Profile: Jane Trotter

Jane Trotter was previously a practising clinical psychologist before founding Ambleway Thoroughbred Stables in 1985. This behavioral psychology background has no doubt given Jane an advantage in her work today spelling and pre-training thoroughbreds to establish a connection of trust and understanding between horse and human.

Jane has followed racing her whole life. Some of her earliest memories were when she would join respected thoroughbred owner Eugene Sanan in the early mornings before school at Summerveld Training Establishment to watch the racehorses train. She also worked in his box at Greyville Racecourse. It was through this connection she would not only become involved in racing but also come to own one of her most prized racing memorabilia: a signed picture of Hawaii (South African Horse of the Year and North American Turf Horse of the Year) by owner and millionaire Charles Engelhard (also the owner of English Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky).

Jane learnt her horsemanship riding from a young age and competing in various equestrian activities. The highlight of which was receiving her national colours when representing South Africa in Polocrosse. Jane and her husband Rodney have owned horses since 1983
when they were lucky enough to have their very first runner, a flashy chestnut named George Fitsroy by Harry Hotspur, win his very first race. 

Since then both Jane and Rodney have been deeply involved in the thoroughbred horseracing industry. Rodney has been a Steward of Scottsville and Natal racecourses and has been a Director of both the Jockey Club and of Gold Circle, the company responsible for administrating racing in Kwazulu-Natal province. Together Jane and Rodney have owned shares in a number of horses, the best of which was the classy sprinter Fine Feather who placed 3rd in the Allan Robertson Fillies Championship (G1) and who is dam of Byerly Turk (G3) winner, Phantom Fighter (by Jet Master).

Ambleway began in 1987 when local trainer Doug Campbell, knowing of her skill with horses, asked Jane if she could assist in breaking in a handful of his yearlings at her small holding outside Pietermaritzburg. Soon after Craig Benton and Mike Riley, two leading trainers from the nearby Ashburton Training Centre, and later Alastair Gordon, who trained from Summerveld Training Centre, followed suit. Over the years, with continued success, hard work and building relationships with a loyal group of clients, Ambleway Thoroughbred Stables has grown into what it is today – one of South Africa’s oldest, most established and successful pre-training and spelling farms.

Over the years Ambleway Thoroughbred Stables has built up a distinguished and loyal list of clients including multiple Champion Trainers David Ferraris, Mike de Kock and Geoff Woodruff; perenially leading trainers Dennis Drier, Duncan Howells and Alec Laird; and major owners and breeders, notably the Tawny Syndicate, Pat and Henry Devine, Graham Beck, and the Kieswetters.