Fort Summer retired as a six year old at the end of the 2020/21 jumps season.  He has already settled into his new home really well is already competing in shows, finishing runner-up on his first attempt in July.  I am sure he will continue to improve and we are thrilled to see him looking so content and well and love hearing how our old friends are doing in their new careers.



Flou Artsistique was a part of the Pond House team during 2019 and 2020 campaigns when owned by J P McManus.  Unfortunately we never managed to win with the son of Cokoriko,  although he certainly seems to have found his niche in his new career, making up into an excellent all-rounder.  We heard from his new owners in July '21 and they are thrilled with his progress, having just competed in his first dressage on grass, he won two rosettes.

Easter Meteor, a Grade 2 placed chaser and impeccably bred by his owners Simon and Miranda Willes, joined us for a season at Pond House in 2014/15.  Now a spritely twelve year old, he is still very active in his retirement, taking part in hunt races over some mind boggling fences and hedges through the countryside and dales in which he is partnered by jockey Jack Quinlan.  He loves his new career and is looking a picture of health.

Updated 17.05.18

We are pleased to bring you an update on Sir Frank who was a part of the Pond House team between 2011 and 2013, during which time he bravely landed an Exeter handicap hurdle as well as finishing in the frame on a number of occasions before injury curtailed his racing career.

Rewarding the patience of his owner, he has since made a marvelous recovery and is enjoying a happy and contented retirement where this lovable character is regularly ridden and doted upon in his new home in North Devon that he shares with three friends.

Updated 08.07.16

I was delighted to hear from Emily with news of Scotland Yard, a decent hurdler that I trained back towards the start of my career as trainer at Pond House.  Indeed, Scotland Yard was my first winner of the 2007/8 season (my second season with a licence) when successful at Wincanton under Tom Scudamore (pictured below).  Now a twelve year old, he has embarked up a second career in the eventing field which he enjoys enormously and I am sure you will agree, he is looking extremely well.

Updated 15th May 2015

We are always pleased to hear news of the horses that have been at Pond House through the years and we have just heard that Lord Atterbury is doing well in his new career.  You may recall that Lord Atterbury was a top class hunter chaser for David before racing under rules for Martin and finishing five lengths third behind Amberleigh House in the 2004 Aintree Grand National.

Now at the age of 19 you will find him in an alternative a horseboarder!  I must admit that I do not know an awful lot about the sport, but it does look a lot of fun and I am delighted that Lord Atterbury has taken so well to this new discipline.  Indeed, in his first full season in 2014 he finished runner-up in the Horseboarding UK National Championships and currently sits in second position in this year's standings.

The picture above was taken at the Thame Showground in April 2015 by Scott Carruthers and shows Lord Atterbury leading his team who go by the name of the "Mad Atterz".  We wish them every success with the championship and are delighted to see the horse doing so well in an enjoyable and fulfilling career after his racing days are over.

Above: Lord Atterbury during his racing career (pic by Bill Selwyn)

Updated 6.5.15

Photograph by Anne Grossick 01387 750512

We have recently had a few queries about the popular chaser Northern Starlight and we are pleased to be able to bring you an update on him. Coming from humble beginnings he was a maiden on the flat and competing in selling hurdles for Paul Nicholls and Rodney Baker before joining the team at Pond House.

The diminutive Northern Starlight (pictured above, right) was a fantastic little horse who gave us many memorable moments when trained by my father, including the 1998 Tripleprint Gold Cup at Cheltenham and his incredible success in the 2000 John Hughes handicap chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree, ridden on both occasions by A P McCoy. He was the winner of sixteen races (nine over hurdles, seven over fences) and over £170,000 in prize money.

He retired from racing at the end of the 2003 season and went to his owners' in North Devon. Aged 24 he still resides there now, enjoying a life of luxury where he is turned out daily with two ponies that he adores.


Ashkazar ran at Cheltenham on his most recent start.  He was the winner of the same race in 2012 but had not shown much sparkle in three runs this season and David Johnson decided to retire him.  Timmy Murphy’s wife Verity has him and he is sure to enjoy a great retirement.  He will live with former Pond House stars Comply or Die, Well Chief and Vodka Bleu and enjoy hacking around the Gloucestershire countryside as well as hunting and various other activities.  He his only nine years old but he feels like a piece of the furniture having been at Pond House since he was a three year old!  He has done us and owner David Johnson proud over the years, winning on the flat in France before winning two chases and seven hurdle races.  This included the 2008 Imperial Cup and he then went on to finish second in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival three days later.  He won the Kingwell hurdle at Wincanton the following season and then won some other top hurdle races along the way and amassed nearly £200,000 in prize money.  He is a lovely laid back character, looked after by my partner Leanne since he came from France and he will be sadly missed but we know he will enjoy a fantastic retirement.

Buena Vista wins the 2010 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final (Listed) at the Cheltenham Festival
Ever popular staying handicap hurdler Buena Vista retired at the end of the 2011/12 National Hunt season following a wonderful career that incorporated nine victories (one bumper, two chases and six hurdles).  He was a remarkably tough performer who competed at a scarcely believable eight successive Cheltenham Festivals where he won the Pertemps Hurdle in 2010 and 2011, while he was also finished second in the same race in 2009 and third in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 2006.
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Action replay: Buena Vista follows-up with success in the 2011 Pertemps Handicap Hurdle
Owned by Matt Archer and the late Jean Broadhurst throughout his career, Buena Vista will enjoy his retirement at their paddocks where all of their horses reside.  Jean, who was absolutely besotted with her horses,sadly passed away in 2005 after a long battle with illness.  However, she left a trust to ensure that all of her beloved equine companions were well looked after when she had gone.  Former stars such as Upgrade, Arlas and Ocean Hawk live happily alongside the likes of Miss Jeff - it didn't matter about how much ability Jean's horses had, she loved them all equally.  Indeed, she would send Birthday, Valentines' and Christmas cards for her horses, as well as vans full of apples and carrots for all of the horses in the yard (not just her own), and hampers of goodies for all the staff.


What can you say about Comply Or Die?  Placed in a Sun Alliance Hurdle and Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury, Comply Or Die is best known for giving David his finest hour as a trainer when landing the 2008 Grand National.  He went on to finish a gallant runner-up twelve months later and fittingly ran his last race in the 2011 Grand National.  The winner of just under £800,000 in prize money, he is enjoying a happy retirement at Timmy Murphy's home along with his old companion, the great Well Chief.  As you can see from the pictures he is having a great time!

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Above left: Comply Or Die and Well Chief, and right: Comply Or Die is clearly enjoying his retirement