Doug King comes by his passion for racing honestly. He is part of a long family tradition of training race horses, both on the flat and steeple chasing – a tradition he now continues from his 55-acre Kimberton, Pa. farm he shares with his wife, Martha.
Doug’s grandfather came from England and was a steeplechase jockey. Doug’s father, Hunter King, was also a steeplechase rider and trainer, who had a large facility in Malvern for several decades. This is where Doug began his love of thoroughbred race horses, which developed into an early racing career. Doug trained & raced timber horses on the circuit in the 80’s and 90’s, culminating with several starts at the Maryland Hunt Cup and Virginia Gold Cup.
During the time that he raised his daughter, Gillian Beale King, Doug turned his focus to the show ring, competing in the hunter and jumper divisions.
Some of Doug’s major accomplishments include:
Setting a track record with a first-time starter in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup.
Riding in the Maryland Hunt Cup and Virginia Gold Cup.
Winning with his first starter in 25 years.
Multiple wins in hunter derbies and jumpers up through the Grand Prix level.
Martha is also a lifetime rider who has ridden in the amateur owner hunters, jumpers and sidesaddle divisions. She was National Champion Ladies’ Sidesaddle in 2016 on Rockstar and continues to compete at the recognized level, with more of a focus on the jumpers. Chicobello is her newest show jumping partner, and she also enjoys riding some of the retired racehorses, focusing on finding them a second career after the track.
Several years ago, Doug and Martha made the decision to build a racing business from the ground up, buying weanlings every year, and he now trains young horses by top sires. Training race horses is now his biggest focus.
Doug is a hands-on trainer and gallops his horses daily, so he’s in tune with their progress. “I can cut short a gallop if the horse does not feel perfect, or I can gallop a bit faster and longer if the horse and conditions are just right,” he said. “I also shoe my own horses, which I’ve done for over 40 years. Horsemanship and having a deep understanding of each individual horse is at the heart of running my business.
“I take great pride in my horses,” reiterates Doug. “When you see a Royal Crown Stables horse at the racetrack, you will see a horse with a lot of muscle and a gleaming coat – a horse that looks like it could win at the track or walk into the ring at the Devon horse show and not be out of place.”