Emma Lavelle is currently based at Bonita Racing Stables in Ogbourne Maizey, near Marlborough, Wiltshire, where she operates a mixed yard, but with definite emphasis on National Hunt horses. Lavelle was formerly based at Hatherden Stables near Andover, Hampshire, but moving to an enlarged, renovated training facility in 2016 proved an unqualified success, resulting in an increase in her seasonal tally to 35 winners under National Hunt Rules in 2016/17, compared with 19 in 2015/16.

Formerly assistant trainer to Gerard ‘Toby’ Balding for five years or so, Lavelle subsequently spent a season working Claude ‘Shug’ McGaughey in Belmont, New York before taking out a training licence, in her own right, at the age of 25, in 1998. In recent seasons, Lavelle is probably best known as the trainer of the Oscar gelding Paisley Park, who won all five starts in 2018/19, including the Grade One Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December, 2018, and the Grade One Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, 2019. However, she recorded her first Graded success with Tana River in the ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle Final at Sandown as long ago as 2003 and has since been responsible for the likes of Labelthou, Crack Away Jack, Tocca Ferro and numerous other high-profile winners.

Leave a Comment