Thursday, 20 May 2021

A tribute to Secret Getaway

These photos are so difficult for me to look at but RIP to the lovely Secret who gave us so much pleasure and who had so much natural talent. She was thoroughly spoiled and wanted for nothing - She loved her jumping and all she wanted to do was race  Who knows how far she could have gone? Sadly, not to be......

Secret's last race...


Monday, 17 May 2021

 I am writing this feeling heart broken. Poor Secret Getaway slipped up when running a fabulous race and broke her front leg. Sadly, nothing could be done to save her. She was in the leading pair and only three fences from home when she slipped on the wet grass - we had just had a shower of rain which wouldn't have helped. Charlie Case was giving her a peach of a ride and she was absolutely loving being in front and jumping beautifully.  She was our horse for the future and we had been so careful with her, bringing her on so gently and doing all the right things with her. Sometimes life really isn't fair......  Thankfully she didn't suffer at all as the vets were there straight away and made sure that she was put to sleep very quickly.  We are still in shock as it all happened so quickly and it was so unexpected. There is nothing worse than going home to the empty stable...

Everyone has been lovely with all the messages of condolences and the gifts of flowers etc. Some people are so kind and it restores your faith in human nature.

Also, on the brighter side two of our past novice riders, Amy Cox and Lucy Burton both rode cracking races with Amy winning the members and Lucy coming second in a very competitive conditions race. It is wonderful to see how much they have both progressed and well done to them both.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

 Ooops! I have been a bit slack with updating my blog. Field Exhibition came fourth in a very hot Ladies Open at Kingston Blount last Sunday. Ella and Flo jumped beautifully and although it was too quick for them both, being the fastest time of the day and setting a track record, they both thoroughly enjoyed themselves, which is what it is all about. 

Tomorrow we are running Top Garry (Last Chance Saloon...) in the restricted and Secret Getaway in the maiden at Edgcote. We have just walked it and it will be testing ground so should suit the fact that both horses stay and like a cut in the ground. 

As we have got to reduce our horse numbers before moving Ella and I have been working on 're-breaking' Squeak who has been in the field for four years having babies - She was too small to put over point to point fences but as she is so nicely bred (by Midnight Legend out of a winning family) she was put in foal and has had two foals, Mary and Bubbles, both of whom are quite smart but not very big so it is sadly time that she is moved on, especially as she is still quite young at eight years of age. We managed to catch her on Friday - bearing in mind that she hasn't been in a stable or had any social contact apart from when we had to chip her foals, which were both born outside with no intervention. I thought she would be as wild as a hawk but Ella got straight on her and took her around the menage - She was as good as gold. We then took her out for a hack with Cloud leading (who hasn't been ridden for a year) and both girls were beautifully behaved. She was ridden again this morning and was still lovely so will have some shoes on next week and start jumping.  Our next somewhat challenging project will be handling her daughter, Mary, who is very sharp so could be quite a challenge... 

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

 It was my Birthday on Friday and as it was such a nice day we decided to head for the beach. The traffic was surprisingly good considering it was a bank holiday and we got there in good time to have a walk, picnic on the beach and bottle of champagne. I even went for a swim, which needless to say was somewhat chilly but compared to the river, not too bad. We then went out for an 'alfresco' bar snack on the way home, still with sand in our feet. A really wonderful day.

Holkham Beach - It's been too long away from the sea.

We also had a great weekend - Ella had a ride on Field Exhibition (Flo) at Dingley Sadly her and Flo had a slight disagreement at a fence and Ella fell off. Up to that point Ella had settled Flo beautifully so it was such a shame as everything was coming together nicely. However, I had every sympathy with Ella as I have lost count how many times I fell off at Dingley!  Ella was fine, thank goodness. Her Mum, Becs had prepared the best picnic ever and it was a lovely treat to join them and watch some good racing. 
We didn't run Secret at Mollington as the ground hadn't softened significantly and as it was a two and a half mile race I didn't want her to be rushed off her feet. The weather was foul so instead we enjoyed watching it on TV by the fire.....

Sunday, 25 April 2021

 We had a great day yesterday at Garthorpe. They had done a really good job with the ground, and although it was quick, it was safe. We decided to run Archie even though we knew it would be too quick for him. Last time he ran he was completely clueless and had no idea he was racing - This time the penny had dropped and he set off at a ridiculous pace and Zac had a job to hold him. It was lovely to see him so keen, but in his excitement he completely forgot to breathe and ground to a sudden halt after a circuit and a half.  It was lovely to see him enjoying himself and we will call it a day now for this season. He has been broken for less that a year and was only jumping poles a few months ago, so to see him jumping the big fences at such speed was very exciting.  He will be hunted next season so that he gets used to having horses around him, and it won't be quite such a big deal.  I am looking forward to next season already!

Archie has learnt so much in such a short time

The racing in general was fantastic and the weather was nice enough to enjoy a drink around the lorry (socially distanced of course!) with people we hadn't seen for a long time.

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

 Another beautiful day but still no rain. I have entered Archie (Daring Dove) for Garthorpe but won't run unless the ground is safe. Steven has just sent me some photos from his visit on Sunday which are much better than mine so here they are - 

Roy Boy and his admirers


Popalong with Jasper (Velvet Steel's two year old)

Monday, 19 April 2021

 Yay! Not only did Secret complete the course but she came third! A great result, and the really pleasing thing was how well she finished her race - It was an uphill finish and she grew a pair of wings, overtaking a number of horses to the finish line. She absolutely loved it and was very reluctant to go back in the box when she saw the horses galloping past for the next race and she tried to go with them.  She had a great day out and showed us a bit of promise. She has shown the boys a thing or two and hopefully they will now follow suit. The course was fantastic and I didn't see a lame horse. They had also moved a fence which caused all the problems last year and there were very few fallers, if any.  A very good job done by the Edgcote team. 

It was a really lovely days racing, particularly because owners were allowed and Roy, Carol and Steve had come to Blackgrounds first for a bottle of bubbles to celebrate being 'allowed out of prison' as Roy put it. We had a little picnic and then went to see Popalong and Popaway in the field whilst Doug also led the very playful Roy Boy around the yard - Popaway has produced some cracking youngsters. We are very lucky.

Roy and Steve with Popaway and Jess

Roy Boy almost a year old

Roy with Roy Boy