A major key to winning horses is to have a good, aggressive temperament. You need to have the temperament to be a strong competitor. You need the horse’s natural ability. If you don’t have the horse’s natural ability and temperament, then you get into all sorts of trouble. Some of those problems could be in the mind of the coach, who has such an unfair advantage. You have to be prepared to learn what you have to do to be a good horse trainer. And when you’re not at home, your mind is out trying to train. You need time. You need to take breaks, and you need to have discipline. I know a lot of coaches, because they work very hard but are so frustrated. When they have that problem, it can be very hard to get through that.
Have you been training since you were 9 years old?
Yes I had a lot of horses before I went into the racing industry. I lived in Belgium from the age of 8, and had my first horse when I was 14.
Have any of your horses been on the track for more than 2 years?
One time two-year-old horses raced on the same track at the same time.
Tell me about the trainers that worked with you.
The good trainers are very skilled, intelligent people. They understand their horse’s needs. They also know when they can give him that little bit more, and when they can’t. Sometimes it can be difficult for them because they have not been in the business very long. They can always improve because they come from a different background. But with great trainers you will get results.
In a previous interview you praised the way that horse racing has worked to develop a generation of horses. Can you explain this idea?
Yes, to me, there is a generational transformation coming on. You know the saying that time heals all? Some people will have their own way in the world, and my way is different. I am here today, at 65, and that means that, even though I don’t know who I was 20 years ago, I’m still here today. I think that’s a great thing.
I am very glad to have seen the success of “The Show” which created so much controversy.
Yes, of course it (fear of the unknown) and that is the main reason why it takes time to bring horses into this sport. You try to make a horse, and when they
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