Another year older! Thanks for so many birthday messages – I’m not ever overly fussed by my birthday but it was lovely seeing my parents for the first time in 10 long months as they were here for the weekend and the team, Belinda & the boys also spoiled me so a special weekend. Yesterday was, apart from a meeting in the evening, the first proper day off from horses since we went to Port Isaac for a few days in October – glorious weather obviously and we watched Freddie play his first 11 a-side match for his Northleach Woolies Team, a friendly at home against South Cerney, which they won 2-1 and then end of year prize giving. Such a great bunch of lads and parents and the coaching is superb too. His coach made every single child feel so special when he presented them with their trophy – he picked out something or things that they do better than anyone else in the team and I was so impressed. Brilliant coaching and no wonder they all play so hard for him and no-one ever misses a practice or a game.
The recent runners have run well despite not winning. HRH The Princess Royal’s Cloud Formation ran a belter at Uttoxeter under a super educational James Best ride to finish 3rd and much closer than we’d expected to two nice Henderson horses. He jumped really well in the main and was an angel in the preliminaries – to lead up, saddle, mount and canter to post. That thrilled me as much as his good run as he had such a professional attitude. The Princess is keen to have her ‘hack’ back however after that performance I let her know she’s not getting him back anytime soon!
Oliver Ryan’s Reve went to Aintree on Friday night and we made sure that Paddy left extra early to beat the awful Friday traffic, especially in the heat. It meant he was at Aintree nearly 5 hours before he ran but he was able to chill out in a stable and I much preferred that option to being stuck on the motorway. He jumped for fun under Sean Bowen and ran a blinder but is still high enough in the weights and needs a bit of help from the handicapper. Both horses are A1 and, like the rest of the team, spent a weekend out in their paddocks.
On Saturday morning Jason Richards and son Stan were in to watch Fiddledi Dee put through his paces. Thankfully it was a stunning morning as the last time Jason was up he was here in horizontal rain and may have put his wife off gallop watching for good! It was an awful morning but Saturday more than made up for it and it was great to meet Stan too. Paul Davis was in to look after them and I think my dad Trevor provided the entertainment although he may be tongue tied next time he’s on the gallops!
It’s so great to welcome owners back to the yard and, although Saturday was a quiet one with just Jason & Stan here, it was really enjoyable. Do get in touch to come and visit us – it’s even more stunning than the photos we share on social media so come and see for yourselves!