An every day account of a small racing yard and the highs and lows....
Monday, 4 November 2013
Spud having a riding lesson on Flash
More rescued chooks
On Saturday I was on a 'rescuing' mission... I had decided that as Dad was now on his own and had made a few noises about wanting a dog, I would go to the rescue centre and find a nice pooch to give a wonderful new life to..... I turned up to the Dog Trust near Coventry and was astonished at the obvious wealth and opulence of the doggy charity, there was fleets of Dog Trust vans parked outside the brand new glass fronted building and a huge tropical plant reception full of prospective 'parents' filling in forms. I reluctantly had to do the same before I was allowed to set foot near the precious pooches and then when I thought i had spotted a sweet little bitch Jack Russell called Ivy, who I thought would be a lovely companion for Dad I asked if I could get to see her properly rather than through a reinforced glass front. I explained that I was looking on behalf of my father who was in his eighties and I wanted to short list a few before dragging him around to select his favourite. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to be shot at dawn when they found out that I had filled in the form on behalf of someone else - They were indignantly outraged and refused point blank to allow me to get any closer to Ivy or any other of their cherished inmates, who probably no more than two days ago had been roaming the streets. Honestly, it was pathetic. If I had been wanting to adopt an older non white child I doubt there would have been as much red tape involved. Needless to say I walked out and gave up on the dog mission. Poor Ivy. I then went on to my next crusade which was picking up seven ex battery hens. No red tape involved here thank goodness and I went one batty step further and bought colour coded rings for their legs so that I could recognise each hen. I have had ex battery chooks before and I have to say they are immensely rewarding and such fun to watch. However, I don't think Doug will agree after their first night in residence when at 3 am in the morning I awoke to a dreadful sound of what sounded like a chicken being eaten by a fox. I threw open the window and saw a fox in the gloom with a chicken it its mouth - The fox took fright and dropped its prey and disappeared into the night. By this time the whole household had woken up - Doug, myself (both butt naked) and four dogs dashed into the rainy night to see if we could find the stricken chook, no sign and soon Doug gave up - fifteen minutes later I was about to do the same when this bald flesh coloured hen (with a purple ring on its leg!!) came literally rushing up to me like something out of a road runner cartoon - She must have thought my torchlight was a safe zone but then when I tried to catch her she dodged me and I had to do a rugby tackle in the rose garden to commandeer her and return her to the safety of her roost. I have no idea how she came to be out in the first place but she is a very lucky chook indeed.....
Pauline has been race riding her own horses in point to points for 15 years and is now training with Doug. Pauline has recently got her trainers permit. They are both passionate about National Hunt racing and achieving maximum potential from their horses in the best possible way. This is why ‘Equine Fitness’ is a very exciting new business for them.
In 2006 Doug eventually plucked up the courage (it only took 7 years!) to propose to Pauline whilst they were on holiday in the Maldives and they married in the Lake District in June 2007.