?
Name a horse to follow for this season (out with own yard)?
Edmund of Ann Hamilton’s. I like the horse a lot but they have been unlucky with him.
Scottish Grand National or Cheltenham Gold Cup? Gold Cup
Walsh or McCoy? McCoy
Nicholls or Henderson? Nicholls
Stiff Whisky or a cup of cocoa? Whisky!!
Just for fun…
If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
Speak and listen to horses – would make my job far easier if they could tell me what was wrong with them!!
George Bewley is based in Bonchester Bridge in the Scottish Borders and has been training Point-to-Pointers and Hunters Chasers for numerous years. He took out a full licence in 2008 and has been showing steady progress year upon year.
So far in the 2012/13 National Hunt season the yard has a superb strike rate of 23% (7 winners from only 31 runners) and is set to have a couple of runners at this weekends Open meeting at Cheltenham (16th – 18th November).
George also has an excellent website which is updated on a regular basis and I thoroughly recommend you all take a look to see what this up and coming yard has to offer.
You can visit the George Bewley website at the following address – www.georgebewleyracing.co.uk
You can also follow George on Twitter where he regularly tweets his thoughts – @BewleyRacing
I would like to thank George for taking part in this NTF Q&A session and look forward to plenty more winners from the yard this season.