Horse welfare is paramount ...

Get well soon Carol

Monday, 22 September 2014

"For every person who atones, a hundred others find regret sufficient."

Robert Brault.

Walking through the woods

It’s a dry, still morning, with a very pleasant temperature, so perfect for everybody. We have been out cantering on Bury Side and all has gone well and everybody is in good humour. The forecast looks to be pretty set fair all week, with very little rain and most of the courses are still on the good to firm side. I have declared a couple for Redcar on Wednesday but it is in the hope that they do get a bit of rain overnight on Tuesday.

Swilken (Ali) and Humphry Repton (Farhan)

The big talking point over the weekend was the pictures that the Daily Mirror had put on their front page, of Wigmore Hall being put down after breaking his leg very badly at Doncaster. Two things spring to mind for me and after reading everybody’s opinion in the Racing Post on Sunday and listening to Channel 4, we are all in agreement that the vet acted very quickly in the interest of the horse and that our welfare is the best in any animal world. I have  two points I wish to make. One, why didn’t Doncaster have screens that go completely round the horse? which I would have thought was pure commonsense and should be a rule. I know time is of the essence in these cases, but why didn’t they have enough screens to do this? And two, it is beyond my comprehension why the vet had to shoot the horse with a gun, when nowadays, and it has happened to me on several occasions, with broken legs as well, when an injection is given. This, to the general public or anybody that has to do with animals, is not as upsetting as the way it was done. The BHA should look into these points, which I am sure they will do, but it is another avoidable incident which should never have hit the headlines.


There was a great piece in Richard Hughes’ column in the Racing Post, about the length of grass at Yarmouth and how he was delighted to see it. Well, how long have I been going on about this and how good the grounds men are at Yarmouth? It didn’t matter to Richard Hughes, the bumps and ridges, he just loved the length of grass and ground, so why they are digging it up is a mystery and it might never get back to what it is now. But returning to the length of grass, clerk of the courses seem to be obsessed with having tracks like a bowling green, which doesn’t do anybody, either the course, horse or the professionals any good at all. Will they now listen to Richard Hughes and let grass grow long? I doubt it, as most of them don’t know what they are doing and don’t seem to care. The course at Ayr at the weekend had an unbelievable draw bias on it, with the high numbers holding sway by a big margin. How well and how unlucky those horses were to be drawn low that did manage to run with some credit. The clerks have got to take some notice, and some responsibility for the problem. It must be a level playing field, especially on a straight course, as  it’s so expensive for the horses and connections to get there.

Even the horses smile for the camera

Carol, our housekeeper and great friend for many years, has just had an operation. Everybody sends her their very best wishes for a quick and speedy recovery. She has been with us for years and is part of the family. She is one of those very dependable and kind people, that is always in the background and does so much unseen work, which helps the smooth running of the business. We thank her for all that and hope she is up and recovering in the very near future.