With a family background in horses, Somnium Thoroughbreds owners David and Jess Stonham were always going to have them in their lives, Morgan + English has helped introduce another generation to the horse industry.
Somnium Thoroughbreds offers a racing experience for everyone, through affordable syndication and leasing of race horses. Somnium, being Latin for “dream”, sums up the business. It gives people a chance to be a part of the fun and excitement, that is, the race horse owner’s dream.
David and Jess Stonham
Let’s get to know David and Jess
David started out in the racing game at 25 working for Bronzewing Bloodstock, progressing from stable hand to foreman. His work managed everything from racing and nominations to feeding regimes and horse care. He also ran the farm maintenance at the same time.
After six years at Bronzewing, David moved to Evergreen Farm where he spend two years learning from master mentor, Tony Bott, and Andrew Russell.
“Without their help and generosity we wouldn’t be where we are today,” says David.
He also has a certificate 3 and 4 in agriculture from Tocal College.
His favourite experience in the game is actually not horse related as such: “It’s the friendships you build with people; it doesn’t matter how long you haven’t seen or heard from them when you do catch up it was just like yesterday.”
Jess was sitting on a horse before she could walk. Her dad taught her many horse skills, as did pony club and the show ring before the thrill of speed lured her into campdrafting when she was 13. Jess completed a certificate 3 and 4 in horse husbandry at Tocal College.
Upon completion she worked at Bronzewing Farm where she met Dave and together they moved to Evergeen Stud where she was Yearling Manager for eight years. This is where Jess gained valuable stud knowledge, in yearling preparation, pre-training (including track work riding), reproductive mare work, foaling down, weaning and treating injuries. Jess is now a qualified vet nurse working for Paddy and Kristen Toddhunter at Newcastle Equine Centre.
Her influential mentors are Michelle and Wayne Bedggood of Cressfield Stud, Andrew Russell and Tony Bott.
A Somnium-bred horse, Whitty Woman winning at Newcastle, has been her favourite racing experience so far.
How did Morgan + English Help?
“Morgan + English has been pivotal in setting up this business. Without the guidance of Daniel, I would still be trying to sort legal documents for the business,” says David. “For us, having a specialist firm in our corner gives us confidence in whatever we do with the company. It makes our lives easier to know that we can pick up the phone and call Daniel and his team to talk about issues that are arising with the formation of the business and not have to explain how it works. It’s a peace of mind that is invaluable to us and we cannot thank Morgan + English enough for what they have done so far.
“We won’t use anyone else and hope to forge a long and fruitful relationship with them.”
Looking into the Future
David and Jess are planning to secure land to expand their business. Apart from syndication of horses, Somnium will offer a full package in which horses that are syndicated will spell and eventually retire to the breeding yards. This will also give owners better access to their horses and manage their careers.
Breeding and consignment services will also be offered to clients in
Jess Stonham on front cover of Horse Deals
“Being heavily involved in the racing game most of our lives means we are willing to take the business as far as it needs to go to become successful and reputable buyers, sellers and managers of horses,” David says.
The Hot Tips
- As a young rider Jess made it onto the front cover of Horsedeals Magazine with her champion show horse Frosty winning at Wingham Show.
- Watch Whitty Woman with trainer Robert Davies when she comes back into work, she is growing and will be even more impressive this time in.
- The Somnium colours were inspired by Secretariat. David and Jess have always loved the blue along with the Secretariat’s ability and its inspirational story.
Morgan + English is excited to watch Somnium and their trainers turn a stable full of race horses into winners. Here’s to the next generation.