Football legend and racehorse owner Michael Owen won almost everything in top-level football before turning to his second passion — horse racing. He has since built a first-class racehorse training operation at his Manor House Stables in Malpas, Cheshire. Michael’s approach to his horses’ welfare is as committed, determined and meticulous as his approach to football.
In a new film as part of racing’s “Horse Comes First” campaign, supported by the British Horseracing Authority, we get a sneak peek behind the scenes at Michael’s impressive set-up, where the best treatment is given to the equine residents.
It highlights how the “winning culture” at Manor House Stables is rooted in the belief that healthy, happy horses are paramount. Michael and his team describe the similarities between a stable of equine athletes and a team of top-level footballers, while Manor House Stables trainer, Tom Dascombe, discusses their emphasis on injury prevention — using veterinary science, tailored diet, exercise regimes for horses and more.
“The resemblance between racehorses and footballers is uncanny. The treatment and care they receive is a similar standard to what I was used to throughout my playing career,” said Michael.
“Racehorse trainers dedicate their lives to the horses and understand that each one is different and needs a certain level of special care. They know, more than anyone, that the animals are athletes — and they are treated as so,” he added.
The racing yard is purpose built for training racehorses with an equine spa, a swimming pool for the horses, plus a resident vet — who visits the stables twice a day. There are also all-weather gallops among the top-class facilities, and the new film highlights the brilliant care the Manor House Stables horses receive.
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