springtime is the right time

There hasn’t been a blog for a while as we’ve just been too busy with horses which I am very pleased to report.

We’ve had a lovely varied few months with many of the holidayers, including some legends, returning, some RoR competiton outings, pre-trainers, schoolers and point to point runners. There’s been plenty of mud but also gorgeous spring sunshine too, giving us some awesome skies in the early mornings on the gallops, always the best view from between the ears. We also welcomed some new spring arrivals in the shape of gorgeous new colt foals for Scented Lily and my broodmare Rosemary Russett, by Getaway and Passing Glance. They are now back with us at Fern Farm, pictured above, and thank you to Batsford Stud as always to looking after everyone so well. Another new member of the family arrived called Rufus, my new border puppy who is a right little dude and has settled into yard life no problem. One for the future also as we’ve just had a confirmed preganancy for Exclusive Rights, aka Scruffy. Hopefully another healthy Passing Glance foal to look forward to next year. Last but not least we got to meet baby Stanley, a beautiful bouncing human boy for our very own Becca and her husband Sam. Big congratulations to them all and he really is gorgeous.

It’s the time of year for youngsters and we’ve had some yard favourites back for the next part of their education and plenty of breakers to do which is always one of my favourite jobs. We’ve had some interesting ones to do this year so far, including jump and flat-breds and some that are just for backing and will head to the Doncaster sales in August. It’s so rewarding to see them all at different stages and they’ve all progressed well, particularly the older 3/4 year olds who are now in work. At the other end of the scale we’ve re-homed another six ex-racers since the beginning of April, including Capital Force, A Vos Gardes and The Jitterbug. We’ve also had some lovely updates and pictures from our RoR’s in their new careers, always lovely to see. Our RoR resident Gino Trail has had his first competition outing to novice’s dressage at Waverton, he was pretty calm and well behaved and it’s all a big learning curve for him.

It’s been lovely to welcome visitors again to the yard. We love to see owners and be able to give them a live update on their horses, this has been a challenge during COVID and it’s good to get back to a bit of normality. Last month we had another visit from Go Racing Green, always a pleasure to see Debbie and some old and new friends. Foxtrot Racing syndicate members also came to visit Hogan’s Height and Anythingforlove. Thank you to Dan Abraham for organising the visit and to Jamie Snowden for coming along too. It’s an honour to have these superstars on their holidays and a good excuse to crack open some fizz to celebrate their impressive seasons and to toast future campaigns.

On the track there have been some other very rewarding results for the yard. Leith Hill Lad won at Uttoexeter at the start of May, it’s been a long way back to the number one spot for him and I was so pleased for Neil and Jane Maltby who are great supporters of mine and to my friend Richard Bandey who trains him. Sandymount Rose won easily on her chase debut at Warwick, we were so delighted for this black type mare and for our friend Jonathan Whymark who owns her, a great job by Neil Mullholland and she is now back with us for a well-deserved holiday.

There’s been some good days out pointing and it’s been great to finally get back to it. We took Braavos to Mollington and Garthorpe for Mike Dawson. The first time out to Garthorpe he jumped well to come 6th in the Novice’s under Natalya Irvine, the second improving by one place under Charlie Sprake. He’s a gorgeous horse and one of my favourites to ride in training. A big change for me at the end of April was my retirement from race riding. I will miss it hugely, but it it was the right time to hang up the boots. I had a fantastic weekend of riding for my last weekend and have been blessed with so many good horses and wonderful owners over the years and have so many happy memories. People ask me what I will do now I’ve retired, the answer is everything I do day to day anyway without the luxury of a day off racing at the end of the week! I’m looking forward to focussing entirely on the business, continuing to train my pointers and to watching the racing in future from trackside or sofa. I was happy to be asked to co-present at Chaddesley Corbett for the livestream a few weeks ago where we were blessed with some good racing and fine weather, really fun to do so am always open to new challenges!

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