Dan Skelton: set to join the training ranks in MayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Dan Skelton to join training ranks in May
DAN SKELTON, who has assisted champion trainer Paul Nicholls for the last nine years, is to set up on his own in May.
Skelton, the son of showjumping legend Nick Skelton, will train from his father's farm in Warwickshire.
"The hardest part of this decision is no doubt the fact that I will be leaving a great team, and a great boss who, at the age of 19, welcomed me into full-time employment," Skelton said on Sunday.
"Paul showed me great confidence and faith when taking me on as assistant with no experience, and has nurtured me into the person and professional that I am today."
Skelton, whose brother Harry is a jockey, added: "We have been granted permission for stabling and a six-and-a-half furlong uphill all-weather gallop near Alcester on my father's equestrian property. And, while this is a new venture, we aim to use all of our experience to build a top-class facility for horses and owners."
Tom Jonason, Nicholls' pupil assistant trainer, will replace Skelton, whom Nicholls paid tribute to on his Betfair blog.
"I obviously wish Dan all the best in the future," he posted.
"He is a great friend above all else, and I am incredibly proud to have played a part in Harry Fry's and Dan's progression to the training ranks."