Sunday, 21 October 2018

The weather has been absolutely stunning, so much so that I swam in the river today - I can't believe that the clocks are due to go back next weekend and yet it is warm enough to sunbathe and swim - Crazy British weather!
The shepherd huts are still busy and the glamping site has been booked up every weekend until now. It has been a great season.
All the horses are now in at nights and on full food. Pasta has been 'off games' for the last three weeks as she has had a bad case of cellulitis - It started with a slightly swollen hock and then her whole leg became huge and hot and she was hopping lame. At one stage it looked as though the hock was infected which can be very serious. Thanks to Walnut hill vets ( Lotty, Lily and Bridget)  as well as Lucy and Jane Burton who spent a lot of time hosing and walking her.  She is now completely sound and I rode her for the first time on Friday - A huge relief as we have been taking our time with her as we think she is quite special and was one of my big hopes for the season. Kingsley is also completely recovered from his sore feet so we are all fit and ready to go. Happy days....


Monday, 15 October 2018

Doug spent the day yesterday commentating for the Pytchley Team Chase - Because we had so much rain the night before the ground had softened nicely and it was incredibly successful with hundreds of horses going around.  A long day for Doug...
I, on the other hand had a lovely day celebrating by Dad's 88th Birthday with my sister, Rose and brother, Peter.
My lovely Dad who seems to get younger and younger

Rose and Peter my long suffering siblings!


Sunday, 14 October 2018

We have just returned from a wonderful week in the Lake District - We stayed in a lovely cottage in the foothills of Helvellyn and the weather was very nearly perfect until Friday when we were on our way back. It was a lovely time of the year to go as the colours were stunning and there were very few tourists. It was even warm enough (just) to have a swim in Ullswater.
Tatty and Poppy trying to take a break on the way up to Glenridding Dodd with Jack still full of enthusiasm
The fells on the way to Buttermere - High Snockrigg and Robinson Fells

Doug and Jack overlooking Ullswater on the way from Howtown to Patterdale

Ullswater - One of my favourite places to swim.

View from our bedroom window

We made it to the top of Blencathra - 2.848 feet and nearly got blown off!
We came back to find that Lucy Burton had done a brilliant job looking after things at Blackgrounds. The horses are still being trained from the field as it is so mild and with the help of Sarah and Ben riding out and her Mum, Jane in the yard they did a fabulous job.
She even took Ted Thistle hunting as coming from Ireland and a bigger yard he has been a bit quiet and bored with his work - Well - That seriously lit him up!!  He LOVED it and Lucy is still recovering!
Ted Thistle before he got going...….

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Kingsley on the mend
We didn't parade Kingsley at the open day as his first set of shoes for the season were a little too tight and he was hopping lame - he is now very much on the mend. He is 17 hands and only 5years old and has some filling out to do but he is a lovely project for the future.

Monday, 1 October 2018

As it is October 1st which is the date you have to pay the stud fees (no foal no fee) All five mares were scanned and they are all in foal!!  Popaway, Velvet Steel, Burrows Spring, Velvet Dove and Velvet Dream.  Very exciting. We are going to be busy next spring...………...

Sunday, 30 September 2018

We had our open day yesterday and the sun shone on us - Lots of lovely people who all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves as they were reluctant to go home! The horses looked amazing and totally down to Lucy Burton with the help of her Mum, Jane. Claire and Ben were also a huge help.

Babbiloora - Velvet Dove's 6 year old filly by Pasternak. She was second last time out and we have high hopes for her this season

Glory Hunter - An Intermediate horse. Novice ridden and unlucky not to have won more races

Velvet Cloud - Tiny but a heart of a lion. Will be kept for novice rider.
Top Garry. Five year old. He won his maiden first time out and is set for a great season.

Don't Budge Me - leased by Clare Angus and is going to give her the first win!
Ted Thistle He came second in a hot Irish point to point. Huge potential.

The wonderfully genuine We Never Give Up - She is being leased by Lucy Burton for her first ride

Unnamed (and for sale!) 4 year old by Midnight Legend out of Velvet Dove

Unnamed 3 year old by Pasternak out of Velvet Dove


The incredible Popaway  - 20 wins including three at Cheltenham

The infamous Doctor Kingsley - 17 wins including three at Cheltenham

Popaway and Doctor Kingsley - 37 wins between them including six at Cheltenham,

The very knowledgeable crowd.. Looking forward to their beef roll and 'refreshments'....


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Black Valentine was ridden out by Lucy for the first time yesterday and was such a good boy we decided to take him cubbing this morning - Will Biddick had said that as he has been in a big yard he would appreciate a bit of sweetening up so him, Jake (who had his first set of shoes on yesterday and Jess went up the road to West Farndon to introduce him to hounds. He was an absolute saint and really loved the different experience. Doug and I came back after an hour but Lucy stayed behind and had some fun on Jess "the legend"