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We have great schooling facilities in Newmarket

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

"Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all."

Abraham Lincoln.

04_Railway_line
Cantering on the railway line gallop

It started off very calm and mild this morning, but as the time has gone on the wind has got up and it is now blowing quite hard. I think the storm is on its way from America, turning from snow to rain, and we are due quite a bit over the next couple of days. We have been up the Links this morning doing good long canters with several of them and a few did some faster work on the Cambridge Road polytrack. Most of the rest have been cantering close to the yard and things are progressing very well. All the team seem very happy and with one or two new ones due to start in the near future, team spirit is good.

01_Schooling
The Links schooling grounds at dawn

03_Schooling

Nobody who lives or trains horses outside of Newmarket thinks about the schooling facilities we have, and even those working in Newmarket may not know the full scope of the national hunt grounds. As you can see from the photos, we have got brilliant schooling hurdles and fences on ground that is only just good, even after all the rain we have had. Along with beginner’s poles, logs and tyres, we also have a loose school and if you can’t get them jumping here, you will not do so anywhere else. I know we have one or two jump trainers in town and in the local vicinity, but why we haven’t had a big jumps trainer, I will never know. All credit needs going to the heathmen who keep it in marvellous condition.

07_Trotting_Ring
In the trotting ring

I see the number of horses in training and owners has diminished quite a lot in Ireland, with their recent figures being published. With the overproduction subject being discussed openly, it would be interesting to see what happens in the next few years if the economy doesn’t pick up to encourage new owners into the sport. The finances don’t hit the top few percent of horse owners as much as everybody else and it is always the bottom and middle end who are the best supporters of racing who get hit the worse. If prize money were better, it would help everybody. There is only one solution, much less racing. However, that will never happen, as the suits that run the racecourses only have figures, not horses, on their minds.