Saturday 5 October 2019

Katie Scott Talks Racing, Cocktails And A Pony Called Barney

Based at Stables Cottage Galashiels, in the heart of the Scottish Borders, Katie Scott has come along way from riding ponies in her younger years to becoming a full-time trainer. Douglas Julian and Rockley Point have kept this smaller yard ticking over nicely.


Katie, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

When I was younger, my parents kept a point to pointer and also had shares in horses with Alistair Whillans. When I was old enough I started helping out at Alistair’s at the weekends and after school. The first horse I ever led up at the races was called Nautical Star, he won that day and after that, I was hooked. Keith Dalgleish was actually in the saddle. 

At what age did you decide to become a trainer and why? 

Becoming a trainer was a bit of a progression rather than a decision. I worked at Alistair’s and then Rayson Nixon’s whilst always having a point-to-pointer or two at home. Then when the point-to-pointers became more successful and busier until that was a full-time job. From there it made sense to move into training under rules where there is more scope to improve and build a successful business. It really is a dream come true to be doing it. 

You rode a lot of ponies when you were younger, did you have a favourite? 

I was lucky to ride lots of different ponies when I was growing up and I got to enjoy lots of pony club activities, hunting and show jumping. The naughty and more difficult ponies are the ones that teach you riding skills and patience with animals. When I was 11 we bought ‘Barney’ a 3 yo Connemara pony from Ireland, and he turned out to be extra special. I had him until I was 16, and we achieved a huge amount together, he is still out competing to this day now aged 23. To this day I love working with and bringing on young horses and I think he started that. You trained some nice horses over the years including Douglas Julian. 

Who has been your favourite horse around the yard? 

It’s hard to pick a favourite in the yard as they are all such characters. I feed all the horses every day and like to have a seat on them all, which is possible since we are such a small yard. Douglas Julian was amazing kick-starting my career and will never be replaced, he was such a special horse. Rockley Point as our first ever flat horse and winner has to be another flag bearer for the yard. He was a cheap buy and has picked up 3 wins and 8 places for us. 

If you could train any horse in history who would it be?

It’s hard to pinpoint one horse for this question but for a flat horse, I was a massive Zarkava fan. She has a huge heart, was very flamboyant and had a great bond with Christophe Soumillon, I loved watching her race. For a National Hunt horse, I think Moscow Flyer would have been an amazing horse to be associated with especially when he ran in such a great era of 2-mile chasers. At his best, he was just electric. 

If you weren't a trainer what would you have done? 

I passed all my highers and the plan was to have a year out to work with horses and then go back to study Physiotherapy. That was 14 years ago. 

What do you like to do in your spare time if you get any haha? 

I don’t get a lot of spare time but I enjoy going to the gym. I also have a great bunch of friends, we often get together for food and cocktails! What has been the highlight of your career so far? It’s hard to pick one highlight but when Rory’s Valentine won at Perth at 50/1 it was my mum Sylvia’s first winner as an owner which made it pretty special. 

With the new season approaching can you give my readers a dark horse to look out for? 

I think when we are such a small yard it is hard to put forward a ‘dark horse’. We have a mare called Western Supernova that was incredibly backward at the start of her career, and she slowly progressed last season. She maybe isn’t a dark horse as such, but she has strengthened up and improved no end and I think she could be nice to watch out for when she heads handicapping. A huge thank you to Katie Scott for taking time to share her memories with me.

Visit Katie Scott's Website Here

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