Tom Messenger

Assistant Trainer

Tom retired as a professional jockey in June 2016 after a successful career, including an eighth placing in the Grand National aboard Surface To Air. After cutting his teeth in the hunting and point to point fields, Tom rode 136 winners for the likes of Chris Bealby, Caroline Bailey and Ben Pollock. With a strong equestrian background and years of experience in the racing industry Tom is a valuable addition to the team and is looking forward to putting his expertise to good use in assisting Dan.

Claire ‘Polly’ Freeman

Head Girl at Lodge Hill

Claire joined the team after spending three years working for Clare Dyson. Before moving to take over the role as Head Girl at Lodge Hill Claire was previously in charge of Badbury Hill Barn, and her dedication and attention to detail ensure the horses are maintained in top condition throughout the season. Claire rides out two lots every day and spends her time attending to the needs of the horses, leading the team of staff and overseeing the running of the yard at Lodge Hill.

Clare Thomas

Assistant Head Girl

Clare has the benefit of several years’ experience in the racing industry and is another to have joined us from Clare Dyson. As well as being an able assistant to Claire Freeman on the yard at Lodge Hill, Clare has also been responsible for the care of Grade 2 winner Value At Risk since his arrival in 2014. Clare also assists Phil & Hannah in going racing from time to time.

Hannah Jordan

Assistant Travelling Head Girl

Hannah is another hugely experienced member of the team, and has joined us from Alan King’s, where she spent 3 years and looked after the likes of Uxizandre. Previous to that she spent several years in the employment of Jonjo O’Neill where she was associated with top-class performer Exotic Dancer amongst various others. Hannah will be assisting both Phil and Clare in taking horses racing, and will join the team in riding out and daily yard duties when she is not attending the races.

Tolley Dean

Head Lad at Badbury Hill

A former Flat jockey, Tolley has ridden from a young age. He first started riding racehorses aged 14 when he used to ride out for Tony Carroll, and was later an apprentice jockey for Mick Channon. During his riding career Tolley rode over 120 winners for numerous trainers including Paul Cole, Willie Muir and Bill Turner, including the winner of the Brocklesby, and has had rides in Ireland, France and the USA. Now retired from race riding, Tolley has joined the team an Badbury Hill Barn where he puts his experience to good use in leading the team of staff and overseeing the running of the yard.

Phil Haywood

Travelling Head Lad

Phil has joined the team at Lodge Hill as Travelling Head Lad after spending 7 years in the employment of Alan King, where he was Assistant Travelling Head Lad. Whilst at Barbury Castle he looked after Grand Annual winner Oh Crick as well as good staying chaser West End Rocker. Previous to that he has also worked for the likes of Jonjo O’Neill and Heather Dalton. Having taken over the position of Travelling Head Lad, Phil will be responsible for the organisation of our runners on a daily basis, as well as riding out when he is not at the races.

Andrew Croskery

Estate Manager

Andrew has vast experience of working in racing having worked for the likes of Paul Nicholls, Donald McCain & Willie Mullins, as well as four years as Head Lad for Heather Dalton. A quiet rider who enjoys the challenge of riding some of our younger or quirky horses, Andrew puts his experience to good use when riding out with the team and is responsible for overseeing estate management during the afternoons.

Harry Skelton

Stable Jockey

Dan’s brother Harry is stable jockey at Lodge Hill and an integral member of the team. Harry has ridden over 200 winners as a professional Jockey including numerous Graded winners throughout his career, and has partnered all of the Graded winners from Lodge Hill. In 2016 Harry enjoyed arguably the biggest success of his career when partnering Superb Story to win the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle, both his and Dan’s first Cheltenham Festival success. Harry is also still the youngest jockey to ever win the Irish Grand National after winning the 2009 renewal on Niche Market, a horse who has remained with him in retirement.

Harry dedicates all his time and attention to the horses here, and can be found working and schooling the horses in preparation for the racecourse every day before travelling to the racecourse to ride.

Bridget Andrews

Conditional Jockey

A former Champion Lady Amateur Rider, Bridget turned conditional during the Spring of 2015. Since joining the team she has forged great partnerships with a number of horses, including achieving Graded placings with Fairytale Theatre, several wins on Mister Grez and a hugely consistent partnership with Savello. Highlights of the 2015-16 season include riding in her first Grade 1, finishing fourth in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival and winning a Wetherby bumper on exciting prospect Betameche.

Bridget is a very valuable part of the team and is a great asset in schooling the horses at home, preparing the horses to run and educating the youngsters. She rides out every day during the season and when not racing can be found helping out on the yard at Badbury Hill Barn during the afternoons.

Sam Davies-Thomas

Amateur Jockey

Sam has been with us at Lodge Hill since October 2016 as our pupil assistant. Before joining us, he was with Caroline Bailey for 5 years and has also trained as a saddler. Sam is a competent amateur jockey and his experience point to pointing, with over 500 rides, has been invaluable when it comes to schooling horses.

Sam rides out daily, along with schooling a lot of our younger horses. He is also on hand to go racing when Dan is unable to, saddling the horses and entertaining owners.

Grace Skelton

Finance Director

A solicitor by trade, Grace is the Financial Director and oversees the incomings and outgoings for Dan Skelton Racing. As well as her commitments in the office, Grace also devotes her time to fundraising and has sat on the committee of the Warwickshire Poppy Ball as well being involved in various charitable events for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Ella Mahon

Racing Secretary

Ella manages the running of the office at Lodge Hill, including the administration of any new arrivals, equine or human, and ensures everything is runs smoothly both in and out of the office. Ella is an accomplished horsewoman herself, and has ridden point-to-point winners as well as finishing second in a Charity Race at Warwick to raise funds for the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance in 2016. Alongside working full-time in the office, Ella also runs a busy point to point yard at home with the help of her family and has usually ridden out before arriving for work!

Lucinda Gould


After undertaking a summer placement with the Racecourse Association as part of the BHA Graduate Development Programme, Lucinda joined the team at Lodge Hill in November 2014. Prior to her stint in Ascot she had spent more than six years working with Dan for Paul Nicholls. She joins Grace and Ella in the office and will be assisting with the upkeep of the website, social media and liaising with owners.

Izzy Meyrick

Stable Staff

With a background in show jumping and eventing, Izzy has joined the team at Lodge Hill and brings plenty of experience from across the equestrian disciplines. She has spent time working for Weatherbys and British Showjumping, as well as managing an eventing yard and completing a degree in Equine Sports Science. Izzy spends the mornings riding out with the team and assists in the office during the afternoons.