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Kelly Morgan

This week we've caught up with Kelly Morgan! Kelly has racing running through her veins, not only training point-to-pointers but Kelly has also taken on the exciting task of the position of PPORA rep for the midlands! We are very excited to have Kelly on board for the coming season!

How are you involved in pointing? I currently train 10 pointers from our family home in Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire. In the summer the yard is full of pre-trainers for various different under-rules trainers. I have recently taken on the role of midlands area PPORA representative. What is your favourite aspect of pointing? I love the fact that pointing is literally open to anyone, it’s laid back, has such a friendly atmosphere and is a real community. I have made so many friends in pointing. Win or lose, we always have a laugh and a big picnic at the lorry.

How did you get into pointing? My father trained under rules for over 40 years, my brother trained pointers and my sister also trained a couple of pointers before holding a license under rules. I guess you could say it was bred into me. As soon as I turned 16 years old I started riding in points and training my own pointers for a hobby. I moved to Rutland at 21 years old and ran the yard/stud at Preston Lodge Stud for Sir Johnny Weatherby for nine happy years. Johnny loved his pointing and so I started training a few for him from home and we enjoyed a lot of success. I held a license for a couple of years, until I decided to make a go of it on my own. I now have pointers in winter and pre-trainers during the summer.

What is your day job? My day job is training the pointers, I ride out everyday and I am hands on with the day-to-day running of the yard. I love having young horses in to pre-train, I have been lucky enough to have been sent some cracking 3yos and I’m excited to see them on the track. I also try and help my sister out with the racing as much as I can.

What's been the biggest lesson in your working life? Do a job you love and you will never work a day in your life. When I turned 30, I panicked and thought I had best get a ‘proper job’. It turns out that a proper job was certainly not for me. I always say every day you are learning, I’m always asking questions and taking notes on things people do differently, there’s no right or wrong way to train a racehorse at the end of the day. How would you describe pointing to someone that hasn’t been before? A big picnic, watching horses race around a field, in the mud, with a lot of like-minded people.

What’s your pointing highlight/biggest achievement? Obviously training the Aintree Foxhunters winner with Top Wood in 2019 has to be my highlight. He was runner up at Cheltenham the previous season and only beaten a neck, then third at Cheltenham in 2019, before going on to win over the Aintree fences. Also training Feuille de Lune to win 5 from 5 last season, ending on a win at Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening, was a real achievement, as she’s such a quirky character. She wouldn’t stay in the stable when we got her to Cheltenham, so she had to be held outside Smoke Man’s stable all evening with a hood on and a haynet until she raced!

Who's a figure in racing you admire? I admire my sister for what she has achieved in such a short space of time training under rules. Six years ago she started training with five horses and now has that up to 35 horses! Last season she trained 34 winners; already this season she is on 15 winners. Along with the success comes a lot of blood sweat and tears, at the end of the day we really support each other and it's nice to know she’s behind me 100% in everything I do. To be honest, I admire anyone who gives it a go, it’s a hard game to be in, but also the most rewarding.

If you could change one thing in pointing, what would it be? I would change the way the meetings are spaced out. Some of our meetings last season ended up where we had too many midlands area meetings over single weekends, there aren’t the horses to run in the race. Looking at the provisional fixtures list it looks like some changes have been made, so hopefully this should improve.

Where’s your favourite point-to-point & why? Garthorpe. I rode more winners around there than anywhere else and have also trained more winners around there than anywhere else. It’s our local track and it is nice to have all your family and friends there shouting your horse's home.

What’s your earliest pointing memory? Going to garthorpe with my granny and grandad, sitting on top of the car watching the racing and putting £1 bets on the horses.

What do you think lies for the future of pointing? I think pointing is much more professional now but to be honest, everything is going that way. I think the commercial side of things will help now British pointers are making better money at the sales, however this can’t be the sole focus, as at the end of the day it is still an amateur sport and we still must encourage people into the game.

What's your favourite aspect of training pointers? I love getting a tricky horse to win. All our horses are treated as individuals, you have to understand them. Some love going hunting, some I wouldn’t dream of taking. Some love having a varied lifestyle, some like turnout everyday and some don’t like being hassled at all and like to just have a simple routine. I love working them out, you don’t always get it right at first, but normally it gives me a great sense of achievement when I do.

If you could train any point-to-pointer in the country, who would you choose & why? This is a hard one. Any horse that’s hardy and keeps taking its races, it’s no fun when they are like glass and you can’t run them regularly. I like Fumet D’Oudairies, he’s small but got such a big heart.

Any hobbies outside of horses? My life revolves around racing, I joke with my friends and say all I watch on my TV is racing tv and Sky Sports racing. They know that it’s not even a joke, it’s just reality! I love taking the dogs walking if I get time…normally via a glass of wine at the pub!

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us Kelly! Great to get an in-depth insight into your passion for pointing and busy lifestyle! We're very excited about next season & the improvements you will bring to the PPORA - see you racing soon!

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