Jake Stephens - Breeder and Trainer
Jake is a young and innovative trainer with a progressive approach.
He is ultimately patient with his horses and uses thoughtful breeding and training practices. Jake will always position the welfare of his animals first. Jake lives with his horses and breeding stock seven days a week, day and night. He enjoys celebrating successes with owners and friends, although the horses always come first.
Jake rides all race horses in slow work at least every week. This enables him to feel how they are going and how their fitness is progressing. Riding each horse allows Jake to view them in motion from a close perspective. He learns what their temperament is like and whether or not they are handling the work or can take more etc. This also allows Jake to see how they are tracking from a shoeing perspective as he meticulously completes all his own farrier work. This intimate training style provides great insight for both Jake and owners.
Jake is a third generation farmer. His family have been living in and working with the land of the Inman Valley for more than 150 years. Jake's father Tom Stephens was a much respected, well travelled and educated veterinarian and beef cattle farmer. He passed on his passion for their land, the environment and for the wellbeing of animals.
Jake has worked with and loved horses his entire life and has been riding since the age of five. Jake’s first experience at the races was as a strapper for the late Jake Kelton at the Mindre-Halidon Cup at the age of 12. Jake’s horses now race in Jake Kelton’s racing colours. The Kelton owners have been leading supporters of Jake’s work.
Jake played polo from the age of 19 and was full time between the ages of 21 and 27. Jake bought horses from the track and educated them to play polo and then sold them on, mainly interstate. This further developed Jake’s eye for well put together horses and those with a suitable nature that would be profitable over time.
Whilst competing across Australia, Jake began breeding horses on his farm. Jake turned his hand to thoroughbred training. He took his first horse as a licensed trainer to the Mount Gambier races on the 1st of September 2006. The horse’s name was Flying Fish. She was a three year old filly by Bellotto out of the Southern Appeal mare Social Cyclone. Jake bred Flying Fish himself at Strangways Falls Stud. She started in a 1200m maiden and bolted in, winning by five and a half lengths and was confidently backed by connections. There was more to come.
Alcopop had his first start in a race at Morphettville on Melbourne Cup Day in 2008. He was horse number one, in race number one and drew barrier number one. He won convincingly. He too was confidently backed by connections. He won two more races in his first preparation over 1600m and 2000m. Jake also bred Alcopop at Strangways Falls Stud with great friends and neighbours Doug and Helen Gillam. Alcopop was nominated for the Caufield and Melbourne Cups in 2009 prior to his second preparation.
Alcopop began his second preparation with a stunning win first up over 1200m in Class 3 race at Morphettville. He then went straight into the 1600m Balaclava Cup (listed race) where he overcame difficulty in the straight and attacked the line to win and break the track record. At his next start, he went to Mooney Valley to race in the 2040m JRA Cup under lights and across the border for the first time. He travelled magnificently throughout resulting in a confident win. Alcopop was then set for the Herbert Power Stakes (Group 2 over 2400m) at Caufield on Guineas Day. He again travelled superbly in the run and on the dry track let down at the top of the straight and showed his remarkable acceleration to win by three and a quarter lengths. He then started favourite in the 2009 Melbourne Cup and finished a solid 6th. There is still more to come.
Strangways Falls Stud - Breeding
Jake is consistently breeding quality horses. He takes the ultimate care during formative years and will enable maximum physical and intellectual development for each and every thoroughbred. Jake has a personal relationship with each horse and is able to communicate their strengths and potential with integrity. Many horses are currently maturing at Strangways Falls Stud and will be listed on this website as they become available for racing.
Our vision is to sustain and extend success in Australian racing and breeding through our current and future team of healthy, happy and confident horses.
Jake’s horses receive the best care available for thoroughbreds. No expense is spared on balanced feed, vitamin supplements and equisage that maximise wellbeing. Wise training including strong physical and intellectual preparation allows horses to produce their best possible racetrack performance.
We understand that horses win races on healthy correct feet. Jake is a self taught farrier and shoes all his horses personally. He takes great pride in this work and has immense attention to detail. Jake attributes much of his success to correct management of his horses feet from birth.
Fair business and strong communication results in open and transparent relationships with all connections.
Strangways Falls Stud is situated in the Inman Valley. Strangways waterfall and surrounds are World Heritage listed. Not only is the Stud home to numerous fast thoroughbreds, it is also home to a colony of the worlds fastest bird, the Peregrine Falcon. The Stud receives high rainfall and flourishes from many natural springs that feed the creek and damns. Jake’s environmental practices complement this unique location.
Vast, lush paddocks encompass views to the southern ocean. The steep topography and close proximity to the beach offers perfect training opportunities for thoroughbreds. The lower paddocks include protected stables and large yards to maximise the physical health and general wellbeing of these lucky horses.