Martin’s Blog 22nd January

We had a crazy busy but very enjoyable Saturday morning here despite pretty bleak conditions with rain and fog too. However over 30 hardcore members of the Cheltenham & Three Counties Racegoers Club braved the elements to come to visit us and it was fabulous to welcome them here. They weren’t deterred and came dressed for the weather but were definitely pleased that our relatively new Owners’ Room gave us all somewhere to warm up and have a catch up over delicious cakes provided by Janne Bishop (a member of our Racing Club!) whose husband David (part owner of Bobble Emerald) is Treasurer of the Club. David and Mary Cull again helped serve tea and coffee – what would we do without them?! We’ve had some lovely messages from members of the club over the weekend and are glad they enjoyed it – we would like them to come again when the weather is better so they can enjoy the wonderful views too!

Plenty of owners came in to watch their horses working and it’s always fantastic to see them – they included Sally Lloyd-Baker, Mark Holland, Neville & Pam Statham and Jo Stainer. Ollie & Irene Ryan were also in to see their horses and to meet their new recruit – Reve – who arrived on Friday night from France where he was trained by Criquette Head-Maarek who has just announced her retirement this week. Reve seems to have settled in well and we are very excited about getting him onto the track.

A weekend without runners resulting in this week looking pretty busy with plenty of horses entered up. Lots of catching up though and never a dull moment as you can imagine in a racing yard with endless planning always to be done – exciting. Communication is key as a Trainer and things have changed so much even since I started training. I try to find out what works best for each individual owner – some like to receive regular WhatsApp videos of their horses, some prefer emails, others aren’t online so need me to phone them – some would rather not be bombarded with information and wish to be updated once a week whilst others can’t get enough information! I’m happy for an owner to be very hands on with race planning if they wish and wouldn’t ever be frustrated if they suggested races whilst I’m also very relaxed with owners who prefer to leave it all down to me.

A usual busy Monday morning with farrier Nick Partridge here and Physio Maggie Turner too. Luckily the snow that arrived yesterday went as quickly as it arrived – we’ve had enough of it now so no more please!

Later this afternoon we are attending the funeral of our neighbour and ex-owner Mary Hambro who sadly lost her brave fight against cancer earlier this month. It will be very sad but goodness did she fight as in the summer of 2016 when we were training a few horses for her, she was only given 2 weeks to live – wow how she proved them wrong.