Initially, Ian was not drawn to follow his father, Billy, into training, but, a year at college studying Business & Accountancy persuaded him that horses weren’t too bad after all.
At 18, Ian went to Lambourn to join Jenny Pitman as Assistant Trainer. This was the era of Royal Athlete, Garrison Savannah, Toby Tobias et al, and was a formative period in Ian’s development. Ian admits he knew very little when joining Mrs P, and was most grateful for the opportunity given by Jenny.
In the early 90’s, Ian spent 6 months with Martin Pipe at Pond House before joining Francois Doumen at Chantilly in France. His time there coincided with a golden age for the yard with The Fellow landing a couple of King George’s as well as the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In 1997, Ian returned to Britain to begin his own journey as a trainer. Initially based near Oxford, with just a dozen horses, half of which came from the ever supportive John and Anne Poynton; very quickly it became obvious that these facilities were not to the standard the ambitious Williams required.
Fortunately, Ian was introduced to Patrick Kelly, a very successful businessman, who shared a passion for horseracing. Mr Kelly had a vision to create a state of the art training facility in the heart of the Midlands and together, they created the amazing training complex of Dominion Racing Stables.
There are currently over 90 horses in training and on 29th November 2016 saddled winner number 1,000 when Appy Days won at Lingfield. Yet, Ian remains fiercely ambitious and continues on the quest for champions.
Ian’s objectives are simple - improve the quality of the string and continue to saddle winners. He achieved a lifetime ambition on 15th March 2016 when Ballyalton gave him his first Cheltenham Festival winner. Having run so well to be 2nd to the mighty Faugheen in 2014, it was appropriate that Ballyalton should give him his first 'gold medal'.
When Brasted won at Chelmsford on 15th October 2015, Ian completed a full set of saddling a winner at every racecourse in the UK - a unique achievement in modern training!
There are two main gallops - a 4f round gallop at the top of the hill provides an ideal all-weather surface for cantering and faster work, plus is used for schooling over hurdles.The stiff uphill straight gallop is used for conditioning and fast work as well as the lower stretch providing the schooling fences for our chasers.
Purpose built equine pool with a ramp leading to a circular pool 3.5 metres deep. Equine swimming is popular with the rehabilitation and fitness of racehorses as swimming is a strenuous exercise and also is great resistance training for a sound horse. Ian has successfully used the pool with a large number of horses who have had leg injuries or issues.
There are excellent schooling options available to Ian, including hurdles on the round gallop and fences on the straight strip.
In addition to the main yard with its 13 barns, we are building a brand new stable block and large new barn.This work is due to be completed by the end of the summer and will take the total number of horses housed to well over 100.
When the new block is completed in the next few weeks, over 100 stables will be available, with the impressive main stable yard comprising of 78 purpose built stables. In addition, there is an international sized indoor arena, which has recently been relaid with a top quality all-weather surface. There are also two horse walkers, an equine swimming pool and a weigh station.
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