‘A once in 10 years event’: top trainer forced to evacuate horses as river bursts its banks

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  • Multiple champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls was forced to evacuate some horses from his yard after it flooded last night (4 January).

    Heavy rain fell at his base in Ditcheat, Somerset, meaning six horses in his Highbridge yard had to be moved to safety at 9.30pm.

    “It’s a once in a 10- or 12-year event – I’d never seen rain like it or so much water on the roads as I did last night,” said Paul. “We are near to the River Alham and when everything backs up, and the river bursts its banks, that yard ends up flooding.

    “Thankfully all the water has cleared now and everything is good this morning. The horses are back in their original stables, all the horses are fine, as are the gallops, and it is just a temporary blip.”

    Paul’s assistant trainer Charlie Davies said: “The heavy rain caused a few issues last night in Ditcheat. At 9.30 pm we had to evacuate six horses from our Highbridge yard. Thankfully all the horses are good this morning, the gallops handled the rain well and we were able to exercise all the horses as usual.”

    So far this season, Nicholls has trained 69 winners from the 290 runners he has sent out. He is operating at a 24% strike rate and has won £1,546,204.

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