Having taken over the reins from her father, Richard, as the licensed trainer at Bell House last year, Kerry Lee went on to have a debut season (2015/16) many trainers can only dream of.
The pinnacle of her first year as a trainer came when Jamie Moore rode Mountainous to victory in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow last December. This was followed by Russe Blanc — an intriguing-looking white gelding — winning the Betfred Classic Chase and Top Gamble’s victory in the Betfair Exchange Chase.
Her base in the Shopshire/Herefordshire border — where her father also trained from — is set within rolling hills and valleys and not only offers beautiful scenery but ideal hillwork for the horses.
Kerry is passionate about treating every horse as an individual.
“We focus on that, and on tailoring a programme to each horse — doing something different each day. We look and listen and react to what they are doing,” says Kerry.
Bell House is surrounded by over 5,000 acres of forestry which is used to hack the horses around — offering them a change of scenery to the gallops.
The wide variety of of exercising available has proved to be a great ‘sweetener’ for many of Kerry’s horses and the trainer prides herself on the individual attention devoted to both owners and horses in the yard.
The yard is purpose built to train racehorses — the large acreage of grass gallops combined with top-class all-weather facilities means that peak fitness can be achieved and you won’t see an ‘unfit’ horse from Kerry’s yard running in races.
“It’s not just about galloping them — we do a lot of flatwork too. We’ve got a fantastic, stiff gallop but we’ve also got access to woodland to ride in, river meadows and the river where they splash and play — it’s good for them and good for us,” she adds.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s National Hunt special (3 November 2016), including an interview with Kerry Lee and much more — on sale now
The racehorses stretch their legs on the way to the gallops during first lot at Kerry's training yard
Kerry discusses the horses being ridden with their work rider
Russe Blanc — who won the Betfred Classic Chase for Kerry — is one of the few registered white horses in training, hence his visible black spots and pink nose
Bell House is surrounded by over 5,000 acres of forestry for the horses to hack through and enjoy
Kerry's yard is situated on the Shopshire/Herefordshire border and the hilly surroundings provide both great views and a perfect gallop on which to get the horses fit
Kerry's string canter up 'the staircase' through the woods. The variety of exercising available at her yard is a great 'sweetener' for many of her horses
Russe Blanc looks out over his stable door following his exercise
Kerry's Betfair Exchange Chase winner, Top Gamble, looks set for another exciting season ahead
Kerry and her team of staff at Bell House. The main jockeys she uses are Richard Johnson and Jamie Moore
The trainer has a chat with Mountainous, who won the Welsh Grand National last year