Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Great Grandpa Barr with little Hector
My lovely Dad who has just had his 87th Birthday with one of his five Grandchildren.

Very good news from Zimbabwe - We have had contact with Doug Bruce who we stayed with in Harare and he said that the country had gone wild with joy. He is hugely relieved that Mugabe has at last resigned and very much hopes that things will improve with Mnangagwa. There is obviously the concerns that he is almost as bad, but at least there is an upcoming election where there is a chance that the opposition party might get in and make a real change to the country.  It would be good if they could freeze Mugabe's assets and give the stolen land back to the farmers. Not much chance of that but you can only hope.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Beautiful autumn colours
Cheltenham yesterday
Our drive.

We chose the right day to go to Cheltenham, as it poured with rain today. Fabulous racing and great atmosphere. It really is the home of racing. We went to the sale afterwards and the prices were very healthy(!) All good for the industry as it is great to see breeders and trainers getting a reward for their hard work,
The horses at home didn't look quite as good when we got back, but having said that they are all going well and we are still hoping to run a couple at Barbury. Budge is definitely going to give Scott his first ride, although annoyingly there isn't a restricted race so he will have to go in a higher grade race than we would have liked. Paddy still hasn't got his riders licence sorted out because of problems with his medical but hopefully it will be sorted out before Cottenham.
The news from Zimbabwe is optimistic, with Mugabe being under house arrest although personally I think that there is so much embedded corruption within the country that the Vice President probably isn't much better. Mugabe is such a stubborn man and has such huge stolen wealth that he still has a certain amount of of power and influence. Personally I think if they were really serious to get rid of him they should have dispatched both him and his dreadful wife, Grace. Just as he would have done in the same situation. At least it is a step in the right direction. Fingers crossed......

Monday, 13 November 2017

Hunting Saturday and Sunday
First time out for Babbiloora and for Premier Gold, with Jess as 'Nanny'

Farmers Bloodhounds for Budge and Murphy (Glory Hunter)

Glory Hunter's first time hunting

 We are making the most of having jockeys who are brave and who love hunting - Paddy and Scott did a fabulous job of taking the youngsters out hunting for the first time and everyone had a great time. Some of the jumping over the post and rails were a bit 'hairy' but no one fell of and the horses loved it.

Monday, 6 November 2017


All horses behaved themselves jumping in the menage

Glory Hunter and Babiloora about to 'strut their stuff'

Perfect weather

Popaway - Full of enthusiasm, as usual
The hardworking team relaxing after the event.
The owners morning went really well yesterday - All the horses apart from Ledge, the three year old jumped in the menage and they all were perfectly behaved, thank goodness. We were SO lucky with the weather as it rained the day before and was frozen today, so we wouldn't have been able to use the menage, which would have been tricky as we didn't have enough jockeys to take them all up the gallops.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

We are very excited as we have got a really nice new horse in the yard. His name is Top Garry. He is four years old and 16.3 hands. Stuart Edmunds told us about him. He had run on Tuesday in a bumper and because he wasn't placed the owners wanted a quick sale. We weren't looking to buy another horse as we have got too many but when we saw him it was a 'No Brainer' . We couldn't believe how much he looked like a younger and more athletic version of Doctor Kingsley. We picked him up yesterday and jumped him in the menage today - His very first time over hurdles and he just floated. 

We are busy getting organised for our little owners morning tomorrow. We have had the rain this morning so fingers crossed it will be a lovely day and the horses will all behave themselves.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The horses are all going really well - We have been using the big grass field for our slow canter work, with the kind permission of Bill Adams, and it has plenty of grass cover and is beautiful going at present. Paddy and Alice have been in Ireland for the christening of little William so we have been really short staffed. We have managed with just Scott and doing 4-5 lots each - Doug rode Jess and Lily around the grass field yesterday and he definitely needed oxygen when he finished but then we treated ourselves to a hot tub and supper at Fawsley Hall in the evening.... Bliss!
They are back now and Scott and Paddy schooled the horses in the menage today in preparation for our owners morning on Sunday. All are welcome, just give me a ring on 07970770236. Since the Yogi session both boys have improved out of sight and it is a real pleasure to watch their progress.

Exclusive Rights (Scruffy) with Scott and Flemensmix (Kym) with Paddy

Paddy on Velvet Cloud and Scott on Velvet Steel (Tik)

Glory Hunter (Murphy) with Scott and Babbiloora (Pasta) with Paddy

Annoying, my IPad run out of storage so I was unable to film Popaway, who was awesome, and also our recently broken in youngster, by Midnight Legend, out of Velvet Dove who was also pretty impressive as it was only his second time over the jumps. While we were away Paddy and Scott broke in the three Velvet Dove youngsters. We left them with three wild looking beasts that had just come out of the field, with tails touching the floor, totally untouched and we came back three weeks later to these beautifully broken in youngsters that were happily hacking around the farm. The two and one year old have been turned back out and we kept the three year old Midnight Legend going. He is loving his work and is just like his Mum, possibly even tougher. We will see how he goes and maybe give him an educational run later on in the season if he is still going well. 
I am excitedly waiting for my planner which has been ordered and should arrive today - It won't be long now before we are back in that point to point field shaking with nerves/cold and wondering why on earth we are doing this!

Monday, 16 October 2017

We went with the Farmers Bloodhounds yesterday and Scott and Paddy had a great time on Budge and Jess. It was lovely to see Budge really enjoying himself, as he is such a nervy character, and as the day went on his confidence grew and grew over the fences.
We then had an early start this morning with a session with Yogi Briesner in the indoor school. Paddy was on Popaway and Scott was on Flemensmix (Kym) Kym has only ever hurdled before but he makes a nice shape and will be fine over fences and now that Popaway is getting older it is good for her to get the jumping muscles going. She was still as enthusiastic as ever.

Yogi was really impressed with our novice riders, Paddy and Scott who are coming on really well.