new year, new challenges

Firstly a huge happy new year to all and an apology from me for not writing a blog in a while, it has been a busy and interesting start to the new year. The incredibly rainy weather is wearing for all and I have never known Adlestrop so wet.

Firstly, a round up of the pointers.
The end of the year saw Exclusive Rights run a good race in a hot conditions contest at Cottenham. It is no secret that she is a frustrating customer but her solid run there means we can now look forward to the spring ground and some suitable opportunities.

Having ran so well at Barbury Castle in December we headed to Larkhill with Western Diva where she ran no race at all – this is Diva all over! Bags of ability but we always have to take the disappointments on the chin with her. The Prince family’s What a Joke ran his normal consistent race to finish fifth in the Novice riders race.

We headed north to Sherriff Hutton with Earcomesbob and Reality Bites, two horses whom I felt could be competitive at this time of year. It rained all morning in Yorkshire and the testing ground didn’t help either. Reality Bites jumped and travelled too well and saved nothing for the end of the race, he pulled up but will show his true colours on better ground. Earcomesbob who has done everything so easily at home was fairly bewildered by the whole day and was incredibly green being his first time out. Although he jumped superbly he struggled to sit in a competitive position throughout and became lonely. I was far from disappointed but it was a long journey all the same.

I guess what we learn from all of the above is that racing is such a leveller- there are so many factors and quite often just getting to the races is an achievement.

The other parts of the yard are all going well, Lutrell Lad made his move to Phillip Hobbs and so far the reports have been positive. Monbeg Charmer (I’m sitting on him contemplating that beautiful morning view in the picture above), who has been a long term resident coming back from a tendon strain, is now cantering and it won’t be long before he goes back into training. A number of the Jamie Snowden holidayers came back into work and some have returned to Jamie in Lambourn whilst a few stay here for a bit of ‘pre-pre-training’. I call it that because it is rare they are in work with us here for longer than a couple of weeks. Jamie is a wonderful supporter of ours and we always enjoy working with and following the horses who have spent time at Fern Farm.

It’s ever-changing here and no day is the same. I love the amazing cross section of horses we have through our hands and keeping up with the movements of them all though it is rewarding can take a lot of organising. My firm belief is that a horse must do what it needs to daily, not just what suits us, so that means very thoughtful planning to make sure the right horse is ridden by the right person and doing the excercise it needs to further it’s potential in the right way. This ethos goes for the pointers in training, the pre- trainers , the breakers and the rehab horses.

None of this can happen without the excellent support of my staff, particularly at this time of year when we are so busy and the winter weather can make life challenging. My head girl Vicky and Rachel are paramount in helping me to plan and in putting ideas out there, they in turn are supported by all the rest of the team and a lot of hard work. So we look forward to better weather and more p2p outings, the next being at Cocklebarrow on Sunday, check the videos on the home page for an update on our runners. In the meantime, here’s to teamwork!

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