What a special day yesterday was for so many of us but for 17 year old Harry Atkins it was a day he will never ever forget. Harry has been coming in to ride out for us since the summer of 2019 when he was 14 years old. He’s come up through the pony racing academy route at Bourton Vale Equestrian Centre and has also ridden out for other local yards as well as us and joined us here when he left school.
Yesterday’s race had been planned for quite some time as I thought it was a perfect race to give Hogan his final run of the season and to give Harry an opportunity to ride too. Opportunities for Amateur races are few and far between so Harry was only having his 4th ride under Rules but he made sure that he grabbed the opportunity and he carried out his riding instructions to the letter and looked pretty stylish too – well done Harry.
He’s owned by our micro-syndicate The Cotswold Lockdowners which comprises of 125 shares but even with quite a few people having multiple shares there are still a lot of people who were no doubt celebrating hard last night! Those lucky enough to be at Exeter certainly enjoyed the moment. We have been inundated with messages and have passed them all on to Harry and the Team. Ernie looks after Hogan and we are thrilled for her too. He’ll now go out for a decent winter holiday, all wrapped up, and will come back in for a spring campaign.
Mr Mafia was our other runner and despite being in super form at home and jumping for fun during the first part of the race, he just could not get shake off his younger rivals who had a turn of foot he’s now lacking too so Sean sensibly pulled him up four out. We hoped it was a good opportunity for him with just 4 runners but it wasn’t to be. He’s A1 this morning and whilst retirement talk isn’t that far from our minds, we’ll see how he is and his next race will most probably be with top weight against lesser rivals. As ever though he’ll tell us as the most important thing is that he’s enjoying himself.
We had a good party at The Coach & Horses in Longborough last night and lots of the team, and some past members too, were there to raise a glass or two to Harry. The first of many winners no doubt.