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Catching Up With Ben

Hi! I’m Ben Sutton and I’m 22 years old, originally from Gloucestershire near Cirencester, my family home is just outside a village called Rendcomb. I live between home and London where I work part-time for a health company for a few days a week and the rest of the time I’m mostly riding out at Alan Hill’s; occasionally I go down to Sam Loxton’s in Somerset too.

This season I have some lovely horses to ride, with the likes of last seasons National Champion horse Sir Mangan, as well as Diplomate Sivola, Chameron, Majestic Touch, Skye Chief and Renwick, who is running under rules at the moment for Philip Hobbs and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a few spares.

Sir Mangan will hopefully be out in early December - there's a race for him at Wadebridge that we're aiming for. He is feeling really well at the moment, still very enthusiastic about life, certainly doesn’t feel like a horse that is about to be 14 in January and this season there’ll be no pressure on him, we’ll just do what’s best for him!

Diplomate Sivola is bouncing at home at the Hill’s, he feels extremely well and I’m very excited to get back on him! He could be out in early December as well, but we need rain!! His ultimate target for the season is Cheltenham in March. He is a horse that needs time between races as he runs better fresh, which we learned last season when he ran at Garthorpe.

Majestic Touch is in training with Alan Hill. He is coming in off the back of having an injury last season; this will be his first time pointing as he was running under rules for Philip Hobbs previously, and he’s owned by my father Nick Sutton. He’s in great form at home and loving being in a new yard. We are taking our time with him, so he’ll likely be out in the New Year. I’m really excited about him!

Skye Chief is owned by my Granny, Sarah Sutton, and also in training with Alan Hill. This will be his first season pointing; previously he was trained by Simon Waugh where he was running under rules. He is similar to Majestic Touch as we are taking our time with him due to a former injury, so again he’ll likely be out in the New Year. He is well and coming along nicely.

Renwick is with Philip Hobbs running under rules. He ran a few weeks ago at Stratford where he pulled up; this was his first run after a wind op so he’ll likely come on from the run.

We ran Chameron at Dunsmore last Sunday in the first sponsored Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open of the season. He ran a really good race to finish 2nd behind Southfield Theatre, beaten a length. He lost his confidence a bit last season with his jumping, so the plan is just to regain his confidence and get him enjoying it again. Sam Loxton did a fantastic job over the summer, riding him around the farm jumping all sorts as well as plenty of schooling, and this was noticeable when I schooled him last week. The most pleasing thing about his run this weekend was the improvement in his jumping. Unfortunately, he made just one crucial mistake at the third last where we lost a bit of momentum but take nothing away from the winner who is a good and a tough horse to pass. He’ll hopefully come on for the run fitness-wise and be back out soon.

It was great to have my first ride of the season at Dunsmore on Sunday and I'm looking forward to the season ahead with a talented string of horses. My aims for this season are to ride a winner under rules, ride in the Cheltenham Foxhunters on Diplomate Sivola and ride as many winners as possible pointing! Thanks for reading my blog, I aim to bring you another one before Christmas!

Diplomate Sivola (left) schooling at home

Sir Mangan (right) schooling at home

Images kindly provided by Hattie Austin Photography

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