About Peter & Karen
Peter and his wife Karen have transformed what began as a modest bungalow and a couple of fields into a top class racing yard. Stables were built to start with - 70 boxes now, with overflow accommodation just down the road. Then came a six furlong uphill all-weather gallop, and recently a new circular gallop, enabling horses to work up to two miles.
All of this is less than a stone's throw from where Peter was raised in Little Newcastle, and where he first enjoyed success training point-to-pointers.
Since he started training at the top grade in 1995, his horses have been regular visitors to winner's enclosures on all the famous racecourses in the land - most of them, of course, a long distance drive from deepest Pembrokeshire. Peter and his team clock up thousands of miles every year from Perth to Exeter via Aintree!
Those close to Peter admire his hard work, dedication and hands-on approach to the work he loves. In the days building up to a big race, it's no surprise to find him out all alone in a box late into the night putting the final touches to an important runner's preparation. Peter knows by sight and by name each and every one of the horses in his care - their likes and their dislikes, and their idiosyncrasies.
Team Bowen is very much a family outfit. Karen has a lifetime of experience working with horses - in both the show ring and as a former champion point to point rider, riding against the likes of Peter Scudamore and the young Richard Johnson.
With her race riding days behind her, along with nine broken collar bones, these days Karen is usually out riding first lot at crack of dawn, and is an astute judge of horses as well as a skilful teacher of novices.
All three Bowen sons are following in their parents' footsteps.
Eldest son Mickey, has built his reputation, like his father, as a successful point-to-point trainer;
Sean, professional jockey since 2015 and the youngest-ever leading conditional jockey that year, has two "Lesters" and over 300 winners to his name;
James. also a leading professional jockey, took the youngest ever Leading Conditional record from his brother in 2017, and became the youngest ever winner of the Welsh Grand National in 2018 aged just 16.
Back when he was a youngster, Peter worked in his father's horse business. "I always seemed to be given the real rogues to sort out", he recalls. He started training point-to-pointers. His best horse was Brunico, who won 23 races in 2 seasons. One unforgettable afternoon Peter's pointers won 5 out of 6 races. Those were the days when, with no gallops of his own, he worked his horses on the grass verges of the busy A40, only yards from lorries speeding to the Fishguard ferries.
The first winner under Rules, in October 1995 at Sedgefield, was Iffeee, a hunter chaser who'd won only twice in 27 starts before joining Peter. He started at 20/1! Inside six months Iffeee won six times from 9 starts - an early illustration of Peter's genius for improving horses that have disappointed for other stables.
Then came Stately Home, bringing home to Pembrokeshire the Channel Four Trophy for the most wins in a season. No novice had ever won as many races.
TakeThe Stand was runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and McKelvey second in the Grand National.
Always Waining won the Topham Trophy over Aintree's National fences three times - only Red Rum has done the same over those legendary obstacles.
Peter's now well on the way to training a thousand winners.
Peter Bowen leads his team from the front. He's a hands-on operator paying the closest attention to every detail and every horse, with a burning desire to succeed.
What's the secret? "Make sure you get hold of good horses, and then find out what's wrong with them - and put it right". Yet another understatement of the art of getting a horse to produce his best at the appointed time.