May days and lucky stars

The end of April came along with some rain which was very welcome. Whilst we all love the sunshine the ground had got so firm and with so many out on their holidays the rain has helped to keep the grass growing. I am so lucky to have the facility to cater for all the holidayers and am very grateful to landlord Chris Leigh for allowing me to provide the grass earlier in the year than normal.

The ‘in work’ horses are all pleasing, Leith Hill Lad is schooling well and cantering again and will be ready to go into training with Richard Bandey as soon as racing resumes, as we now know this maybe in the next couple of months, so fingers crossed. Black Sam’s Silver is progressing well and similarly will head back to Fergal O’Brien. The Toronado two year old gelding is learning each day and is such a lovely boy to deal with.

The two breakers, Baz and Claude are now completed, they are only two years old and their education has come to an end at this stage. They were a pleasure to do, both so different but achieved the basics we expect at this stage with good confidence. Vicky and I enjoy the challenge of getting the best out of the breakers all learning at different paces.

Lady Dulverton’s gorgeous Man in the Moon came back into work last week and I was so happy to be back on him as he is one of my favourites. He is so cheeky and has such a huge personality, sadly we only ran him once last season because he suffered from colic and underwent a big operation. He is very pleased with himself to be back in action and enjoying the work.

The Marriott’s 3 year old Schiaparelli gelding came back last Monday and he has slotted into the routine and hasn’t forgotten anything Sinead taught him last year. Although thoroughbred we are educating him solely as a non racehorse – his dam and relatives have not shone on the racecourse as yet and he is such a gorgeous stamp we feel his future lies in a non-racing career. He will finish this week because due to Covid19 I can’t see there being a market to buy these types for the foreseeable future.

Old habits die hard and as on the track Loose Chips is still proving himself to be the perfect lead horse, though he has let down amazingly and looks like a proper retired little chap now! We love having him around, he is so patient with the youngsters and just does his own thing in the yard, helping himself to breakfast and generally entertaining us all.

Anthea Morshead’s Frontiersman foal, aka Baby Peter, is now two weeks old and is such a cheeky little chap, the ribs are disappearing and he has strengthened up loads, enjoying a couple of hours out in the paddock each day. He’s got quite a following already and we may have to convince Anthea that he needs his own social media accounts soon!

Scented Lily aka Flora arrived home safely from Ireland where she had been to Coolmore to be covered by Getaway, she is a winner over hurdles and is well related so we are very excited to have her back here to now look after her and look forward to her having a foal next spring.

This week the weather has turned back to Baltic and that in itself caused a few extra missions getting the holidayers all rugged back up overnight. Some have called me too soft!.. but my belief is that their holiday time is the preparation for the races they can win later in the season, so I like to provide ‘boutique’ style care and what some might call above and beyond pampering for my holidayers.

We’re rather excited this week as legend Kazuri Kate will head to Batsford Stud to foal, she is due on the 24th and has definitely started to change shape. She’s been in the field basking in the sunshine eating for two with the little Shetland for company, so she’s had a rather lovely time of it. Thinking of her foaling has certainly provoked many emotions- we bought her as a yearling and she has been a superstar to me and her owners. She is loved by so many and baby Kate is eagerly awaited.

We also said goodbye to another superstar as Pacify went back into training with Jamie Snowden. He is such a character on and off the track, we are so honoured to be trusted with horses of his calibre on their holidays and take great pride in ensuring their time here is spent well, I was pleased to see how good he looked when he left.

The yard is eerily quiet at times and we are nearing the end of the summer jobs already, definitely a couple of months early. I have been creosoting like mad – stand still and you get creosoted! We have had lots of new fencing done and continue to work hard to improve facilities and be able to cater for all liveries.

I also continue to thank my lucky stars to have the holidayers here and the horses I do have in work because there is no denying it will keep the cogs turning during these very strange times. My limited team of Vicky and mum Helen have been brilliant the past few weeks and I am so grateful to them for their hard work and commitment. We’ve managed to stay very positive on the whole. The other day I posted that “there’s something about the outside of a horse that is wonderful for the inside of a human”. As I am wandering around on a sunny evening in the beautiful countryside of Adlestrop checking the field horses, I think there can’t have been a truer word spoken. Normality seems a distant memory and and maybe a distant future at present, but long may everyone stay safe and keep healthy.

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