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.