It has been a very full week - the meeting on Tuesday went really well - we had to sign a confidentiality agreement so we can't say too much at this stage, but basically they have done an amazing job with the software for our heart monitors and they want us to be partners with them. They are a worldwide company with a very good IT section. It was particularly impressive how they have made the software so user friendly and meaningful in a very practical way - using a heart monitor is all very well but you have to know how to interpret the data, and they have come up with what seems to be the perfect solution. They are launching the product at the beginning of next year and have done an enormous amount of work to get it this far. All very exciting and will be great for the industry.
I have just heard on the news that the jockeys are going on strike because of the new whip regulations brought in by the BHA. I must admit I don't really understand their problem - the rules that were there before were broken so many times that something had to be done, and now it is black and white - as long as they can count to eight, which is the maximum amount of times they are allowed to hit the horse, then they should be OK. The other option is to ban the whip altogether which they would like even less. Hopefully the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and the British Horseracing Association (BHA) will sort it out before it gets out of hand and shows the industry up in a very bad light.
The weather has been absolutely perfect these last few days, with the only downside being that the ground is very hard due to the lack of rain. It makes us realise how lucky we are to have such superb facilities and we have started steady cantering the horses on the all weather flat track which they seem to really enjoy - after the canter work we have to walk past some apple trees where we always stop for the horses to help themselves - some find it easier than others to grab an apple from the tree - it's a bit like Halloween apple bobbing - Paddy is the champion at the moment with Doris a close second. They have all worked really hard this week and we are delighted with them. Will's hamstring is not getting better so he has had a few days off, but we have had Emma in for a couple of days and Lucy was in today - a very happy team and happy horses (until it gets cold and wet!!)
We have a busy week-end to look forward to with a wedding tomorrow in London and then the Pytchley team chase on Sunday where we are running the bar which is always good fun.
In between doing horses and going to the wedding we will be watching the rugby - I have to admit to not being the biggest fan of Wales and Welsh rugby in the past but I will be supporting them tomorrow - they have been playing brilliant, committed rugby and deserve to be in the semi final, unlike England who just didn't want it enough. Very disappointing. Doug and I were lucky enough to be at the World Cup Final in 2003 when England won with a breathtaking drop goal from Johnny Wilkinson in the last 26 seconds of the game. It was a game I will never forget for the intensity and passion from the players - an amazing experience, but it makes you wonder whether we will ever see that sort of play again.