Evan Williams was born on Aberogwrn Farm in The Vale of Glamorgan and from an early age showed a keen interest in stock keeping on the family’s dairy farm. His grandfather and his parents both rode and trained winners for Point to Points and Under Rules.
Evan left school at 16 and while working on the farm also competed successfully in Point to Point, at 17 he took over the running of the business. The dairy farm suffered financial hardship when the price of milk dropped, the focus was then concentrated on a beef herd and Evan also started to train a handful of Point to Pointers. The foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 was a disaster and bankruptcy was just around the corner as no cattle could be sold and Point to Point was suspended.
[blockquote cite=”Williams Five Year Grand National Record” type=”center”]Placed in Five Consecutive Grand Nationals between 2009 and 2013 with State Of Play and Cappa Bleu
When the foot and mouth outbreak was over Evan sold all the cattle at a loss, then took himself off to Ireland and bought a string of Point to Pointers, which were proving difficult to sell there at that time, he quickly found owners for the majority.
Just one year later in 2002 he won the National Point to Point Championship and later became the leading Point to Point trainer in Britain, in all he has trained and ridden over 200 Point To Point winners. Evan took out his trainer’s license in 2003/4, and within 6 months had a Grade 1 winner with Sunray.
Evan’s progressive training has attracted well established owners and he has become known for having great success with horses that have lost their form for other stables. The trainer himself once remarked, “The big trainers, if they came down here, they’d think it was a bloody madhouse really”.
To date over 650 winners have been trained from Aberogwrn Farm and has an enviable Grand National record placing in it for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013 with State of play and Cappa Bleu.
Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images