It’s been a good month in the yard, I am happy to report things are busier and with the recent clock change there is raised excitment and increased workload in terms of winter activities.
It really pleases me when I have a yard full of horses and there are just a few empty stables at the moment which is very encouraging in what has been a strange quiet time these recent months. The box of chocolates theme continues with a lovely mix of residents – pointers in training, racehorses on rehab or a break, non-thoroughbreds for schooling, hunter liveries, babies in for breaking and retired racehorses for rehoming.
We started the month with some goodbyes as horses went from pre-training back to big school. It was very pleasing to hear good reports of Sir Bertie who went to David Bridgwater. A particular yard favourite, especially with Vicky, he left rather a gap being such a character and I hope he can provide owners David and Sheila Spearing with some fun. I’ve been back in the pen which is my happy place with some new babies to break in. All have their quirks and different personalities and it’s lovely to see them gaining in confidence, they’re all doing really well.
We’ve had lots of laughs and rewards with schooling the ex racers and I was delighted to see four more of them go to happy new homes this month. It’s been very rewarding to do and I’m really enjoying meeting new people and making the perfect match. I’ve had so much lovely feedback from the new owners and we really appreciate them taking the time to do us some very humbling testimonials, now featured on our rehoming page. It really does make it all worthwhile to hear and see how they are getting on in their new lives and how happy their new owners are. The picture above features Marvellous Marvel who we were so fond of. He’s gone to his lovely new home in Devon with Tanya and family and I think the picture really shows what wonderful companions some of these gorgeous thoroughbreds can be with the right guidance and some loving care.
We’ve enjoyed seeing many Fern Farm friends out on the track this month. with some exciting results. I was thrilled for Team Snowden and Monbeg Theatre, back to the number one spot at Hereford for this legend who has spent two holidays with us and some spells of pre-training. I was also pleased for Page Fuller who has such a great partnership with him. It was also lovely to see Mr Scrumpy win at Wetherby. As anyone who knows me is aware the ‘Apple Line’ is very close to my heart and especially at the moment this result meant a lot to me as my broodmare Rosemary Russet is in foal with Mr Scrumpy’s niece or nephew, so hopefully she is cooking another winner! We recently had a visit from Mr Scrumpy’s owners to see Rosemary, it’s really nice to make these new connections through the horse family.
I was really pleased to see Maid O’Malley come third in her chase debut at Hexham and to read some very encouraging race reports. She was one of my most rewarding horses as a trainer being my one and only first time out winner in her maiden back in March 2019. Another delight was to see Sandymount Rose run so well to come second in a field of fourteen in her seasonal debut at Stratford last week. I’ve now named her Reliable Rose as she has finished second on her last four starts and to me is everything you dream of having in a racehorse – tough and genuine. I was delighted for Neil Mulholland and owner and good friend of the yard Jonathan Whymark.
A highlight this month was to be back pointing last weekend in Devon. The preparations had all gone well, including kicking off the month with an away day in Lambourn for Reality Bites and Western Diva where we had a beautiful sunny autumn morning for schooling and galloping. The weather in Devon on the day however was challenging to say the least and the team were slightly apprehensive as to how it would all work out with the new restricitions. I have to say that East Devon did a brilliant job in making everything safe and run smoothly. It was a different experience not having our usual glass of fizz with my owners at the lorry, but I hear the Hardwick Happy Club enjoyed their day out. Diva just didn’t like the ground, by the time we raced it was an absolute bog and I pulled her up three out to conserve her energy. Reggie travelled and jumped really well under Will Thirlby and we were really pleased with his fifth place considering the conditions. The other pointers are all going well in training and we hope to run Reality Bites again, plus Earcomesbob and Bold Red next weekend at Chaddesley Corbett.
As I write this we face more uncertainty in the future and who knows what the next few months will hold. There are always silver linings to be found however and College Oak has just won well under Page Fuller for her first winner at Ascot. We love having ‘Norris’ here for his holidays and well done to Team Snowden. It’s lovely to see our former residents out there, above all having fun and coming home safe, but when they do well to think that hopefully we have played a small part in their success.