Overbury Stud is delighted to be sponsoring amateur rider Alice Stevens and we look forward to following her progress in point-to-points and hunter chases throughout the season.
Now 22, Alice was the champion lady novice rider in 2017/18 and keeps a busy schedule riding out for trainers in her native Warwickshire.
“When I was growing up here there were no trainers around, then Robin Dickin turned up and now Dan Skelton is just over the hills from me, and Olly Murphy is close by as well. It’s like the new Lambourn,” she says. “I actually sat on my first racehorse at Dan’s. He taught me an awful lot.”
Having grown up in a farming family, Alice cut her teeth in pony racing and, after riding in point-to-points for several years, she eventually took out her Category A licence and rode her first winner under rules for Henry Daly aboard Don Juan De Gouet at Exeter in 2019.
“Dad’s a farmer and Mum was keen on hunting but not really involved with racing,” says Alice. “I’ve had a few rides in hunter chases for Fran and Charlie Poste. I was mainly based with them for a couple of years. I’d always had it in my mind that I wanted to win the ladies’ novice riders’ championship and Fran and Charlie helped me out with that. The year I won it I hadn’t had a winner until April and all the girls in front of me had had at least five winners, then we took off like a wet sail and won the championship with nine winners.”
She added, “I’m trying to ride in a few more amateur races and I’d love to ride against the professionals. Henry Daly has been really good to me and I also try to ride out once a week for Olly Murphy.”
This point-to-point season got off to an excellent start for Alice when she got the call up from Kelly Morgan to ride Johnny Weatherby’s homebred eight-year-old Red Indian. The pair strolled home to a wide-margin victory in the Ladies Open at Bishops Court.
“It was the first day of the season and Gina Andrews was supposed to ride him but she was at Cheltenham,” Alice recalls. “He’s a very exciting horse and I’m very grateful to Kelly Morgan and Johnny Weatherby for giving me the chance.”
In the future Alice hopes she could be riding a homebred winner of her own as the first foal of her former pony racer mare Sundays Best is now a strapping four-year-old by Kayf Tara.
“I’m not sure I’d call myself a thoroughbred breeder,” she says with a laugh. “We dabble. I have a mare I used to ride for pony racing and we looked into her pedigree and she has quite a nice page. We put her in foal to Kayf Tara and have a nice four-year-old now. Mum adores him and we plan to run him in a point-to-point. She has also had a Dunaden filly and is now in foal to Frontiersman.”
Overbury Stud is very grateful to Tim Holt for allowing us to use his photograph of Red Indian and Alice Stevens winning at Bishops Court.