Nick De Meric grew up in England, showing ponies as a youngster and graduating to three-day eventing and point to pointing when he turned sixteen. After graduating from Bradfield College, he worked as a journalist in London for the Field Magazine, before studying Rural Estate Management at Cirencester Agricultural College in Gloucestershire. After this he did stints with English trainers R. C. Sturdy, Brian Swift and Roger Stack before moving to Australia and working for the legendary trainer Tommy Smith. Later he became interested by North American racing and sales, and in the early 1980s worked for Clay Camp, Lee Eaton and Fred Seitz before settling in Ocala by way of Louisiana, where he met his future wife, Jaqui.
He and Jaqui rode for a number of farms in the Ocala area before marrying in 1983. The de Merics had their first consignment of 2-year-olds that year and the fledgling business quickly grew into a major 2-year-old training operation.
Their graduates include You and I, Chaposa Springs, Smokin’ Frolic, Wallenda, Forty One Carats, Ask The Moon, Capo Bastone, Currency Swap, Materiality, Annals of Time, War Story, Practical Joke, and Separationofpowers. Nick has also served on the board of OBS since 2001.
In 1992 they bought Eclipse Training Center adjacent to their Manuden Farm, now an accredited facility totaling 240 acres. Both their children, Ali, now a member of the Rice clan, and Tris, who with his wife Valery, have become crucial partners in the operation, have children of their own and are full time trainers in their own right.
Return to Feb. 7 issue of Wire to Wire