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Success stories Racing Staff Week - Suzannah Stevens

28th June 2022

This is Dean (The Champagne Boy). He is my absolute pride and joy. He was bred and trained by Jim Boyle in Epsom- my previous boss. I spent many fantastic years working, riding, racing and learning with Jim to who I will be forever grateful to.

I was then offered a Pupil Assistant role for Mick Channon to whom I have been with for over two years.

I’ve heard a few stories of when Dean was in training with Jim and how he was rather cheeky- and always liked doing well what Dean wanted to do! And really not much has changed! I’ve had the pleasure of owning Dean for over 8 years now- it’s taken a lot of time, perseverance and understanding with him but he is finally repaying me after multiple (and I mean over 100) involuntary dismounts (sounds better like that!) rubbish behaviour, squealing, plenty of injuries to keep me on my toes and generally not doing what he’s meant to be doing! And that’s not because he’s a ‘thoroughbred’ and ‘all thoroughbreds are like that’ it’s because Dean is just Dean- he’s a fool! I can assure you that is not typical behaviour of about 98% of horses in training.

I manage to just about balance my work life with Dean- i’m lucky he’s at a wonderful yard who feed and turn him out for me in the mornings as we start work at 5/5.30am. I’m then there the moment we finish work at around 1.30pm to ride and muck him out until we go back to work at 4. I then go back after work at 6 to finish him off and put him to bed. I get him out competing when we get a Sunday off- it’s hard and sometimes I struggle to fit everything in and I do get tired but one thing is he never misses out- i’m not OCD about anything In my life other than Dean when everything always has to be perfect.

He is a horse with endless talent and scope but it’s putting his personality, energy and ability all together to get the end result and this is what’s taken the time. He completed his first 100cm one day event a week ago and flew round the XC clear, one of only two to be clear inside the time in my section. I was so proud of him and i’m immensely proud of the horse he has now become.

He still tests me, I still fall off him, he still squeals and still acts sometimes like he’s a yearling being sat on for the first time but he’s mine and I wouldn’t have him any other way. Ok, maybe I’d change the fact sometimes he takes me along time to load but other than that I would not change one thing about him! They say there is a horse for everyone and I truly believe he’s my horse and we can read each other like an open book now. I have to thank Pippa Boyle for pairing us up together as without her I wouldn’t have found Dean!

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