Obituary: Rebecca Bastiman, racehorse trainer

Rebecca ‘Becky’ Bastiman, who has died at 40 from a long-term illness, was a Yorkshire racehorse trainer who took over the reins at the family yard from her father, Robin Bastiman in 2015, and saddled more than 100 winners.

Rebecca Bastiman

Rebecca ‘Becky’ Bastiman, who has died at 40 from a long-term illness, was a Yorkshire racehorse trainer who took over the reins at the family yard from her father, Robin Bastiman in 2015, and saddled more than 100 winners.

While it is for her work as a trainer that she was best known, she had also been a mainstay at Goosemoor Farm at Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, long before taking charge there. She combined with her father, mother Pauline and brother Harvey to work as a true family racing unit.

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Having gone to junior schools in Harrogate and Sicklinghall and later Wetherby High School, she learnt to ride, along with Harvey, under the tutelage of Yvonne Lowther at Sicklinghall.

When she was eight, the family won a tidy sum at Beverley Races and she bought a pony from the winnings. Soon after, she was to be seen riding it up the stable gallops, following the string of racehorses.

Soon, she was riding out the horses at 6.30am before going to school and then dashing back home to help with feeding time at evening stables. She spent time in Australia and with the Godolphin outfit in Dubai to expand her equine education, but was recalled to Cowthorpe by Robin, who needed her expertise in his yard.

She rode three winners as an amateur jockey, but training and caring for the horses was always her first love. She was particularly adept at dealing with troublesome horses, and Robin recalled that she had such a calming influence on Turgenev, a rogue horse Pauline acquired from John Gosden, that he ended up winning eight races.

After taking over the licence in 2015, Becky stamped her authority on the yard and changed the regime to such effect that she trained more than 100 winners. Her best year was 2018, during which when her 27 winners earned £247,336 for their her owners.