Martin’s Blog 22nd October

Yesterday was one of those days at Plumpton that we thoroughly enjoyed despite not quite having a winner.

All of my family were there as Freddie was riding his shetland pony, Brewards Kerwen (Blackie) in the Shetland Pony Gold Cup before the first race. Brother Harry is his number one supporter so he had to come too and, as we also had a runner, Blackie was allowed to have a stable as he was Enforcement’s travelling companion.

Freddie, as I’ve mentioned before, was lucky enough to ride in Andrew & Louise Jones’ colours as they had supported the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, who the whole day was in aid of, and Andrew kindly came to support us and brought long time owner and friend Jo Stainer too. Owner Alan Stickley also came along to support and Mark Allen & Kate Docker were at Plumpton as Bay Dude, who used to be with us, was having, what became his last run on the racecourse and is now destined to play Polo. So lots of supporters and a lovely atmosphere at such a friendly track.

Freddie & Blackie got a better start than usual and absolutely flew up the short furlong to finish a great 3rd of 14 and a bit further who knows. We were certainly very proud of him and he’s had some lovely comments from people we respect which has done so much for his confidence. The first three home were taken into the Bob Champion Marquee after they received their prizes to be interviewed by Mike Cattermole and Freddie seemed so much more confident – these kids are so lucky and are learning so many life skills, it’s not just about race riding.

Our runner Enforcement was supported by Owner Jon Hughes too who was keen to support the day and Freddie as well. James Best gave him a great ride and he jumped for fun eventually finishing a good 2nd to a nice horse of David Bridgwaters’. James gave us some great feed back and Bridgy was very kind about Freddie too. A really fun day at a track that makes an effort for it’s owners and was so kind to give the kids such a thrill.

Jon Hughes was back in the yard again today with paint brush in hand to finish off our Owners’ Room with his sidekick Brian – ‘Bodge & Scarper’ he’s named themselves! Nothing could be further from the truth as they are both doing a fabulous job.

The clipping blades have been going flat out with Deb Butler and Helen Diment in action and the horses looking so well. Mark Caswell was in today, not to ride out, but in a professional capacity to check for rodents etc and have a catch up. He’ll be back in riding out on Saturday.

Jo Stainer brought his daughter and grandsons in to see us this morning too meeting Lord Condi, who eldest grandson Tom absolutely loved, and both Tom and Jack had a ride on Blackie. A little nervous to start with they both were smiling by the end of it. Lucky boys on an Olympia pony!

Dentist for me late morning then back to work via the vets and some gallops work before it got dark, which is getting earlier – clocks go back this weekend.

Melissa Jones from the Gloucestershire Echo was in touch today – read her article HERE.