Feature: Robert Chanin

Point-to-Point racehorse trainer Robert Chanin was awarded the Western Morning News Trophy for Performance of the season at Devon & Cornwall Point to Point Association Awards Dinner and Dance, writes Donna Harris.

In his best ever season, Chanin, whose training yard is at Thorverton in Mid Devon, also enjoyed an impressive seven consecutive winners from eight runners between Wadebridge and Chipley Park.

The purple patch started with a double at Wadebridge with Welstonedruid and Byerley Bear in December, and continued at the next Wadebridge meeting, with Byerley Bear, followed by a treble at Black Forest Lodge in January – courtesy of Welstonedruid, under jockey and son Ian Chanin, Byerley Bear ridden by Leanda Tickle, and  Ned White, piloted by eldest son Tom.

Chanin’s next winner came was For The Staff at Chipley Park, Tiverton, but the run ended when Five Journeys pulled up at the same meeting. He went on to saddle 18 winners through the season, earning him equal fourth in the National trainers’ table and second in the area table, just three behind Ed Walker.

Speaking from his home, where he farms 100 acres between Thorverton and Bickleigh, having just harvested a good crop of hay before the weather changed, Chanin said: “I am highly pleased with the award, it is the first thing that I have ever won personally. I was very disappointed I could not make the Awards presentation to pick the trophy up.”

He added: “It is a team effort, Tom, Jade, Ian and Aimée, and I could not manage without the hard work of my wife Maureen, who does all the administration, entries, bills and accounts, and Rebecca Barnett who is our farrier and Ian’s fiancé. It was our best season ever.”

Asked what his secrets of training are, he replied: “Plenty of hard work by the team and the horses. We are lucky to have the hills through the Exe Valley where we do most of the training.”

Byerley Bear was crowned Leading Area Horse, and also won a dual control Aga for the points he earned in the ladies’ series sponsored by Aga, for his owner Roger Knowles. Chanin added:  “He has become something of a celebrity in our village. Mr Knowles donated 10 per cent of the horse’s winnings to help the locally-run village shop.”

“We are looking forward to the new season, which starts in November, and have agents looking for three new horses to join the yard. Tom and Ian will look through the form and bloodlines of horses offered to us before we take them on.”