A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

Merry Christmas to you all

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

"Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends."


"Tis the season to be jolly" by CLU

Everybody from Exeter Ride and Dullingham Park wish all our owners, friends and readers a very merry Christmas and a successful New Year. I want to say a big thank you to all my owners for your support which is greatly appreciated. You have all been brilliant while we have been moving about and settling into the new yard, and with planning permission now gained, hopefully we can start stage two early in 2015.

It looks to me at this early stage that the intake of new yearlings is very exciting with, for once, some sharper types amongst them. That, aligned with the older ones who have progressed during the year, gives everybody something to really look forward to in the New Year.
The Indoor Ride is such an asset with the young horses as you can do everything with them under cover in a controlled environment, and they take to it like a duck to water. Below are pictures of yearlings in the Ride and  going out happily and relaxed.



This year's horses for sale are a s good as we have ever had with a cross section to suit every pocket. We have had great success in the past with a classic winner and numerous group race successes. I am looking forward to getting Exeter Ride and my owners back into the big time.

Comrade Bond looking for a polo from Mick Legood a longtime syndicate owner

Our sydicates continue to give all the partners plenty of excitement and days out. They are brilliantly run by Jenko who somehow finds time to not only run our Raceworld horses but to deliver meals on wheels, help at the Newmarket Day Centre, and run his village almost single handed. He still has time to go to the gym and play golf. If anybody deserves a medal it is Jenko. We have two new horses for the partnerships in 2015, one by Champs Elysees and a Sir Percy. Both are cracking fillies and I would be delighted to show them to you early in the year. So many of our members have been with us for years and have made many friends.

Above is a picture of Jenko at the new gym in the Racing Centre. I am one of the trustees of the Racing Centre (the old Astley Club), and we have completely rebuilt it this year with donations from so many high profile racing charities. It has been completed on time and on budget. We have now a modern up to date gym called "Racefit" and that works in conjunction with the physio room alongside. We have the Stable Lads' Association, Racing Welfare and the vicar all with offices in the building and it is becoming a one-stop place for any stable or stud staff to use. That along with the bar, hall, snooker room and computer room makes it a fantastic facility for all of Newmarket. All the trustees are very thrilled with the centre and in Matt Mancini the director it is in very good hands. 

The Christmas tree and the clocktower in Newmarket

Our Christmas card this year was as usual drawn and painted by Clare. We are so fortunate to have her talent at our disposal and thank her for such a fun card.

This year once again Angie and I have taken great delight in seeing our grandchildren grow up even further. Jack, who is now ten, has been taking part in many swimming galas for the Amersham Swimming Club and has been bringing the results home on a regular basis. I am looking forward to the next Olympics! James, who is eight, is a budding Joe Hart and plays in goal for the Sarrat Rebels. I managed to watch him again this year and he is completely fearless when diving at the strikers' feet. He has saved them on many occasions and has often been man of the match. If only he would support Sheffield Wednesday. Clare's daughter, Mimi, is a delight and the highlight of our year with her was visiting Pepper Pig World, where we had a day together never to be forgotten. She is pretty bright and remembers all the horses names especially her favourite, Optimistic, who comes straight over to her when she visits. They will grow up quickly but are giving us so much pleasure - and you can give them back!


 The Heath at Newmarket continues to allow everybody the best possible chance of training winners. It is constantly being improved and there are several new plans to be put into place next year. I was hoping for a Newmarket all-weather track, which I hope will come sometime in the future as it will certainly help with the travelling costs and all the yards would keep full during the winter. With the rise from the ashes of Great Leighs, we now have the new Chelmsford City Racecourse. It is only forty minutes away and the promise of above average prize money will be very welcome from all quarters. We hope to have several runners there as soon as it opens in mid January.

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                         Lapwings at rest                                                 And in full flight

I thought you might like to see pictures above of the migrating birds which have gathered at Newmarket before flying south. It has always happened and since I have been in Newmarket these last 40 years I absolutely love seeing them. In fact somebody spotted me creeping up on them to take the photos - apparently it was like grandmother's footsteps as I got nearer.

Brightly shone the moon that night

.... crisp and even

The foaling season is nearly upon us with the first mares due to foal in late January, and then we shall be going right the way through to May. It always a hectic time but the team work very well together. We have a rota for the boys to sit up with the mares, with David in charge at every foaling and our vet, Rob Dallas of Rossdales, on call at any time. It's a magical time of year with the new foals but very tiring and many long nights. We see plenty of the bright shiney moon. In fact it is said that some of mares wait for the full moon to foal.


The silhouette of the horses on the horizon

As usual during the year we have gained a few new members of staff at both establishments and they have fitted in very well. My senior staff have not changed with Steve and Darren, both stalwarts and a great support to me in the yard, as well as Ian and Di in the office and David at the stud. Both the yard and stud teams work tremendously hard to keep all the horses healthy and happy, and they work well together as one. I should like to thank all my staff for the hard work they have put in throughout the year.

We are out cantering in all weathers

I have had plenty of stick this year about my daily weather forecasts, but I hope the majority of you enjoy them. Here are a couple of Christmas weather jokes:

Q. How is a man like the weather?
A. Nothing can be done to change either one of them.

Q. What did the ocean say to the other ocean?
A. Nothing they just waved.

Q. What did one raindrop say to the other?
A. Two's company, three's a cloud.




As you know we work very hard to find good homes for our retired racehorses and mares. We have been sent some new photos of Connect.

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Still enjoying his retirement, Connect out with his new owner

We received this lovely card from Sharon and Campbell with a picture of Qilin.


Angie and I should like to support the Motor Neurone charity, as a great owner of ours, Adrienne Barnett, had suffered with this cruel illness. She and Michael really loved their horses. If anyone wants to support this excellent charity their website is

Finally, at Christmas time, we want to mention the amazing Helen and Douglas House hospice where both children and young adults are looked after with their families. The younger children are at Helen House and the young adults at Douglas House. Helen House was the first children's hospice in the world and it was another brilliant concept to allow respite for both age groups to run in conjunction with one another.

Helen & Douglas House

If you are interested in this charity please visit their


Everyone at Exeter Ride and Dullingham Park Stud wishes you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Due to the holiday period, normal service will be resumed on this site on Monday 5th January.