Martin’s Blog 28th June

The overnight rain we were promised hasn’t arrived – we’ve had 5mm and were meant to have a lot more than that. Ideally I’d prefer some more rain at Worcester although they do a great job and have produced decent ground this season. Cottersrock returns over hurdles under Aidan Coleman and Sporty Yankee runs in the Conditional jockeys race under James Nixon and I’d be delighted to see encouraging runs back from them both.

Belinda is going to Salisbury with her York winner Buckle Street who runs back on the flat. He’s partnered by Richard Oliver who manages to claim 5lbs off his weight of 8st 2lbs! He showed how well he was at York and we’d be hopeful of another decent run from him in a competitive looking race.

The work here continues and the sand walkway for the horses out of the yard has been completed. We are now extending it all the way up the side of the grass field to the gallop so in the winter the horses don’t have to walk through mud. We’ve put another sand pen behind the wooden stables too so there are four horses now able to go in and out of their stables overnight as well as being turned out in larger paddocks throughout the day too. The Lawman colt in particular loves digging and rolling in his pen thus his stable name ‘Digger’!

So sorry to hear from Zara Tindall that she’s lost her ‘horse of a lifetime’ Toytown aged 25. Together they won Individual and Team Gold Medals at the European Eventing Championships in 2005, were Individual Gold medalists and Team Silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and won Team Gold at the Europeans in 2007. A gorgeous horse who enjoyed a very happy retirement at Gatcombe and our thoughts are with Zara who has lost such a special boy.