Brian Ellison Racing Club
Brian Ellison


Birthplace: Newcastle.                           

When did you start work at Spring Cottage Stables? We started the new yard in 2000

Favourite Horse/s: Too many to name.     

Likes: Good filmgood company.    

Dislikes: People being late; bad manners.

Superstitions? None.

Hobbies: No time!         

Favourite Film: Cinderella Man.

TV: Dallas / Mr Selfridge.

Music: Johnny Cash, Adele, Emily Sandé, James Blunt.  

Food: Steak

Brian Ellison


Born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 28th June 1952, The same day red-hot favourite, Souepi, won the Pitmen’s Day Derby (Northumberland Plate) at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park racecourse.

One of eight children, Brian’s father was a Tynside shipbuilder, his mother worked as a cleaner at Newcastle hospital. In his early years Brian’s passion was for football. He was a talented force on the pitch but at just 4ft 9” he was considered too small to make it as a professional footballer and so he started thinking about becoming a jockey.

Aged 14 Brian sat on his first horse and left school a year later to pursue a career in horse racing. At 17 he took out his conditional jockeys’ license and 20 years riding as a National Hunt jockey followed. In his final year race-riding Brian acquired his trainers’ license and in 1989 joined the training ranks when relinquishing his jockeys’ license.

Brian says: “I loved riding but I rode some moderate horses. Tex was the best I rode. We beat the legendary Tingle Creek in a handicap chase in 1976….I always knew I wanted to train though and I had no regrets when I quit the saddle.”

In 2000 Brian purchased Spring Cottage Stables and moved his 25 horses to Malton having previously trained from rented property in his native North East. The yard is barely recognizable since its acquisition some 23 years ago with additional stables, American barns, open-air stables, horse walkers and water walker, starting stalls, schooling grounds, horse weigh, hot water showers and most notably over 100 equine residents.

Through hard graft, determination and an unequivocal ambition to succeed, together with a markedly open-mind, forward-thinking, honest and enthusiastic approach to the game, Brian has gone from strength to strength.

And as the number of horses in the yard has steadily risen so has the quality. In January 2011 Marsh Warbler landed the Grade 1 Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow while on the Flat later that same year Moyenne Corniche landed the Betfred Ebor, Europe’s richest handicap, at York.

During the summer of 2013, Top Notch Tonto, a striking chesnut with white face and legs, arrived at Spring Cottage and following a winning debut for Brian in a Newmarket handicap, the gelded son of Thousand Words won a Group 3 at Haydock and a Listed event at Redcar before running a blinder to finish second to Olympic Glory in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Later that year Montefeltro crossed the Irish Sea to land the Irish Cesarewitch.

Brian became the first International Trainer to compete in the Group 2 Perth Cup in Western Australia; Bay Story ran a belter to finish second, beaten by only a head.

Brian is no stranger to travelling horses to Australia; Carte Diamond put in a respectable performance in the Caulfield Cup beaten little more than four lengths before injury ruled him out of a crack at the Melbourne Cup while Moyenne Corniche and Saptapadi both took part in the 2011 running of the Flemington show piece.

More recently Racy enjoyed an admirable campaign at the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival picking up prize money on three of his five starts including a commendable second on his final start in a competitive Handicap. A first four-timer was sent out of Spring Cottage Stables in May 2015; four winners at four tracks, under both codes. And on July 15th, 2016 Brian trained his 1000th winner. Another milestone!

Brian’s love of horses is evident and although hugely competitive and incredibly driven the horses welfare and happiness always come first. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere around the yard is calming yet somehow refreshing with a cheerful team contributing to a stress-free environment, which in turn reflects on the horses.

Brian says: “It’s all about the horses and keeping them happy. If they’re happy they’ll win races. National Hunt or Flat. We love training under both codes. “I have a fantastic team behind me, never-ending support from a terrific family and some excellent owners to train for. “Everyone involved gets a buzz from watching one of our horses win. And every winner is as important as the next. It’s what racing is all about, training winners. And we love every minute of it!”

Brian Ellison