Storm Henk flash floods forces horse racing champion trainer Paul Nicholls to evacuate horses from his stable after they were left 'FLOADING' in their Somerset stables
- Six horses were evacuated from Nicholls' Highbridge yard on Thursday evening
- The champion trainer said the water in the flooded stables was more than four feet deep
- Rain has disrupted racing but the competition will take place at the local Nicholls circuit
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls said the water in the flooded stables was five feet deep when his staff tried to move some of his horses late on Thursday evening in the wake of Storm Henk.
Six horses had to be evacuated, but Nicholls said their safety was never in danger.
The horses had to be moved from the Highbridge yard where Nicholls lives. It is about a mile away from Nicholls' main stable in the village of Ditcheat in Somerset.
Nicholls said: “We had to move half a dozen horses. I have never seen so much rain as yesterday. There was so much water. The nearby river overflowed its banks and then all flowed back into the lower garden near my house.
“In some boxes it was about three feet deep. Mats, buckets and chips were floating everywhere. I noticed it getting worse as the evening went on, but it all happened around 10:30 PM.
Nicholls' assistant Charlie Davies posted images of the horses being led to safety
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls said the water in the flooded stables was five feet deep
Six horses had to be evacuated, but Nicholls said their safety was never in danger
“The village was pretty much cut off so there was only (head boy) Clifford (Baker) and my main team going there, but they sorted it all out quickly.
'The horses were never in distress, but they looked like a mess splashing in the water. There was no way we could leave them there overnight, so we moved them to a free garden down the street.
'This morning all the water was gone, so we cleaned everything up and put in fresh bedding and they are already back in their boxes.'
Nicholls' assistant Charlie Davies posted images of the horses being pulled to safety in the floodwaters late on Thursday evening.
'The heavy rain caused some problems in Ditcheat last night. At 9.30pm we had to evacuate six horses from our Highbridge yard,” Davies wrote.
'Fortunately all the horses are good this morning, the gallop weathered the rain well and we were able to train all the horses as usual.'
Nicholls said all the water had cleared from the stables this morning, allowing them to clean up
The racing program has been disrupted by Storm Henk, with Worcester's racecourses flooded by heavy rainfall
Heavy rain has disrupted the racing program but ironically Nicholls' local circuit Wincanton survived and will be the focus of Saturday's ITV coverage.
Nicholls added: 'Funnily enough there was so much rain and it was so intense that it immediately washes away and doesn't have a chance to soak in. Today is a nice day, so I'm not surprised they're racing.”
Saturday's races at Sandown and Sunday's at Chepstow have been abandoned, while the racecourses at both Stratford and Worcester are flooded. Next Friday's meeting in Huntingdon is already in doubt because parts of the track are flooded.