Home » Horse trainer and wife in shock as owners remove all their horses from his yard

Horse trainer and wife in shock as owners remove all their horses from his yard

A TOP racehorse trainer has been left reeling after high-profile owners removed all their horses from his yard – delivering the news in a one-minute phone call.

Ben Pauling – who has two runners for Harry Redknapp at the Grand National Festival – said the abrupt decision had come as a ‘huge shock’.


Ben Pauling has built up a brilliant partnership with Harry Redknapp – but seen his working relationship with the Megsons disappear in one fell swoopCredit: PA:Press Association

Andrew and Jane Megson said the split was amicable but revealed some 19 horses had left his Naunton Down yard in Cheltenham with immediate effect.

In an interview with Racing TV, Pauling said he did not know what prompted their decision.

Five of the horses have gone to Jonjo O’Neill, five to Fergal O’Brien and one to Ed Dunlop.

While a further eight will be sold at auction at the end of May, according to the Racing Post.

Andrew Megson said: “We have reviewed where we are with the level of horses we have and decided that a change was best.

“We’ve been with Ben for eight years and we like to think that we have been loyal as owners.

“I’ve spoken with Ben and explained that it’s amicable – we don’t have anything against him – but we wanted a fresh start.

“We appreciate it’s not the easiest time for Ben at the moment.”

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The partnership’s biggest success came with Global Citizen’s 28-1 win in the 2022 Grand Annual at Cheltenham Festival, a victory worth £70,000.

Some of their other big name runners include Harper’s Brook, who won a valuable handicap chase at Sandown for Pauling in February.

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The startled trainer, who guided Redknapp’s Shakem Up’Arry to Cheltenham success last month, said: “I think it’s fair to say it’s come as a huge shock to me, my wife Soph and the team at home.

“We had seven brilliant seasons with the Megsons as owners and they have been huge supporters of ours, and I would like to thank them for that support.

“We are very sad to have lost some very smart young horses.

“They will have had their reasons and, even if we don’t understand them, it’s their decision and we will take this and move forward and be stronger because of it.

“We see it as a challenge and we are coming off the back of our best season ever, so if we are going to be faced with this sort of challenge, now is the right time.

“It makes you proud of your team with the way they have taken the news in the last 24 hours.

“We wish them good luck with their horses and can enjoy watching them while we rebuild as quickly as we can.

“I’d like to thank all our brilliant owners for their continued support and look forward to the exciting times ahead.”

He added to Racing TV: “When I had the phone call with Andrew, as soon as I was told they were leaving… Andrew is a man who sticks by his decision.

“The phone call lasted a minute. Maybe in time I’ll know the reasons but at the present moment I don’t know why.

“They have their reasons, whatever they are.”


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