Horse welfare is paramount ...

Looking out for a successor

Tuesday, 05 August 2014

"The man who is happy is fulfilling the purpose of existence."

Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Walking back down the grass

It’s warm once again and although rain is forecast, I will believe it once it actually arrives. I think Scotland has had some and Newcastle certainly has, but it hasn’t got very far south or east as yet. On reading the paper this morning there is a hurricane on its way. It is presently in the West Indies and is supposed to be heading our way. First lot went to the Al Bahathri, where the faster work went nearly as planned. Second and third lot will be staying Bury Side doing a couple of canters on the polytracks.

Walking back in the sunshine

Well, I told you about Paul Bittar and that he would be leaving the BHA shortly and it was officially announced yesterday. I hope he has enjoyed taking our £300,000 a year salary, plus bonus’ and then leaving. I would think a job in Hong Kong or the Far East will beckon. Personally I don‘t know why we had an Australian in the first place, as this was always going to happen. This time we need to get somebody to actually stay. Mr Bittar’s predecessor, Nick Coward, only lasted a short time. We need somebody with determination and dedication to our industry and who really understands it. Yes we have got to work with the Bookmakers and we should do, but our industry is being run by the racecourses and the bookmakers who call the shots. The BHA is now going to an independent board and it will be fascinating to see how this all evolves. For the life of me I can’t understand why the BHA chairman, Steve Harman, is getting the leaving chief executive involved in the choice of his successor. We do not want another short term executive. We need somebody who can give us all a clear understanding of where we are going. Please, not another politician type leader, who waffles with words and phrases the normal person cannot understand.

Strings passing on the horsewalk

I see there is concern from the northern jumping boys that Weatherby is going more flat orientated since gaining permission to run a flat meeting there this year. It must be a concern for them but once again the flat courses take less to maintain than the jumping ones, as they have fences and hurdles, plus they are running in the softest grounds and repairs take time. I will say it again, if somebody doesn’t get hold of this sport and control it properly, we will only have racing on the all-weather, a few select flat tracks and very little jumping at all.

Sinead thanking the traffic

A very happy birthday to my hero of the industry, Peter Easterby, who is 85 today. He is the best trainer that you will ever meet, of any class of horse, and a proper man with it. Have a very happy day with all the family.