With Grade One equine superstar – Irving – set to run in the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle that takes place at Wincanton Racecourse on Saturday, 20th February, 22-year-old Jack Houghton undertook training at the Somerset track in a Horse v Human comparison.

Age: 22 (3/9/93


Age: 8 (1/1/2008)


Rating: Number 1 – Under 23 in 400m Hurdles

British University Champion in 400m Hurdles

UK ranking: 6th


Rating: 162 over hurdles

Winning nearly £250,000 in prize money



Background: Born near Doncaster, Jack is in his third year at The University of Bath, studying Biology and is on target for a 1st.

Jack intends to continue his studies at the University of Bath with a Masters in Management which will enable him to broaden his business sense while continuing his hurdling training.


Background: British born, Irving spent his youth in Germany racing as a three / four year old on the flat. Rated 96, he won four races from six starts and £21,000 in prize money.

In September 2013 bloodstock agent, Tom Malone, purchased Irving for the Axom racing syndicate and entered the yard of Champion Trainer, Paul Nicholls.


Trainer: Colin Bovell, Head of Track & Field at the University of Bath


Trainer: Champion trainer, Paul Nicholls



Hours exercise per week: 18–20 hours


Hours exercise per week: 12 hours


Racing season: 

September – February (Indoor hurdles)

March – June (Outdoor hurdles)

June – July (Qualifiers & major championships)

August (off)


Racing season: 

October – April (Jump Racing Season)

May – mid July (off)




Training: six days a week

4 x 2 – 3 hour running session (interval training)

Wednesday’s run incorporates a schooling session

2 x two hour weight training session (focusing on lower body, legs and core)

Sunday off


Training: six days a week

2 hours daily – one hour walking followed by another hour training

Schooling session once a fortnight ridden by Nick Scholfield

Sunday off



Treatment: Weekly Hydrotherapy ice baths, massages and physiotherapy


Treatment: Occasion physiotherapy



Next Race: 20th February British University Indoor Championships: 800m hurdles


Next Race: 20th February Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton Racecourse


Target: World Champions, London 2017

Tokyo Olympics 2020


Target: Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle, Wincanton

Possibly: Aintree’s Grand National Festival, April 2016 or some French contests – ground and Irving dependent!



Breakfast: Porridge with skimmed milk

Lunch: Chicken or tuna salad

Mid pm: Skimmed milkshake with fruit

Dinner: Carbohydrate based meal

Evening: Protein / whey shake

Supplements: Multi Vitamins and Vitamin D

Weakness: Chocolate



Breakfast: Scoop of nuts and a basket of hay

Lunch: Another scoop of nuts

4:30pm: Basket of hay

5:30pm: Two scoops of nuts & 1 scoop of chaff

10pm: A handful of hay

Supplements: Chevron plus and Vitamin E

Weakness: Polos and Nick Scholfield


Weight: Racing weight: 70 kilos

Summer weight: 72–73 kilos


Weight: The yard no longer weighs horses



Sponsor: Supported by Nike for clothing.

Looking for a sponsor

Owner: Axom Racing Syndicate was established in 1997 and currently own 19 racehorses in total, trained by seven trainers. Shares are available in a variety of horses, visit www.axom.co.uk


Huw Williams, General Manager at Wincanton Racecourse, said: “Seeing Jack Houghton skip over our hurdles was an awesome sight.  His dedication to his sport mirrors that of an equine Champion Hurdle contender.

“We are delighted that Irving is to make reappearance in the Bathwick Tyres Kingwell Hurdle and I would also like to take the opportunity to wish Jack all the best in the 800m hurdles at the British University Indoor Championships, which takes place on the same day – Saturday, 20th February.”


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