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Cantering in a winter wonderland

Friday, 30 January 2015

"To have become a deeper man is the privilege of those who have suffered."

Oscar Wilde.

01_snow
There is a covering of snow on the gallops this morning

We woke up this morning to a covering of snow, which is now hanging about, despite the temperature not being too bad. You know the old saying that if snow is still there, it is hanging about for some more and the forecast from the weekend is to get much colder with snow showers. It is always great to go out on the heath with it covered in snow, and there were strings of horses everywhere first thing. We went on the Mactrac and then Side Hill polytrack, which was amazingly good. The Jockey Club Estates keep all the gallops up to date with their re-waxing programme and this certainly helps against any frost. Most of the other horses have had a morning cantering around the indoor ride, which as you know is worth its weight in gold this time of year. They will canter both ways and it especially helps the young ones, as they learn to lead on both front legs - so hopefully going round Chester and Musselburgh will come second nature to them.

05_Legal_Art__Awolf
Legal Art (Jimmy Quinn) and Astromajor (Reece)

I see they are making a documentary on Tony McCoy and are following him everywhere. I think it will be a fantastic insight into his life, showing how hard he has worked to maintain his fitness and enthusiasm for the game, as he goes towards his 20th jump jockey championship. I am sure it will show all the ups and downs of the racing life, which all the professionals have to contend with. It will be fascinating to see how it turns out and I am sure it will interest everybody, from all walks of life.

06_string
Wrapped up against the cold

The final short list has come out for the stud and stable staff awards, with the last three in each category. For those that have made it, I congratulate them, but I am very disappointed that none of my four nominees got to the latter stages. David from the stud, Steve, Ian and Sophie from the yard, were all nominated in different categories. They are outstanding staff, as well as my others, and I will be putting them forward again next year, plus some others. It is a great prize to win, and not only does the individual get a good cheque, the yard also gets to share in their good fortune.

04_4_x_4
I had to get the 4 x 4 out this morning

We have got plenty of horses coming in at present and with the yard not being completed, I am running out of boxes fast. I have been using some next door, but have decided to take a short lease on some boxes on the Hamilton Road, which will enable me to get everything in and started back into work. The work here to build the new boxes and office is in hand, but won’t be able to start immediately, so I think this will be the next best option. It may even help some of the horses, as it will give them a fresh look at the heath and different canters to use.