Friday, 03 January 2020 07:24

New Year

Its been a pretty quiet Festive period on the runners front at Hill Farm. The horses had not been running particularly well, and although all tests came back negative they were not seeing their races out over the last couple of furlongs. All scopes/trach washes/ etc etc clear and very frustrating for all concerned. Then just before Christmas we started to get a few anomalies in the white cell counts which suggested a 'post challenge'picture. the challenge most likely some sort of virus. annoyingly you mostly do not get a change in the cell counts at the time of the challenge so unless it causes sore throats or snot or temperatures you have no way - apart from bad results - to know what is going on! 

After Taunton with Galactic Power, who always finishes off his races well and didn't - we decided that enough was enough and to not have any runners for a couple of weeks. Everything stayed in work, but no actual galloping just cantering away to keep everyone ticking over, and closely monitoring the bloods.

This weeks results much better, and time to kick on again, with hopefully some improved performances. All the horses look really well, and are of course fresh from an easy time - a few neck straps in regular use!!

As a consequence of no runners the team managed to have a relatively restful festive period, and everyone having either Christmas day or New Years Day off, and apart from John who hails from Co Tipperary, all got home or to where they wanted to be over the holiday period. (John is having a belated Christmas at home in a couple of weeks.) A big thank you to everyone for rocking up with a smile (it could have been a grimace!!)over the holiday. 

Into a new decade - hard to think where the last ten years have gone so quickly - we saw the new year in at home, and I'm still cleaning vodka jelly off the kitchen ceiling!

A few very welcome days with no rain spoilt last night with a heavy storm, and some raindrops back on the forecast for next week - at least time to dry the waterproofs out! Its been a very testing few months one way and another so hoping for a positive start to 2020.

As always thank you for everyones unending support & encouragement and a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR from us all at Hill Farm.

First Saturday of the month this week & I have it on good authority that the cakes are in the oven! See you at open Morning!





Monday, 18 November 2019 11:43

Nov 18th

Its a case of all or nothing on the weather front, and having spent all of last season moaning about a lack of rain its now a case of' 'will someone please turn the taps off?''!

Last Thursday was unbelievable, and it just did not stop all night & all day! No chance of getting up Park Lane, and Jack & Badger had to wade through, and negotiate their way around three feet of 'puddle' to get to the waiting taxi to get up the drive! Darren & I on drain clearing duty but the ditches & drains just could not take the water away fast enough. 

We got everyone living away off early, as Great Alne tends to be marooned quite quickly once the river bursts its banks, which it did just after lunch - tractor the only way out after that!

That was assuming that you could find away around all the dead cars that had for some reason been driven at high speed into the torrent!! Unbelievable really, as their were so many either in or around the floods, and a couple in the ditch!

Finally a better day today & some sunshine even spotted! Having had a few days in, all the horses wildly excited to go out - no doubt will be plastered by the time they come back in!

Cheltenham did really well to get the two days of racing in, having had to abandon Friday. Some great racing - no runners for us at HQ, but Tara Well (BTO for Harriet T) finishing third at Uttoxeter. A little disappointed with the run, but probably came up against a very well handicapped winner, and back safely.

Mr Palmtree (BTO for Frankie) ran another improved race at Hereford earlier in the week, to finish second. he jumped very well, and was just a bit green in the closing stages, which considering his experience is so limited yet, can be forgiven.

Twycross Warrior ran a blinder to finish fourth in his first race of the season, both horses ridden by Tabitha.

A busy day at Warwick saw Oneida Tribe, run a nice race, Vocaliser travel better early than he has done, & Black Kalarosa make a nice debut in a very hot bumper.

The team as ever doing sterling work in all the weather that is thrown at them! Clippers going non stop - as soon as you get to the end, its back to the beginning again! 

We welcome John Ferguson & Michelle Burton, who have both joined us recently. 

We should have been at Leicester today, sadly abandoned, and no entries until next weekend now.

A big shout out to Terry & Mandy Poulson, who helped us with the quiz that Harriet organised for the IJF a couple of weeks ago. As she had made quite a lot of use of Oaksey House this year (fractured tibia & wrist!!) Harriet wanted to put some funds back into the pot, and we were delighted to raise just shy of £500 to send to them. Once the calendars have all sold, (please send requests for orders to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or collect at out next Open Morning on Dec 7th, that will be topped up to well over that total. Thank you to all who came & supported & gave raffle prizes etc.

Keep an eye on our facebook page for a cheeky preview or two!





Tuesday, 08 October 2019 08:02

Tuesday 8th October

A busy few weeks with all of the horses work building up ahead of their first runs, and fantastic to have the new gallop up & running. As always with a new wood-chip surface it takes a lot of working down as it settles in but it is a  serious addition to our facilities, and we are delighted to have got it finished.

First few runners of the season as well - its so nice to get started again! Anti Cool ran well at Huntingdon to finish third, Bob Maxwell ran a nice race at Stratford yesterday & will come on for the run. Clondaw Sam ran a hugely encouraging race at Warwick, he actually ran all the way to the line,after a big wind op in the Summer. He will want further & probably fences, but at least now looks capable of transferring some of what he shows us at home onto the track.

A nice day at Warwick when we also sponsored the 'Charlie Poste Chase'. As you will know Charlie retired from race riding a couple of months ago, and we wanted to do something to mark the occasion. aside from another picture to hang on the wall, we couldn't really come up with anything, until Barney Simons suggested sponsoring a race!! Light bulb moment!!

A massive thank you to Charlie for all his efforts over the last 12 years, winners, shopping trips, riding out twice a week come rain or shine and a big input with race plans etc. We will miss him enormously, but as he & Francesca are only down the road will have plenty of opportunity to keep in touch.

We were delighted to attend Charlie & Frans' wedding last month as well, which was a fabulous occasion. Perfect day, stunning bride & the groom didn't brush up to badly either.

The team as always doing a fantastic job, especially as we are a man down. Its always disheartening when you give someone a chance and they then throw it back in your face. The work load huge this week as we had our Owners morning on Saturday.Lovely to see so many faces & a huge thanks to Nic Allen & Paul Mohan for all their help with pig cooking and catering, and as always Terry for yet more cakes!!

The horses all looking well, coats suddenly have started growing rapidly so clippers going constantly at present! Plenty of rain about but it did manage to stay away last Saturday, which was a relief!

Harriet & I had a very wet & muddy week in Ireland for her first competition since breaking her wrist. Huge fun, but bloody hard work on the mud, and possibly a rather large consumption of alcoholic beverages to compensate!!

Entries at Ludlow tomorrow, then nothing more until a busy looking time next week






Tuesday, 03 September 2019 10:07

September 3rd

The refurbishment of the woodchip gallop now on its final week (hopefully) an extension to complete the loop & a complete new top up all round, with a new layout incorporating the existing circle as a roundabout, will make a massive improvement to the facilities here. It also gives us a wide grass strip getting on for four furlongs long, which will also serve as a fantastic schooling ground.

Its always a long old job and 'Digger Mick' doing sterling work - can't wait to be able to start to use it.

Great to have Andrew & Jane Nicholls' Oneida Tribe back after his summer break, and hoping he will have a bit more luck this season.

The new filly from Ireland arrived last week, and it was nice to welcome a good turn out of the National Hunt Racing Enthusiasts to meet her on Saturday morning. Scorpion Sea went off to her new home on Monday, and we wish Bryony & Aero all the best for many happy years of fun together.

Future Boy has gone of to start a new life as well, & hopefully both homes will work out well for horses and their new riders.

The ROR charity is in the news today, and Harriet & I experienced the charity first hand when we took Thomas Crapper to the championships at Aintree last week. Crappy has always loved an occasion and took part in the 'Always a Star' parade on Saturday evening and then did some showing on Sunday.

He won two classes and was third & fourth in two others. He behaved impeccably and was much admired. A big step for a horse so recently out of training, and with a rider on board with a broken wrist!!

He is off to Moreton -in - Marsh show on Saturday for more of the same, having also done his first dressage test on the week which he duely won! TC is such an intelligent horse he can just turn his hooves to anything, and its great to see him setting out on the next phase of his career.

The rest of the string slogging away on the path back to full fitness - at least its a bit cooler now, which makes it a lot easier on horse & riders.

Angel of The North ran a couple of times last week. She is owned by the Mulrine family and Finn is gaining some experience as an amateur. She didn't really get home at Wolverhampton but ran much better at Brighton. She will go back over hurdles before long but its great to get Finn started as an amateur jockey. 


Tuesday, 27 August 2019 12:14

August 26th

Very hot here today and it has been baking all weekend.

The horses have had an easy few days as they all had their flu jabs last week ready for the new season. The rules have changed again again after the outbreak earlier in the year, and their once annual booster has to be done every eight months.

We didn't want to be doing them just as everything is ready to run, so have plumped for the six month option which won't then have to be topped up until April.

Just hacking for a week, which in the heat is something of a relief. the troops also managed to have a reasonably ordinary bank holiday Monday - the calm before the storm!

Its been a busy few weeks but has included a week away for us with a welcome break in Greece with the family, which now seems several lifetimes ago!

Straight back to it on return, and off one plane onto another to Dublin & a day at Tattersalls Sales followed by a trip, to West Meath to look at a smart Kalanisi filly belonging to Martin Lynch. Martin has kindly offered to lease her to the NHRE to replace Scorpion Sea whose wind is not letting her be a racehorse. she is looking for an alternative career, and the new filly arrived at 4.30 on Sunday morning.

In between the travelling we had an important evening giving Charlie Poste, who has been our stable jockey for 12 years, and who retired a few weeks ago, a proper send off at the end of his racing career.

Fran & I had managed to hatch a plan, that Charlie didn't know about and a good gathering of jockeys, owners, trainers, and friends all turned up to The Bell in Alderminster to have a drink with Charlie & wish him well.

A fun evening and one which we hope Charlie enjoyed. 

We had many happy days on the track with Charlie & some super winners, and we will miss him immensely. However he & Fran have built up a very successful pre-training/pointing business & we wish them all the very best for the future along with a massive thank you for all of the miles travelled on Dickin horses!

Another good bye was to Toby Collins who has been spending his Summer holidays with us working in the yard. We would have been quite happy to kidnap Toby on a permanent basis but GCSE results loomed & funnily enough his Mum insisted on him going home for them!! Well worth it as some great results - well done Toby & thanks for all your help this summer!

The extension to the woodchip gallop is well under way & will improve the facilities again here at Hill Farm. It will be a mile around the woodchip once finished, also giving us a super grass gallop along side it which will also accommodate our schooling ground. Should all be done by the end of next week and will compliment the stiff hill gallop well.

A couple of runners at the end of the week, but the main gang won't be ready until the end of next month and the season is kicking off properly, hopefully along with plenty of rain.

The days are drawing in massively & Darren is having to turn lights on when he feeds in the mornings, which have a very Autumnal feeling to them already!


Tuesday, 23 July 2019 06:59

July "3rd

Summer holidays seem to have flashed past for the horses, and most are now back into work. They have all summered really well with conditions good for plenty of grass (unlike last year when it looked like a desert up here!) and also minimal flies.

The team have all been having some well deserved down time too, and looking well rested and ready for action!

That said, we have have a man down after Harriet had a horrible fall eventing a couple of weeks ago and smashed her wrist into small pieces! Surgery required and plenty of metal work inserted, she is now on a quest to get fit again, and is currently at Oaksey House who are helping her in that quest!

Oaksey is an incredible facility, and anyone on the stable staff register has access to it as well as the jockeys. Frankie has been spending time their too after knee surgery and they have been an incredible help. The mindset the polar opposite to the NHS who are happy for you to take forever to mend - everyone who rides horses wants to be back yesterday!

The team here have been fantastic in helping keep Harriets' string on the road whilst she mends, and as soon as she is given the green light they will be ready to go. 

Exciting to have some new equine faces in the yard after a few shopping trips. Some new babies, and a lovely winning pointer, Secret Cove added to the string last week at Ascot sales.

Not many runners through the summer this year, a couple getting handicap marks, and sadly Scorpion Sea retired from racing as her wind not up to being competitive. SS is looking for a new home, so if she would be of interest for some post racing activity do get in touch. 

After a couple of months with no Open Mornings its back to it again next month - Terry has his cake tins lined up and we are looking forward to seeing you all on August 3rd! 


Monday, 17 June 2019 10:30

Monday 17th June

Flaming June it has not been! A LOT of rain fell last week, and planned outside get togethers very much on hold for the moment.

Planned runners staying at home as racing mainly cancelled due to water-logging. If only we had had some of this in the Winter it would have made life so much easier.

The holiday makers not looking wildly impressed with the conditions, but balanced out by no flies yet & plenty of grass, its probably an OK option!

 Fair to say there are several who have completely let themselves go, and whose figures are going to take a bit of getting back!

Nice to see them looking so relaxed and not too long before they are back in again.

The team having well earned breaks, and nice to welcome Finbar Mulrine who has been coming in to ride out whilst Ceris off in Ireland fora few weeks.

Plenty of visitors here to visit and see the horses having some down time.

Only a couple of boxes left to power wash, the strimming is a never ending job as well, as fast as you get to the end its time to start at the beginning again!

We said a sad au revoir to Alice at the end of May (although she has already been back to ride out!!) before she heads off for her Australian adventure. Hope to see her again before she goes.

Hopefully a couple of runners at Uttoxeter this week conditions allowing.



Monday, 10 June 2019 10:53


Great to have our second winner of the new season on Friday. Hopefully starting out as we mean to go on for this year, having dug a very large hole and thrown last season into it!!

Anti Cool has had more than his fair share of problems over the years, and is basically made of glass, but when he gets it right does so in an impressive sort of way!

Its been a difficult time for everyone concerned with EPDS Racing, and as mentioned in a previous blog, there is really no need for us to comment more on a well documented subject, but hats off to Anti Cools' long suffering and patient owners who have stood by him (including EPDS) through thick and thin.

He was unlucky to get beaten on the line at Wincanton after being in front for a long time as he was travelling so well, and then just getting caught.

After a disappointing run at Worcester he had a 'mini break' and headed off to Market Rasen looking a picture. BTO for Harriet T much deserved.

Always keen under Tabitha Worsley, the pair sat handy (didn't want to be in front too soon!!!) joining the leader going to the last, and then scampering away to win tidily, without any undue exertions.

Tabitha is riding out of her skin at present, so well done to her, although I do think the home team deserve a special mention for skill and patience in getting this lad back to the winners enclosure! Its taken a while in coming but even sweeter for it!

Nice to disturb the residents of Park Lane again.

Much excitement last Sunday as Harriets' event mare Suzie Bell finally produced her foal - only took 369 days, and is the smallest foal you have ever seen. Feisty as you like though, and coming home from Batsford Stud today, along with Timons Tara and her colt by Dartmouth. thanks to Alan & Anna Varey and their team for all the care & attention (and sleepless night!). Suzie was the last of 60 they have foaled so a good nights sleep will be very much deserved.

Looking at the forecast not many outside jobs going to to get done this week so the last of the power washing to finish, as it looks as if a monsoon is heading our way. 

All of the holiday makers looking fat and well, although I don't think they are going to appreciate the rest of the week!

Monday, 10 June 2019 09:03

EPDS Racing

The unfortunate folding of EPDS Racing has been well documented in the press recently, and there is no need for us to comment further.

We have hopefully contacted everyone who is involved with the three horses in training with us, but if you are part of any of the partnerships in Anti Cool, Dontminddboys or Galactic Power and have not received an email from us, please get in touch via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible.

Shares are available in all three horses, so do get in touch if you would like to get involved.

Anti Cool & Dontminddboys will be running in  new partnerships

Galactic Power will be running in the newly set up Robin Dickin Racing Club

Email as above or call 07979518594 for details







Wednesday, 29 May 2019 08:19

May 29th

Considering that we only have a handful of horses in work life seems to be particularly hectic at present! A lot of time spent on the road, with sales and eventing, its been interesting fitting everything in!

As always everything also falling on the same day! A wedding, a pre-race talk & a runner testing the organisational skills! Harriet went to the wedding, (many congratulations to Chloe & Sam Joyce!), Robin did his pre Stratford talk, then went on to the wedding and I got to go to Uttoxeter for the 8.50 on a Saturday night!! 

Actually, as beautiful as the wedding was - seeing Twycross Warrior storm 14 lengths clear up the run in at Uttoxeter was a thing of even more beauty!! Winners have been hard to come by lately but 'Boris', who has been fragile to train, has been improving all the time, and we were quietly hoping for a very decent run - we were not disappointed. Given a lovely ride by Charlie Price, we did think he had hit the front too soon, but Boris jumped and travelled so well the result was never in doubt. 

Brilliant to train a winner for Graham & Lynne Knight, who also bred Twycross Warrior, so a particularly special day for them. Much shouting from two out & Poppy & I certainly had sore throats on the way home!!

Up 9lbs for the win we had to take a chance on a quick follow up at Southwell, under a 7lb penalty. Charlie Price booked to ride again, but then stuck on the M50 after a bad accident. having won with a 7lb claim we had to claim again, or in effect we were going up a stone, so Ceris called into action and making a very quick dash to Southwell to replace Charlie. She did a good job and finished a close third, certainly neither of the pair were disgraced and great to have Twycross Warrior confirming his promise. Holidays for him now!

Also holidays for Ceris who is off to Gordon Elliots' for a month to see what she can learn, a super opportunity for her, and we hope she has a great time and brings back plenty of tips!!

The end of a major chapter for us and Thomas Crappers' loyal owners last Friday when we hosted his retirement party. Crappy came along too - never one to miss an occasion! Lots of incredible memories, stories and refection on his career. He took all of us to places that we could only dream of, and will never ever forget.

A few sore heads the next day, and looking at the bottle count I'm not surprised!! Great to get so many together, but also missing a few which was a shame. plans to be made going forward though & the next 'Crapper' also at the party! Watch this space for news on that front!

Doncaster was the next sales venue, and a busy & productive day spent assessing, and trying to afford some future stars!

Also news from the maternity ward with Timons Tara producing a cracking colt foal by Dartmouth. Dreams for the future already starting, and TT going to Scorpion this time. Her field mate Suzie Bell (Harriets eventer) still hanging on to her large bump at Batsford stud, now a month overdue I confess to be feeling somewhat impatient!!

Our other two brood mares are in Ireland to be covered by Axxos, a very smart stallion by Monsun. Thats' not going swimmingly well at present and neither in foal yet! Fingers crossed!

The team all getting some well deserved holiday in, and we are very sad to be losing Alice at the end of the week. She is off to do some track riding in Australia, which will be an amazing adventure for her! we have loved having Alice as part of the team & will miss her immensely, but wish her all the very best for the future & hope that she has a fantastic time down under! 

Poppy is also off to pastures new this summer, so the 'dream team' getting split up rather. Poppys' family live in Somerset & her boyfriend has got a bit fed up with the commute up the M5 every weekend!! Poppy is going to re train as a vet nurse, and we think she will do a very good job. Both girls have been fantastic to have here, and we wish them all the very best.

Some new faces lined up to start in July, as June will be pretty quiet for us, however already looking forward to the new season with some exciting new horses as well as the old favourites!

Friday, 17 May 2019 08:05

17th May

Another day , another sale! Ireland this time for the stores at Tattersalls. Darren & I flew over on Monday and spent a long and somewhat frustrating day looking at some lovely & some not so lovely three year olds.

We were under bidders on four which was maddening, but always interesting to be there, lots of familiar faces to catch up with.

Back at it again at Doncaster next week!

The colts that came from the breeze ups are now no longer colts! The deed was done yesterday which will make life a lot easier for them - especially the one who thought he knew what it was all for!!

Four runners at Southwell on Tuesday all running well below par. Immediate after race scopes not good, but all clear yesterday & bloods fine too. Its been a season of mystery with horses appearing well at home - all tests clear but running disappointingly. Virtually everything is now going to have a holiday to try and put to bed whatever is ailing them. Plenty of grass this year, although very chilly this morning, and six weeks in the field should see everyone back on track.

The team busy power washing & disinfecting everything, washing rugs and getting all the usual summer jobs out of the way, then some down time for them too.


Thursday, 09 May 2019 09:26

May 9th

Some exciting new arrivals over the last few days after two visits to the sales.

Cheltenham firs, and a very buoyant market - as ever - for the pointers. we were delighted to secure the last lot of the day 'Achy Breaky Heart', a winner of two points - by Milan. A strong filly she will be running in a bumper before progressing back over hurdles.

Newmarket last Friday for the two year old breeze up sales. Very pleased with two purchases - the first for owner John Peacock - a big bay colt by Wootton Bassett who is stunning. 

John is looking at him as a very long term project, and would be delighted to hear from anyone who might be interested in taking up a share in him. He really is stunning & we have high hopes for him.

The second purchase was a grey colt by Havana Gold - he is for sale. He has a decent page - breezed well and again should be a fun long term project.

Great to have some new faces over doors & lots of future plans to be made.

No runners in the new season so far, but two at Worcester today.

Anti Cool, runs in the first, he has a lot of ability, but has to have things just right on the day and if he repeats his Wincanton run should go close.  Twycross Warrior runs in the last, we have always thought a lot of this horse, but he has never really had a clear run of things, but ran commendably last time so fingers crossed for more improvement.

we had our last Open Morning for a couple of months last Saturday & the next will be in August. Not much to see during June & July as most of the team having a summer break. If you would like to come & see us though we are always pleased to see you so just pick up the phone or email to arrange a visit.

Our regular Open Mornings have proved very popular (something to do with Terrys' cakes??) and we have raising getting on for £1000 for the Air Ambulance through donations made, which is very pleasing. A charity that should not have to be a charity & one we all may need at some point in our lives!





Wednesday, 01 May 2019 07:29

The End of Another Season

New season, new resolution to keep the blog up to date!

Its been a busy time and I'm afraid that the blog has suffered as a result - one of the things that kept making it back to the bottom of the list!

Safe to say that last season was not one of our finest, and I think we are all glad to have got to the end of it - now on the same score as our esteemed neighbour & the champion trainer - think its going to be one of our best.

Lots of plans for the season ahead, and already feeling excited about it. Lots of sales catalogues sitting in the kitchen/by the bed/in the loo! Flights already booked & journeys planned, so watch this space!

Looking back at last season, our winners tally was certainly down, and a string of very frustrating seconds did't help either.

Obviously we have been looking closely at reasons, but I think first and foremost was the lack of rain, with several of our old faithfuls that love a slog being scuppered by a total lack of suitable ground. 

New gallops & facilities always take a bit of getting used to, but we have combined the changes with regular visits to gallops that we have always used & know well.

The vaccination hiccup was followed closely for us, by some dirty trach washes - coincidence?, At the same time as we were held up - it also rained - sods law!

On the plus side we now have a string of what are probably well handicapped horses for the new season! Bring it on.

Several niggly injuries also did not help our cause, with horses getting hurt at the races, & losing a lovely young horse was also a massive blow.

On the plus side, wins for Some Finish, Lara Trot, Thomas Crapper, The Lion Man & Celestial Chimes & La Fille Francaise were all days to be celebrated.

A lot of seconds caused a lot of hair pulling, but Thomas Crappers Sandown second was a joy to watch( until the last furlong!)! Our stable star has now retired from racing after serving us so well for 9 seasons, he is staying here with us, and will be seen out and about doing ROR & low level competition.

The messages from literally hundreds of people on his retirement just went to show what a great sport we are involved in, and how much the racing public actually think of our amazing athletes.

The reaction of owners here when horses have picked up an injury has also been commendable, with one particular group who have had a less than good run this year to put it mildly - all only concerned about their horses' welfare when told a two month box  rest sentence had been passed! It just does remind you why you do the job. 

The team here have been a joy to work with & we thank them for all their hard work. Its easy to smile when its going well - harder during a season like this, but they have kept their (& our) spirits up & thoroughly deserve a 'Thank God its over party'!! 

Darren, Harriet T, Ceris, Alice, Poppy, Frankie & Kay - THANK YOU. They have been ably assisted by Charlie, Jack, James & Tabitha so thank you to them too.

Thank you too, to all of our owners & friends who keep encouraging, celebrating, commiserating & most of all being positive about the future - and to out yard sponsor Clay St, without all of whom we would have emigrated long ago!

Many of the horses are now having a holiday, with no rain on the horizon, and plenty of grass, a break will do them good and we will come back fighting for the coming season.

The pressure washer already making an entrance, and paint brushes at the ready! Joy!!!

Its our last Open Day Saturday this week for a couple of months, Terry has his cake tins out , so do come and see the horses still in work & also the holiday makers - some of whom have already let themselves go rather badly!! Its actually lovely to see them out & 'chilling'.

We will also be able to give you details of our new (& we think very exciting) 'Robin Dickin Racing Club', gates open at 9 & look forward to seeing you on Saturday 




Thursday, 21 February 2019 10:08

Thursday 21st February

Its been an interesting couple of weeks with all the goings on regarding the flu outbreak.

Happily we were balloted out of Ludlow the week it all kicked off, which at the time we were not very happy about, but actually turned out to be a blessing!

It meant that we were not on a mandatory lock down, but we did implement a  self imposed one, and had no horses in or out for the duration of the suspension of racing. 

We did not have to be swabbed, but have been taking temperatures twice a day, on top of our normal bio security measures.

Absolutely support the BHA's stand in acting so quickly at the beginning of the scare, but do think that a heads up on the 6 month jabs might have been in order at the beginning of the week off, rather than just as we were getting going again. Frustrating, but the same for everyone, so we just had to get on with it.

Some new protocols now in place for race days, and more forms to fill in. They have now upgraded the ones that there was actually nowhere to write a horses name on!!

All except one of ours breezed through the jabs, without a reaction. The one just under the weather for a bit and a few days off in order.

The danger now probably lies outside racing, with horses that are not vaccinated and who's owners choose to keep going out and about regardless. Madness that a multi million pound industry shuts up shop, but the uninformed choose to stick their heads in the sand, and insist on still going out and about when its really not necessary.

No runners at least meant some time to catch up on some jobs around the place that always seem to get to the bottom of the 'to do' list.

We have just taken delivery of a new lorry , which is very exciting. As we have our smart new 'CLAY STREET' sponsorship logos, it seemed an appropriate moment to upgrade to one with a lot less miles on, although our old faithful, Flo, has done a brilliant job over the last eight years & nearly 200,000 miles!  

All is Good has been a proper sick note this winter, after running disappointingly, he had a soft palate operation, from which they come back very quickly from. Unfortunately he also chose to have a foot abscess just as he was due to run, which was not a usual straight forward affair, but niggled away for what seemed forever! Plenty of swimming at Arden Equine kept him going, but of course then no racing! We didn't mention the flu to him as it might have been yet another excuse, so it was a relief to get him to Huntingdon last Sunday. Ideally he wants the ground a lot softer, but jumped like a stag & travelled well throughout the race to just be a bit one-paced from the last to finish third only beaten 31/2 lengths. He will come on for the race.

Mr Palmtree had his first run over fences at Ludlow, he needed a third run for a handicap mark, and a chasing run counts. He jumps really well & as his future lies over fences we thought he might as well take that route with him. Funny old race with the favourite a 1/10 shot! rated 137 & we only got 6lbs off him! we finished second only beaten 8 lengths & were delighted with Mr P who jumped like a proper professional, and stayed on well. We will await Tuesday with interest!

There are a couple of shares left in Mr Palmtree, so do get in touch to get involved with a lovely young horse at the start of his career. A fun partnership &  very affordable package.

Back to Huntingdon today with Vocaliser & Galactic Power, both of whom probably want softer ground, but with not even one raindrop on the forecast, its a case of taking advantage of Good to soft, before it gets even faster.

Neither of our two declared for Warwick who are having to water - nuts in February & really don't envy Simon Claisse having to decide what to do with Cheltenham, where he'll'' be in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation!

Finally a 'big 'Get Well Soon' to Anna Lisa Kinnersley (a friend & owner with us and also used to run our partnerships) who has had a little stay in Warwick hospital recently. Home now but hope she is soon back on her feet.

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