About Tom

For Tom, being a racehorse trainer is truly a vocation (At The Races feature)

Horses have been central to his life since he was very young; from small beginnings with the Golden Valley Pony Club which led ultimately, via stints with Peter & Michael Scudamore locally and then James Fanshawe at Newmarket, to being Assistant Trainer to Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows for five years from 2006. In 2011 Tom set up on his own account at the family farm near Ross on Wye and is now in his ninth season and progressing along his chosen path.  At Dason Court horses are very much treated as individuals and winners at any level are seen as a real achievement for all concerned - owners, Tom and his staff alike.  Tom takes a truly patient attitude to training and firmly believes that horses should be allowed to develop naturally and safely in order to fulfil their potential.  Their welfare is paramount.  Tom takes a keen interest in breeding and is a member of  the National Hunt Committee of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association.

Notable Successes 

VALMARI - Came to us late in life but made a big impact in her limited jump career, culminating with just being touched off in the Mares' Novices' Chase Finale at Cheltenham in April 2013. With her illustrious pedigree, she has produced four foals to date. 

(See form here)

SCHOLASTICA - This diminutive filly was the first that Tom purchased with David Redvers. She was immensely tough and had a very good strike rate for us. Being the first foal, faith in the pedigree paid off both with her and later her half brother SIZING JOHN winner of the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Tragically her life was cut short on the gallops and she could not be saved - a great loss for British breeding. 

(See form here)

TWEEDLEDRUM - Tom was delighted to have gained listed winning black type with her at Doncaster (March 2013) and later on Grade 1 placing in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot (21st December 2013). She was subsequently sold as a brood mare.

(See form here

MIDNIGHT BELLE - If you had seen her at our first open day you would not believe she became a seven-time winner. An immensely tough campaigner who loved a battle, she was retired fit and well and now has a colt by Telescope and returned to him this year.

(See form here)

KAKI DE LA PREE -  A great story so far, was bought cheaply from 2013 Doncaster sales on spec and subsequently bought by our staunchest supporters Sir Peter and Lady Gibbings. Has lived up to expectations by becoming a high performing novice hurdler and novice chaser. He is a true black type performer and can run to a high level when he is right. 

(See form here)

FOXCUB – Having known the family so well when working with James Fanshawe, Tom was delighted that Celia and Michael Baker were able to purchase this pugnacious 4 year old in 2012.  He was retired to go Point to Pointing in 2016 with Emma Yardley and came a creditable second first time out. 

(See form here)

Life after Racing

We are very aware that after their racing career is over horses can thrive in other environments and therefore do our best to find good placements for them.  

Recent leavers include the pocket rocket CARHUE PRINCESS who has recently competed in her first event and DUNMALLET BELLE who is having a successful time at dressage.  MR OOOSH is doing very well in ROR and STRAITS OF MESSINA is also loving life as an eventer. Lastly, IVEBEENTHINKING is having a fine time in the show ring.


Thomas R Symonds

Dason Court Cottage





tel:  01989 730869

email: dasoncourt@gmail.com

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 ©Thomas R Symonds 2020