For some reason my last two blogs have not published on here which is annoying - especially as I have only just noticed!! Consequently it has been a long time since an update appeared!
Its been a weird time for everyone over the last few months & hard to believe its already July! Happily we have all been virus free up here at Hill Farm, although I do think that there is a strong chance that some of us had the virus earlier in the year. If it was now we would certainly be isolating having had all of the symptoms that are fired at us as indicators of Covid 19!
The team have all been furloughed for a couple of months, but we are at last starting to get back to some sort of normality, with the horses gradually coming in again and getting back to action. the farriers have been busy getting shoes back on and the team bedding up and sorting out the lovely clean stables with new beds, rugs out of storage etc etc! Everyone (horses and people) have summered very well, (and most have a good amount of lockdown pounds to lose!)
The protocol for a resumption to racing appeared at 50 pages long, which initially looked very daunting, but was actually very easy once you got to the guts of it, and all reports were that it was easy to adhere to at the races.
There has been much talk of the limitations put on owners attending which is understandable, but only a temporary measure, and a jump through some hoops to get things going. Admittedly baffling when you can go to the pub/tescos etc etc (including a nice riot if you are that way inclined!) Changes will need to move forward pretty quickly.
They might also need to get moving at BHA HQ, where there is no one in at all apparently! Phone calls are straight to answerphone and an email sent last week remains unacknowledged. With Weatherbys providing their usual efficient service all through lockdown, and racing now going ahead, its hard to accept that British Horseracing are un-contactable!
Royal Bassett has been our only runner so far since racing resumed. He ran a blinder at Newmarket to finish third at odds of 300/1, Softer ground and a completely different track suited him well, and made all the difference, with him staying on very well. He is such a laid back character and is now schooling very well over hurdles as well. He and Phoebus Lescribaa went to Warwick last week to jump hurdles on their very well watered schooling ground. Tabitha & Ceris rode them and both jumped very well.
Its a great initiative for Warwick to provide this facility especially this year, when everywhere at home is like concrete, and schooling on grass is definitely not a thing!
Our newly resurfaced round gallop is looking and feeling fantastic - a lovely even surface that is bloody hard work to walk on but provides plenty of spring as well, it will be a massive improvement to our facilities this year, and should make preparation a whole lot easier. It is also good to jump on, and we have had the schooling hurdles out on it as well.
Its been great to see so many faces up here at Hill Farm, as the lockdown restrictions eased. easy to social distance up here, and the weather lending itself to outdoor coffees and chats.
Its so nice to see the pleasure that people get from seeing their beloved horses again, and humbling to see quite how much the horses have been missed by everyone when visits could not be part of people's week. We just need Terrys' cakes & life will be back to 'normal'.
We won't be starting our monthly Open Mornings quite yet, but they will hopefully return as normal in the Autumn. In the meantime if you would like to visit just get in touch & you will be most welcome (cake or no cake!!)