Martin’s Blog 31st August

Where has the summer gone?! Bizarrely it actually seems to have flown by even though we’ve had the children home since March (although Harry did go back to school for 6 weeks in June/July) and not as many runners as usual. Tough times for everyone but we are so grateful to our owners for their support and our team for their tireless work and never ending smiles which has kept us all going – a fabulous team and each and every one has played an important part.

Saturday saw Dan Abraham bring 28 owners from Foxtrot Racing who were here to watch Solstice Star and Witness Protection work up the grass/canter up the carpet respectively. Both horses look well and we’re excited about their season ahead. Solstice really has been a Star as he has been ridden regularly by my 12 year old son Freddie and they absolutely adore each other. Occasionally we’ve had to put someone heavier on him to ensure he’s doing as much as the rest (Freddie is 5 stone wet through!) but he’s nearly as old as Freddie and it’s done him good to have a fun time with someone so light. Witness is returning from an unfortunate injury probably picked up when he was so cruelly caught in the inches of the line at Ayr under the multiple Champ Richard Johnson having tried to make all the running. We’ll hopefully be putting that well behind us!

Thanks to Belinda and also Nicki & Bernie Cox (Racing Club Members and Nicki tutors the boys) for ensuring that Foxtrot were well looked after with bacon sandwiches, delicious cakes and champagne too – a feast that went down well!

1st lot on Saturday the horses cantered up the whole length of our mile and a quarter grass gallops. The ground was superb and they loved it. They usually work up there so some were quite keen but everyone was smiling at the top. Extras in were Warren Marston, James Best, Lilly Pinchin, owner Chris Dee, Jelly Nolan and daughter Fern O’Brien who also schooled a couple of horses 2nd lot. Fern has been busy pony racing and schools regularly for her father Fergal and is surely a talent for the future.

With the recent rain allowing us to canter on the grass it also allowed us to have a pretty full schooling session over hurdles and fences on the grass too. We schooled Found On, Robsam, Sarasota Star, Black Prince, Pinnacle Peak, Mozzaro, Reve, Beneagles, Mr Mafia, Back on the Lash, City Never Sleeps, Eclat Des Mottes, Cotswold Prince, Ben Buie and Dreamsundermyfeet. A brilliant session – highlights you can see on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A quiet weekend without runners and time to do all those extra jobs. Bank Holiday Monday today but life with horses goes on and both Nick Partridge, our Farrier and Maggie Turner, our physio, in to ensure our horses, especially those due to run, are in top form. We are so fortunate to have such professional specialists working with us.

Three runners at Newton Abbot tomorrow but more about those in the morning…