Stuart joined the team at Fences Farm at the age of 14 (20 years ago according to Stuart!). Initially he worked with show jumpers for Mr. and Mrs. Robeson. He progressed to being Assistant Trainer to Mrs. Renee Robeson when she started racing their home bred family horses in 1988. Mrs. Robeson was later granted full trainer status and became progressively successful and well known. Mrs. Robeson, supported by Stuart, amassed 99 winners between 1988 and her untimely death in January 2015. Their most notable successes included:
Stuart took on the reins and continued to progress the yard's success rate. His first winner as a trainer came quickly when Dawn Commander won at Warwick. Since 2015 Stuart has trained the winner of 13 "Big Races" (as defined by the British Horseracing Authority). An amazing record given the size of the yard. His biggest success came at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival when Domesday Book won the Kim Muir Handicap Chase. Other major "Big Race" winners include Maria's Benefit (3 times), Queenohearts (3 times), Wolf of Windlesham (twice), Classic Ben, Petethepear, Cloonacool and, most recently, Rowland Ward and Hometown Boy at the 2021 Aintree Festival. Total prize money earned since 2015 is over £1.16 million and growing fast!
As of 1 May 2021, Stuart has saddled 665 runners. 87 have won and 282 have been placed resulting in a staggering 55% of all runners ending up in the Winner's Enclosure.
The legacy of Mrs. Robeson continues to today as several of her home bred horses (all named after birds!) still grace Fences Farm.
Paramount to Stuart's success is the welfare of the horses in his care. He spends considerable time understanding the physical and mental make-up of each horse to train them in a way to get the best out of their abilities.
Stuart is now ably supported in his training duties by his daughter, Assistant Trainer Harriet. Whilst wife, Trish, keeps everything moving behind the scenes to ensure many of the essential tasks and paperwork run smoothly.
The work ethic at Fences Farm is clear to see whenever you visit. But there is always an element of fun to be seen amongst the team at Fences Farm.