Wednesday, 13 November 2019

To say it has been somewhat wet would be an understatement but to be fair we have not had any near as much rain as they have had up North. Our thoughts go out to those affected by the floods, particularly in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

The river at the bottom of our field has broken its banks

Jess and Bea's field - They are now in the barn chomping hay

I have to say that I love it when the river is up like this - A few years ago when it was seriously flooded I rather foolishly decided it would be a good idea to do a bit of 'body surfing' in the white water. I donned my wet suit and got in the rushing water - It was fabulous and I was whizzing along  - I was just thinking what fun it was when I hit the concrete bridge which I had completely forgotten about as the water had completely covered it - It hit my chest (rather hard) and I got sucked under, I then popped up and continued to hurtle down the river for some way until I managed to grab hold of a branch and get out of the current before the next bridge. It was a long walk home in my wet suit and bare feet but seriously good fun - I might add that this should not be tried at home unless accompanied by a responsible adult....
The Harkin Team did a great job at Blackgrounds while we were away. All horses, dogs, chickens and pigs looked extremely well and didn't look as though they had missed us at all.  The horses have now started to do slow canter work on the all weather with a seven mile hack and a lot of trotting up hills in between. Maria, the Spanish dressage rider and ex bull fighter (how glamorous does that sound?!) is getting on very well with the flat work and also comes on the long hacks with us making the horses work really hard. 
We are hoping to run Top Garry and Ted Thistle at Ampton on the 12th January and then Thorpe on the 26th January. Glory Hunter may go to Chaddesley Corbett after Christmas just for a pipe opener as there isn't really a race for him as the restricted is 2.5 miles which won't suit as he is an out and out stayer. Secret Getaway will probably wait until Thorpe.
We are hoping to go to Cheltenham on Friday and have had a rather busy few days since we got back from Japan catching up with work, friends and family. We went to a wonderful 60th Birthday party for Caroline Bailey on Sunday and it was mainly racing people and farmers who attended. Lovely people who I have known most of my adult life. It was a very special occasion. It made us realise what a big thing it is for us to be pushed out of our area by HS2 and how much we will miss all our fabulous friends.
On the point of HS2 we have been given notice to leave Blackgrounds by the 30th January. We were hoping that the scheme would be scrapped but it looks as though it is definitely going ahead now.  What an insane waste of money...