Sunday, 5 April 2020

It seemed really strange yesterday with no Grand National. We watched all the past Nationals on Racing UK and then the Virtual Grand National. It was actually done really well and although nothing like the real thing, was fun to watch and all the proceeds went to the NHS which was a really good idea. It was also really sad not to be at Mollington point to point which is one of my favourites. It seems really strange not to be racing.
Today we went for a long walk from home, trying to avoid all the other people that have suddenly appeared in the area. SO many people around...

Saturday, 28 March 2020

The Coronavirus has now claimed over 1000 lives in the UK and even our Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been tested positive. We are going to be in lock down for at least another three weeks. It is difficult for everyone and my heart goes out to the people who have been affected with their health and also suffering the worry of losing their jobs. I have registered to be a volunteer but I wish I could do more.
On a more positive note it has been lovely riding out without all the traffic, particularly the constant streams of HS2 vans (all of which were brand new)

Velvet Cloud enjoying herself

Doug is still doing a bit of fencing for loyal local customers and pulls me in on occasions to help out which I really enjoy - When the sun is shining...

Fencing on a nice day, nothing better...

We still have six horses in at night time as we are short of grass until it grows, and want the pregnant mares to get as much as possible. If my wonderful followers can think back to just under three years ago, you will remember that we had a nightmare foaling with Velvet Dream, and very nearly lost both her and her foal.  She had been pushing for four hours and the vet and our helpers just could not get the foal out as he was backwards and twisted. We had already decided the foal was dead and it was just a question of trying to save the mare. The vet had decided that the only way to do that was to cut up the foal inside the mare and pull it out bit by bit. I was in total meltdown so thank goodness Sam and Nicola Burton were with us. Sam decided that we would all have one last pull to see if we could dislodge the foal as cutting up the foal also has enormous risks for the mare as the sharp edge of bones can cause haemorrhaging. So, four of us pulled so hard that we dragged Dream out of the stable and across the yard (we weren't being gentle because we knew it was 'last chance saloon' and also thought the foal was already dead) To our enormous relief the foal came out. The mare was lying on the concrete looking dead and so was the foal when Sam noticed a heartbeat. It looked like a lost cause but after chest compressions and mouth to mouth resuscitation, he spluttered and came to life. It was wonderful. Dream, who looked lifeless, heard her foal make a noise and whickered at him and tried to get up. I can still remember the joy of that moment as though it was yesterday. The foal (now named 'Saved By Sam') was really bent and couldn't walk for three weeks. Christina, who worked for us, would burst into tears every time she saw him as she thought he would have to be put down. Well - here he is now  - All 17 hands of him and still growing.. It is hard to believe that he is the grandson of the tiny diminutive Supreme Dream who I had so much fun with racing even though she was only just over 15hh. He is such a lovely personality and I adore him.
Saved By Sam
Sam at three weeks but still very bent



Sunday, 22 March 2020

It has been a beautiful weekend and we are very lucky that we are not confined to an apartment or a house in London. The coronavirus has really taken hold and it is clearly very important not to run the risk of spreading the virus by 'socialising' so Mothers day was a bit different to usual but the flowers that were sent were lovely and it was great just to have a catch up on other things that needed doing and going for long walks with the dogs.
On Friday we put the foals on the walker for the first time. They were pretty 'spirited' especially Popalong, who had a temper tantrum but they ended up quite enjoying themselves. As soon as the grass has grown they will be going out in the paddock.  We are now not really sure how long it will be before we have to move as presumably HS2 will be considerably slowed down by this virus. We will just have to wait and see and hope that this all passes without too many more lives lost.

Popalong - "Just look at me!"

Thursday, 19 March 2020

What on earth is happening??!! Why is everyone buying loo paper?? Has the world gone mad?

Empty shelves where the loo paper normally is

I may not be taking this as seriously as perhaps I should but loo paper - Really??   Dog food and washing powder had also completely run out on my weekly shop. It beggars belief.
We had our last ride yesterday - Typically all the horses felt fantastic and we can convince ourselves that they would have all won had the Oakley been on.. Annoyingly I had just paid for the hunters certificate for Velvet Cloud who is literally bouncing out of her skin. The one good thing is that all  the horses have finished in one piece and will be there for next season. I will still be riding out on my own until their shoes fall off to keep my sanity in these crazy times. No racing or rugby for the foreseeable - AAAARGH!

Monday, 16 March 2020

We had a fabulous few days at Cheltenham. Top class racing and good fun people, finished off with wonderful evening meals in the Cotswolds discussing the days winners/losers with fellow racing enthusiasts. I just love it but appreciate that we were lucky it went ahead due to the corona virus. Sadly it looks as though the Oakley has been called off for this reason. Just when it looks as though the ground is improving and the horses are flying - Grrrr!  Still, it is much worse for the yards where they are running the horses as a proper business as this could finish them. There is very little money in the job anyway so my thoughts are with them.

The Gold Cup winner - Al BoumPhoto


Sunday, 8 March 2020

Smoking Pidgeon won!! SO proud of him. He has been knocking on the door for his last two races but just needed to get his jumping sorted out, which he clearly has now.  Velvet Dove will be looking down with pride. He is very much like she was, right down to his quirky behaviour in the paddock. 

Smoking Pidgeon - A very clever boy

That was yesterday - Today we had a lovely lazy day. We did the horses and then watched racing and rugby. Great to see Scotland win against France. They have been rather unlucky in their past games so it was good to see them finish with a win against a side that was previously unbeaten.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Guilsborough is off because of the sodden ground and although we are entered for Didmarton there are 46 entries for Secret's race and although they will split it the last thing we want is for her to be in a very competitive 16-18 runner maiden. Also we are out to supper that evening and wouldn't get back in time as she is in the last race. So, very disappointing that another weekend is going by with no racing. Thank goodness we haven't got impatient owners giving us grief... Yesterday we schooled Top Garry with Sam Lee on board and Secret Getaway with Lucy. We were hoping that Garry had got over his pulled muscle but he was sore afterwards so we have decided to call it a day with him this season. He is such a lovely horse and still hasn't grown into his frame so it won't be a bad thing for him to have another year to fill out. Secret Getaway jumped like a buck though and we are delighted with her as she had to jump the big fences on her own.