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I'm off to the racing school this morning

Thursday, 13 September 2018

"Sunbeams out of the clouds

Faith out of all my doubt."

Terri Guillemets.

01_Legged_up
Legged up and ready to pull out

It’s a bright, very sunny morning and is forecast to stay this way most of the day. With a full complement of riders in we are getting two good canters into everything using the polytracks close to home. In every yard there are always one or two that have minor scrapes or niggles, but at present most of ours are in good health, thank goodness. We only have one that has a poisoned foot and she will need a poultice on for a couple of days. I have always had an evening stable routine where we feel every leg and although it may be an old fashioned thing to do now, health wise it certainly is the best thing I know to keep on top of the horses. There may be a lot more modern thinking, but the old fashioned ways, especially with animals, is usually the best. Attention to detail and a work ethic is what are sadly lacking in the youth of today.

08_Garrel
Garrel Glen walking round the yard

25_Garrel
... and out on the gallop looking at the camera

I am constantly looking for young people to be like I was at that age, but finding them is like finding a needle in a haystack. Saying that, I am just about to leave to give a talk to the Masar Godolphin course at the British Racing School. I did this last year when they had it for the first time. These are a handpicked group of young people from Dubai who are interested in the horse world. Last year’s group were very enthusiastic and keen to learn and I am sure this year will be just the same. Sheikh Mohammed is marvellous in his encouragement of the youth, both with this group and his Darley Flying Start, which has produced many participants in our industry. He has also given a lot of money to the Newmarket schools for a variety of things.

10_Vision
Velvet Vision and Bob 

It was the first day of Doncaster yesterday and the highlight was the Legends race when the old jockeys come together to fight it out once again. I don’t know if you can call Ted Durcan and old jockey but he won it and another 15 took part. It is a shame that Dale Gibson couldn’t be involved in the finish as Dale and Clipper Logistics have been the drivers behind this race for so long now and have raised nearly £1m. It all goes to Jack Berry House and the Northern Racing College which is such a great idea. Long may it continue. Dale is standing down this year and I believe the newly retired Andrew Thornton will be taking over.

 

A bit of rain this morning

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

"The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend."

Henry David Thoreau.

21_Sparkle
Melo Pearl

It is a damp start once again and still raining as we write this. Hopefully it may clear up towards mid-morning. We have a good team of riders in and have been cantering on a variety of polytracks. So far so good. Tim has been on holiday for a couple of weeks so Gabor has been doing the early morning feed and I have been doing the evening one. Team work is of an essence in yards and we seem to have got this going well.

08_Pick
Having a pick of grass

I see that there are more meetings being called off because of the infestation of chafer grubs, which have already given Epsom and Chepstow problems and are now at Salisbury. The experts blame it on not having the right insecticide, which evidently was taken off the market because it was deemed unsuitable. There is one from America, but whether that would be health and safety legal is anybody’s guess. We never had these problem years ago and it is, in my opinion, due purely to the watering regime the racecourses are encouraged to do by the BHA. It makes the grass grow sideways and causes moss like patches. Evidently these bugs love the old plant material and the ground gets churned up, plus the birds come and scrape the turf trying to eat the grubs. It is nature’s way. I am sure if we stop watering we wouldn’t get this problem.

Astrostorm_2
Astrostorm in his new home

Astrostorm_1
Working at his new discipline

It is always great news to hear our old horses doing well in another discipline and the pictures below of are Astrostorm who ran several times for us before we found him a good home. He is now in Scotland and really enjoying life. If you look at our ‘where are they now’ section you will see so many horses that have a happy retirement and live their lives out in just as much luxury as they have in our yard.

 
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