Martin’s Blog 17th September

We had a fabulous morning yesterday welcoming over 150 people, many of whom had never visited us before, to the yard as part of National Racehorse Week, a fabulous initiative started by fellow Trainer Richard Phillips with the aim of making racing yards more accessible to all and for us to share with the general public how well looked after these amazing animals are. People visited us from all over including from Somerset, Ascot and Huntingdon – just incredible how far they were happy to travel and we were thrilled with the lovely comments we received.

The regular format of an Open Morning/Open Day has been generally on a Sunday and with horses parading in hand in front of a crowd whilst the Trainer talks about the horse on the tannoy and often the horses, who are creatures of habit and routine, are wound up by the noise, the people and by doing something they aren’t used to doing at home. If we opened on a Sunday it would also mean that all of our team, 2/3rds of which wouldn’t be working on that particular Sunday, would have to give up their day off to help. As we all know, time off is precious and the team work long enough hours as it is.

Therefore we decided to change to a Saturday and for the visitors to watch us in action – i.e. the horses on the gallops. We rode a few of the wilder horses out 1st lot before the visitors arrived but rode the majority during 2nd and 3rd lot, the team wore different coloured hat silks so that I could explain which horse was which and the visitors sat on straw bales on the gallops and not only watched the horses in action but took in our beautiful views….until the mist descended 3rd lot! Adam Wedge was in to ride out on a day where there was no jump racing.

Stunning! Thanks to Jill Hurst for her fabulous photos

We were thrilled with how the change in day/layout went and those that attended seemed to love being able to see the horses on the gallops so it’s definitely a positive change and it was wonderful to welcome so many new faces to the yard.

Adam Wedge (Mikimoto) and Freddie (Back On The Lash)
Mr Mafia got plenty of love!

Earlier in the week Mr Mafia was in action again visiting the residents of Newlands of Stow. Tom Siddall, our Equine Dentist, was in before he went to make sure his teeth were in top form first (!) and the residents once again absolutely loved seeing him. What a star he is!

Mr Mafia full of carrots at Newlands of Stow!
Mr Mafia showing off his smart rug at Newlands

They love Mr Mafia!

Neil Clifton was in mid week to watch Debden Bank in action on the gallops and Heather Wooster & Phillipa McClusky were in to see Kalibrate and the rest of the team in action on Friday and treat the team to lots of goodies too! Paul Davis & I had supper with Mike & Mella Wright at The Farmers Arms in Guiting Power on Thursday night which was delicious and fun, as always, and Mike & Mella were also in on Friday morning. David Maughan called in to discuss plans for his horses too.

No runners for a while but Prairie Diamond has been declared to run tomorrow at Worcester for Nigel McAllen and he seems in good form so we are hopeful of a good run from this unbeaten gelding who has done well for his summer holiday. The boys have been busy playing football this weekend though and Harry missed the visitors here yesterday to score a goal for his Broadway Team and help them beat Bredon 3-2 and go joint top of the table at this early stage of the season. Freddie rode Prairie Diamond and his racing pony, Miss Millfield, out this morning before heading off to play for Northleach U16s but they find life tough against lots of teams from Swindon and they lost 2-0 although they did play better than the score suggests. They just need to get it in the back of the net! Sounds so simple!



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