Historical Experience With Surfaces

Michael Dickinson feels he was lucky enough to have been taught
about surfaces by the best.

His mentors include:

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Dr. Vincent O’Brien - Ballydoyle, Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland:

As well as training 40 champions, the Derby winner 6 times, L’Arc de Triomphe 3 times, and Breeder’s Cup Mile, Dr. O’Brien had a well deserved reputation for soundness in his horses. There were only two fatalities in 28 years.
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Geoffrey Davison

Davison was the founder of Cambridge Soil Surfaces, a pioneer in drainage systems, and turf husbandry whose methods have been used all over the world and are still very effective to this day.
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Michael was fortunate to ride a collection of Steeplechase horses who often started racing at four and competed for many seasons up through the age of 10.

The bond between a Steeplechase rider and a Steeplechase horse can be very close and these old warrior racehorses taught Michael so much about safe surfaces and the footing required to jump fences at speed.

Training Centers Michael Has Built

Poplar House, Harewood, Yorkshire, England

With his parents, Tony and Monica Dickinson, Michael bought Poplar House, Harewood, which up until then had only been a sheep and cattle farm. In less than 6 months, Michael had created a training facility which was the most successful training establishment in British Steeplechasing. Big races won include:
Cheltenham Gold Cup
King George VI
Queen Mother’s Champion Chase
Welsh Champion Chase
The Timeform Gold Cup
The Whitbread Gold Cup
The Hennessey Gold Cup
The Great Yorkshire Chase
The Welsh National
Christmas Hurdle
The Bula Hurdle
The Fighting Fifth Hurdle
The Sun Alliance Hurdle
The Waterford Crystal Hurdle
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Manton, Marlborough, Wiltshire, England

Manton had been a very successful training establishment in the early part of the twentieth century. However, when the Sangster family bought Manton, the Derby Gallop had not been used since 1930. Twelve years previously the winter gallops had been lost and the main gallops had been let go. Under Michael’s planning, guidance and care, the gallops and training tracks were restored, reinvented and reinvigorated. Since that time, horses trained at Manton with only one trainer at any time have won the following 50 Grade 1 races:
The Derby
The Breeder’s Cup Turf
Middle Park Stakes
Dewhurst
Juddmonte International Stakes
Dubai Champion Stakes
Irish Champion Stakes
Eclipse
Sheema Classic
Prix de la Foret
Middle Park
July Cup
Nunthorpe
Ascot Fillies Mile (2 times)
Irish Derby
Middle Park Stakes
The Matriarch-Hollywood
William Hill Sprint
Ciga De L’Abbaye
Sussex Stakes
Prix du Moulin de Longchamp
Man O' War Stakes
Italian Derby (2 times)
Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes
Gran Premio D’Italian
Criterium de Saint Cloud
GP Jockey Club
Prix de la Salamandre
Grand Criterium
Prix de L’Abbaye
Prix Du Cadran
Racing Post Trophy
Dubai Poule D’Essai des Poulains
1000 Guineas
Meon Valley Stud Fillies Stakes
Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
Prix d’Ispahan
Prix Marcel Boussac
Golden Jubiliee Stakes
1000 Guineas
2000 Guineas
Irish 2000 Guineas (3 times)
French 2000 Guineas
Racing Post Trophy
Tapeta Farm, North East, Maryland, USA

Tapeta Farm had been exclusively used for growing crops before Michael converted it into a successful training facility.
Grade 1 winners include:
Breeder’s Cup Mile
The Sword Dancer
The Gulfstream Park Handicap
The Ashland
The Mother Goose
The Wood Memorial
The Frank J. deFrancis Dash
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Tapeta™ Farm