Martin’s Blog 22nd August

The majority of the horses are back in from their summer holidays and the whole team are back too and with the weather as it is it already feels autumnal most days!

We’ve recently had a family holiday in rural France where we stayed in a gorgeous Gite run by Graham Bradley and his wife Amanda and Willow, our Labrador, came too. We can highly recommend staying there so do have a look – it’s absolutely stunning and was the perfect chilled family holiday for us and Brad & Amanda are such amazing hosts. I can’t not admit that part of our holiday wasn’t chilled though…driving down through France and nearly half way into our 6 our journey the engine on our ‘new’ car that we’d only had for 3 weeks failed! To keep the story short (or you’d be bored!), the car is still there being fixed thanks to the help from the garage who sold it to us (thank goodness it is still under warranty!) and if anyone wants advice on how to get a dog home from France without a car then we can help!

Amanda Bradley was fabulous, as was their friend Jim who brought lots of our luggage over in his car as he came to England to visit his son a few days before we returned. His son lives near Evesham so that was great but the biggest thank you goes to Paul Davis, who runs all of our syndicates and looks after our finances. He’s been re-named St Paul of England as he drove over in the Eurotunnel, met us at Calais and drove us back across in the Eurotunnel and delivered us safely home. What we’d have done without him I do not know – Amanda took us to Poitiers Train Station and we took the train to Paris where we eventually persuaded a taxi driver to take a dog with us across Paris to the other Train Station and straight to Calais. A relief to be home but most of our holiday was still relaxing thanks to the Bradley’s and huge thanks to all that helped us in our time of need!

I do think the break in Jump Racing in August is a weird time as most of us have the majority of our horses back in ahead of their autumn campaign so it’s not possible to allow many of the team to have their holidays as the horses need riding and looking after. Surely a chunk of time off at the end of the season in April/May would be much better.

Borderline heads to Newton Abbot today for Mike & Mella Wright under Fergus Gillard who has been riding out here throughout the summer. He will hopefully put up an improved effort today on better ground as he found the ground too soft for him last time out.

Freddie has continued to be busy on his racing pony, Miss Millfield, and they won a Pony Club Race at Wolverhampton by a distance at the beginning of August which looks like it has sealed the Pony Club 148cm Pony Racing Championships for them this year and they returned to Wolverhampton for the PRA Raceday last Thursday. The PRA races are run as part of a professional card, either before or after racing, and they are the most competitive and, due to two wins already this season in PRA races, they have a 10lbs penalty and have gone up in the handicap too. She ran a belter to finish 4th beaten just 5 lengths and giving a stone, 19lbs and 10lbs respectively. He’s been so fortunate to have such a lovely pony to race and, as she’s only 5, they’ve been learning together. She runs on Thursday at Stratford and she’ll be for sale after the Finals at Aintree at the end of October and another child will be so lucky to have her and we’ll enjoy continuing to follow her pony racing journey.



If you would like to have a horse trained by Martin Keighley, visit the yard or make an enquiry