Initially, Ian was not drawn to follow his father, Billy, into training, but, a year at college studying Business & Accountancy persuaded him that horses weren’t too bad after all.
At 18, Ian went to Lambourn to join Jenny Pitman as Assistant Trainer. This was the era of Royal Athlete, Garrison Savannah, Toby Tobias et al, and was a formative period in Ian’s development. Ian admits he knew very little when joining Mrs P, and was most grateful for the opportunity given by Jenny.
In the early 90’s, Ian spent 6 months with Martin Pipe at Pond House before joining Francois Doumen at Chantilly in France. His time there coincided with a golden age for the yard with The Fellow landing a couple of King George’s as well as the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
In 1997, Ian returned to Britain to begin his own journey as a trainer. Initially based near Oxford, with just a dozen horses, half of which came from the ever supportive John and Anne Poynton; very quickly it became obvious that these facilities were not to the standard the ambitious Williams required.
Fortunately, Ian was introduced to Patrick Kelly, a very successful businessman, who shared a passion for horseracing. Mr Kelly had a vision to create a state of the art training facility in the heart of the Midlands and together, they created the amazing training complex of Dominion Racing Stables.
There are currently over 140 horses in training and on 29th November 2016 saddled winner number 1,000 when Appy Days won at Lingfield. Yet, Ian remains fiercely ambitious and continues on the quest for champions.
As the tag line on the website says "Passion to succeed never dies." Ian’s objectives are simple - improve the quality of the string and continue to saddle winners. He achieved a lifetime ambition on 15th March 2016 when Ballyalton gave him his first Cheltenham Festival winner. Having run so well to be 2nd to the mighty Faugheen in 2014, it was appropriate that Ballyalton should give him his first 'gold medal'.
When Brasted won at Chelmsford on 15th October 2015, Ian completed a full set of saddling a winner at every racecourse in the UK - a unique achievement in modern training!