Horse welfare is paramount ...

We have one runner today at Leicester

Monday, 21 September 2015

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

T.S. Eliot.

The horses making their way to the gallops

There is no wind this morning and as yet the forecasted rain has not arrived, but listening to the radio it sounds like we are going to get a good downpour from lunchtime onwards. We have been busy on the heath with horses using both the Rubbing House and round canters on Southfields and so far so good.

Mr Turner leading the canter

We have just the one runner today at Leicester as unfortunately Humphry Repton got balloted out. Legal Art runs in the seven furlong seller at 3.30. She has had quite a lot of problems all year and was very ill when she came back from Carlisle last time. I am hoping this drop to a seller will work the oracle and if she happens to put her best foot forward, she should be in the shake-up.

Emerging through the trees on the walk back home

I see the BHA have announced plans to raise fees so that they can get their deficit sorted out. It was more than £1.3 million last year and can’t continue like it is, but when you see that Paul Bittar the previous Chief Executive was paid £443,000, you beginning to wonder what’s going on. Everything is going up, entry fees, licences and registrations, paid by the racecourses, owners, trainers and jockeys, by 5.85%. I wish we could put our fees up by the same. If I was in charge of the BHA, and I have been saying this for the last 40 years, I would straight away move the whole shooting match out of London and either build or buy a purpose built building in a much cheaper area. We have got plenty of land on the National Stud and other areas owned by the Jockey Club which would be ideal for such a project. It would be centralised in the country and allow everybody to get to enquires easier than it is now. You might also get people who work there that understand our industry and this would certainly help in many of the crackpot projects that are going on at present.