Sunday, 17 February 2019

Well - Things didn't go quite to plan. We thought we would be clever and put cheek pieces on both horses as we thought they could do with a bit of a 'sharpen up' - It had the reverse effect on Jess who although she has won in cheek pieces in her youth took great exception to having the indignity of half a sheep hanging off her head at her age, and wouldn't go a yard. Then it had the complete opposite effect on Budge who went like a rocket (even though the plan was to drop him out) and was still going really well in the leading group when he blundered at the open ditch second time round and deposited Billy on the turf. He then proceeded to do two more circuits of the track before he could be caught. We ended our day with me taking Billy to A&E with a suspected fractured wrist which sadly turned out to be the case. So, poor Billy is out of action for a few weeks and both horses may be on the transfer list.  They have both been great with novice riders but it is probably time they did another job. Sad, as I am still convinced that they have got another win in them ….somewhere, sometime with the moon in the right orbit and the wind blowing in the correct direction - I hate giving up on horses but with a jockey down and lots of lovely young horses coming up it is probably time to call it a day.
However, for their last public appearance they both won Best Turned Out and looked very beautiful - Jess also won the other BTO prize - Best Tailed Off, so she has gone out on a double, bless her. She has been an absolutely wonderful horse and we love her dearly so only a five star home need apply!

We Never Give Up..... Perhaps time we did!

Don't Budge Me


Friday, 15 February 2019

Well, I can't believe it! Doug came up trumps for Valentines Day - He organised a theatre trip to London and he got me a card!! It has only taken 19 years but he got there eventually and it was a really lovely day so all that waiting was worth it! We had lunch at The Ivy in Covent Garden before going to see 'Mama Mia' - I didn't particularly like the film production but this was absolutely fantastic and really well worth a visit. Afterwards we had seafood and champagne in a fabulous restaurant next to the theatre. A perfect day....

We are looking forward to Horseheath tomorrow with Jess and Budge. It is just great to be back racing and fingers crossed the jockeys and horses all come home safely.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Happy days! Racing is back on and luckily both Jess and Budge have had their vaccinations within six months so they can both go - Ironically they are the only two that could have gone as all the others were vaccinated in June and so had to be done today. They will have the next few days off and will then start work again on Monday ready to race at the following weekend.
It was a lovely spring day today and I saw the first daffodil out in full bloom - I LOVE daffodils and they always lift my spirits as it means we are hopefully coming to the end of the worst of the winter weather.
A great day all round as I also bought some flights to Japan and booked our tickets for the Rugby world cup final and semi finals in October - SO excited!  I can't believe how organised I have been - Most unlike me. Even if England don't get that far it will still be great to watch some high class rugby and to have an excuse to explore Japan. 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

It wasn't so bad having the weekend off from racing - in fact really rather enjoyable. On Saturday we caught up on various jobs and then watched some great Six Nations rugby in the afternoon and today Dad came round for lunch, after which we were treated to some more fabulous rugby with England beating France 44-8 at Twickenham.

Owen Farrell celebrating after scoring the sixth try

At this stage no more flu cases have been detected so fingers crossed everything will be back to normal for next weekend's racing where we have Jess and Budge going to Horseheath at the rescheduled meeting.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Oh dear - So much for 'all systems go' with racing - Just as the ground comes good there has been an outbreak of Equine Flu which has led to the cancellation of all racing. The BHA have acted quickly and hopefully it won't be long before racing begins again. In the meantime we are really lucky to have the big grass field nearby and a long way from the main gallops and the other yards. The horses really love cantering around that field and the ground is perfect at the moment so we can keep the horses fit and happy until racing starts again. It must be an absolute nightmare for the big yards, especially the ones that have Cheltenham hopefuls as there is only five weeks before the Gold Cup and any interruption now could make a very detrimental difference, assuming Cheltenham is on that is....
On a more positive but slightly frustrating note, all the horses are absolutely flying at the moment and Secret Getaway has settled in really well and is a lovely natured mare. We haven't cantered her yet but she feels like she has got a huge engine. A "proper horse" as Stuart said, and he wasn't wrong!

Sunday, 3 February 2019

No racing this weekend due to the frozen ground so it was great to have a lovely relaxing weekend and to catch up on other jobs which badly needed doing. The ground is thawing out nicely now and it was a lovely sunny day. It is due to rain this coming week so we will be all systems go now on the racing front.

Edgcote house - I walk this way every day to check the mares and it is always beautiful no matter what the weather
Doug's new love of his life - 'Toya'  - shipped all the way from Australia and earning her living already

Thursday, 31 January 2019

A beautiful frosty morning - It was -9 last night so the ground is solid. As all the horses are in a good place fitness wise they have all gone out in the field with hay and water. When it is as cold as this you have to be very careful that the horses don't get dehydrated and sometimes I think you can do more harm than good working them when it isn't really necessary. The most important thing is to keep them warm and hydrated and fortunately because most of them live in the barn (apart from Jess and Secret)  the water supply doesn't freeze as their body heat keeps it all going. So, we can get through this as long as it doesn't go on too long!

The boys, Kingsley and Ted enjoying the winter sunshine

Secret Getaway  - Our new purchase

Before it froze Lucy worked her in the menage  - She hasn't done much flat work but will really benefit from it. She is sweet natured and Lucy got her going in a lovely outline (with a little bi of persuasion!)