Q & A's -
Where Are They Now?
David Hilton has been Stud Manager of John Deer’s Oakgrove Stud in Chepstow since 2017 so, after he watched their Saint Lawrence record an impressive win in Saturday's Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) at Royal Ascot, we talked to the man himself about his formative years at Tweenhills…
“I did three different stints over five years at Tweenhills so there must be a reason I kept coming back! And contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t David Redvers trying to get rid of me!”
Learning the ropes
“I first went to Tweenhills to help break in yearlings but progressed to being a Stallion Handler. Therefore, I was involved in the covering process, which taught me lots – insert your own punchline here. Shuttling stallions to New Zealand was a great learning experience too.
“My favourite horse whilst at Tweenhills was definitely Harbour Watch – for both his son Pyledriver and Saint Lawrence to win at Royal Ascot on Saturday was just incredible.”
Having a laugh
“My funniest memory of Tweenhills was undoubtedly having a car park boxing spar with Ed Partridge – I must say this wasn’t sanctioned by Tweenhills so David didn’t know about it!
“Someone had some boxing gloves and Ben Hyde acted as referee – I think there’s still a video somewhere. Let’s just say neither of us took it up as a second career…though Ed took his loss on the chin as he was still Best Man at my wedding.
“Also breaking in horses with Graham McCourt was funny at times – though he does a superb job and I learnt plenty from him.”
Springboard to success
“Working at Tweenhills was an excellent foundation for my current role running Oakgrove Stud – from Tweenhills I learnt to have systems in place that everyone can follow, high standards and that communication on all levels is highly important. I’ve been lucky enough to work with high-quality racehorses at both Tweenhills and Oakgrove.
“Another lasting legacy from my time at Tweenhills is that I met my wife Sophie there. We got married in July 2021 and had a beautiful boy called Leo in December 2022.”