Nowadays, farmer-turned-trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies operates one of the most successful National Hunt yards in the country. From his base at Grange Hill Farm in Naunton, Gloucestershire, he has sent out over 1,500 winners, including 17 winners at the Cheltenham Festival and two Grand National winners.
Formerly a moderately successful amateur rider, Twiston-Davies learned his trade under the auspices of Fred Rimmell, Kim Bailey and David Nicholson, before starting training, under permit, in 1981. He saddled his first winner, Last Of The Foxes, at Hereford the following year, but agricultural recession finally forced him to abandon his farming interests and, in 1989, he took out a public training licence.
In 1992, Twiston-Davies saddled his first winner of the Scottish Grand National, Captain Dibble and, in 1994, his second, Earth Summit. Four years later, in 1998, the latter would complete a notable career treble by winning both the Welsh National and the Grand National. However, it was his second Grand National winner, Bindaree in 2002, which renewed his appetite for National Hunt racing and caused him to abandon plans to wind down his training operation and return to farming. His notable Cheltenham Festival winners include Imperial Commander in the Ryanair Chase in 2009 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2010, Blaklion in the RSA Chase in 2016 and Ballyandy in the Champion Bumper in the same year.