When people talk about famous trainers of racehorses, they tend to only focus on those individuals south of the border or over in the United States.
However, to do so would be folly, especially seeing as one of the very best in the world plies her trade in Kinross, on the banks of the wild Loch Leven.
Lucinda Russell has been grooming horses for success since 1995 and her achievements were recognised by a well-deserved OBE from the queen in 2018.
We look at how she got to the top of the sport, as well as how she plans to stay there.
Plenty of the world’s most revered horse owners entrust Russell with their prized steeds
Talent Distilled in the Highlands
Russell got her start in the business of horses when she was given a country estate by her parents, who made their money in the whisky trade. She quickly converted it into the training facility she still uses today.
Her love for horses came simply from petting them as a child, later dedicating herself to training after she went to watch some live races.
Having a Champion Jockey Partner Helps
While most of Russell’s success has come from her tireless passion for horses and their wellbeing, any top trainer always needs some support along the way.
As well as all the dedicated staff at her Arlary base that Russell can call upon, she also happens to be in a relationship with eight-time champion jockey Richard Scudamore, who acts as assistant trainer at Arlary, casting his keen eye over not only over the horses in the yard but also the men and women who are tasked with riding them.
It is no doubt a winning combination, with Russell and Scudamore constantly fielding front runners that appear on online race cards on every horse racing lover’s phone or laptop.
However, despite Scudamore’s pedigree in the racing world, he still very much plays second fiddle to Russell, who is the queen of her paddocks and stables.
After time spent at Arlary under the watchful eye of Lucinda Russell and Richard Scudamore a horse has every change of becoming a grade 1 winner
Dealing with Tragedy
In a career that has spanned three decades it would be impossible to have gone through it all without suffering some tragedies.
Unfortunately, Arlary has seen more than its fair share with the tragic passing of well-liked jockey Campbell Gillies in a freak holiday accident, which followed soon after the death of Brindisi Breeze, a winning horse who escaped its stable one night and perished on a main road.
However, far from dwelling on these terrible spells of bad fortune, Russell has redoubled her efforts to make her training centre the premier establishment in Scotland and beyond, even if she has had to do some soul searching along the way.
Of course, the highlight of any horse trainer’s career are those huge race wins, with millions of onlookers watching on as the horse you have poured your heart and soul into reaches the winning post first.
Russell is no stranger to that feeling, having won the Aintree Grand National in 2017 as well as pretty much every other steeple chase event that exists in the British Isles.
All in all, Russell has trained over 700 winning racehorses during her time as a trainer and that number only looks set to grow with more than 80 horses currently under her care.
It is fair to say that Russell has done more than most to put horseracing well and truly on the map in Scotland, with locals always likely to turn out in greater number if there is a local horse, jockey, or trainer to cheer down the final few furlongs.