What a fabulous weekend of racing at Aintree and so pleased for the Waley-Cohen family to win the Grand National with son Sam in the saddle on his final ride despite none of our family choosing to back Noble Yeats – the 1st 7 year old to win the race since 1940! The peoples’ race always seems to throw up a superb story and this one was another great one.
No runners for us however I haven’t written a blog since Duke Of Luckley ran a blinder to finish 2nd at Taunton last Thursday so well done to him and his owners. He’s a work in progress but Thursday was another step forward for him under an educational ride from James Best. No match for the runaway winner but a step up on what he’s produced so far and we need to continue to work on his jumping as it’s still not as slick as it is at home. I’m sure he’ll prefer the brush hurdles at Southwell or Worcester so he may head to one of those tracks next time.
We had our first feature Fun Ride day yesterday here with an Easter Egg Fun Ride and it was pretty well supported considering we haven’t been going for that long and the best sight was the smiles on faces when they returned – both young and old! Quite a few children on lead reins and a granny celebrating her 70th birthday this week. Our fun ride is available to book online daily however our next feature day is a Platinum Jubilee Ride on Sunday 29th May. More about that nearer the day.
Whilst the Fun Ride was in full flow and Paul Davis and Tilly Jarrett were in charge of proceedings here, we went to Andoversford Point to Point as Freddie had his second ride in a pony race on Emma & Richard Cook’s pony, Annie Get Ur Gun for the 2nd Sunday running. He was 2nd last Sunday and, once again, was 2nd again yesterday beaten by the same pony, albeit not by as far, and with Poppy Twiston-Davies in 3rd again. He loved it and we are very grateful to Emma & Richard for giving him the opportunity. It was 17 years to the day that Belinda rode a double at Andoversford winning the Hunt Race on Macy for Martin & Jackie Jones (who became grandparents yesterday) and on Palmers Peak for me, the first horse owned by Jo Stainer who has been a huge part of our team here over the years.
Sad news to end with though I’m afraid is that our gorgeous labrador Windsor, who has not been 100% for some time, was put to sleep on Friday. He had enjoyed the best life and was the most fabulous dog anyone could wish for but his time had come – it was peaceful, he is now pain free and he leaves us with wonderful memories. We sadly lost his son George last September when he was knocked down on the road – the only time I can remember him wandering down to the road – such bad luck. Hopefully they are together again.