Whilst our main focus is always horses horses horses, July brings summer jobs and that means lots of cleaning, strimming and painting! Most of our holidayers are out full time, the pointers are of course on holiday too and we have been mostly busy with lots of youngsters at various stages of learning and pre-trainers who are back in work.
July started with a spell of very hot weather. Apart from the usual challenges of constant changing of rugs, flies and hard ground for hacking, we are very fortunate to have the gallops and the school to keep on working and plenty of safe routes for roadwork. We’ve been able to do lots of satisfying jobs around the farm while everyone is out in the fields. All our boxes have been re-painted (well done team!) and we have installed some fabulous new rubber matting which will make our lives a lot easier and our residents hopefully more comfortable. We’ve also had some new fencing done to create smaller secure paddocks near to the yard for daily turnout. It looks like autumn has arrived rather early this last week, but the rain is welcome as ever from the grass growing point of view.
When the holidayers are out this by no means results in less work. There is a lot of travelling around, moving horses, feeding and doing health checks. We’ve topped the pasture which has meant lovely tidy fields but also a lot of swapping around which can become a bit like a big puzzle to solve crossed with some inventive thinking re catching and herding horses who are more concerned with keeping their heads down and having a good time! Lots of the holidayers have gone back into training over the last few weeks and we look forward to seeing them out on the track with plenty of fuel in the tank.
The youngsters all continue to do well. We had some new arrivals including one of Apple Days‘ offspring, owned and bred by Fran and Christopher Marriott, a 2 year old filly by Jack Hobbs who is has been backed and doing her early learning. We also have a lovely 3 year old Kalanisi filly, a Schiaparelli 4 year old and a Kayf Tara 3 year old owned by Jo and Richard Mann. Shuil Diva has been sweet to do and will head to Doncaster sales next week, we backed Nevada Smith as a 2 year old last year and he is here for the next part of his schooling and Perlan Star who also continues her education. The baby residents Rolo (the Scented Lily foal by Getaway) and Ronnie Russet are thriving, I’m really pleased that Ronnie is now owned by the owner of Mr Scrumpy, keeping things nicely in the Apple family! The yearling boys are all looking no longer like yearlings and we are already getting excited about getting started with them – remember naughty little Peter and Bertie? – see them pictured above, big boys now and always hungry.
Other horses currently in pre-training are Milanese Rose owned by Jonahan Whymark, Glimpse of Gala owned by Fran and Christopher Marriott, Noble Savage owned by Charles Walker, Maninsane owned by the Barrels of Courage partnership, Emmarelli owned by Emma Stewart and Missfit, a Kalanisi 4 year old and lovely prospect owned by Heart Racing. Luttrell Lad, owned by the Owners for Owners syndicate, went back into training with Philip Hobbs after his holiday earlier this month. I’m definitely excited to see how he does as there is an exciting plan for his future season, no pressure Gino!
On the track we were delighted to see one of our favourite holidayers/pretrainers Div ine Tara come 2nd at Newton Abbot a couple of weeks ago, improving well on her previous run at Ludlow. Very rewarding as this gorgeous mare has taken lots of time to get there for her lovely patient owners Karen Exall and Greg Molen and Fergal O’Brien has done a great job with her. Two other really pleasing results were Ballymilan notching up her first win at Southwell, not one of ours but also belonging to Heart Racing run by friend of the yard Becky Bailey, all credit to Neil Mullholland and Sam Twiston-Davies for a great run. Franz Klammer must also get a mention!…well what can we say, another one bred by Fran and Christopher Marriott and trained by our friend Peter Pritchard, he is now the Stratford course specialist having come 3rd and then won his last 3 races there – brillant to see.
Our gorgeous RoR boy Gino Trail continues to try out in his competitions. We took him to Honington Show for a “Racehorse to Riding Horse” class where he was well on his toes, fully wanting to race and I had a job to do just to keep him in the ring! We then progressed to Inkberrow to an RoR class where he decided to behave and we were very proud for his devoted owner Jan Smith as he came in 1st place. Gino won 8 of his 27 runs during his illustrious racing career, but he was still pretty pleased with his red rossette!