Bizarre to be writing this blog whilst the sun shines strongly through the window and the birds sing at the top of their voices yet the country is in shutdown. Scary times but as I keep saying, we are all in this together and need to pull together more than every before.
I spent much of yesterday, with the help of Freddie in parts, chain harrowing the paddocks and am re-seeding a lot of the fields now too – all this turf care must go on and with the weather as it is I want to get on the fields whilst it’s dry and get them seeded before it rains again.
My team are being fantastic, as always, and we are still getting those in training out as well as using the extra time to crack on and do some of the normal summer jobs earlier. Stables are being emptied and steam cleaned – all of this made a little more difficult by the 2 metre rule but they know how important it all is and we have lots of other procedures in place to hopefully keep them all safe and well.
We heard from our Racing Welfare Chaplain, Louise Brown, yesterday and in particular about the funeral for Harley Cornock who we all miss so much. We feared that with the Lockdown as it is that it would be a private occasion now and that is what she confirmed. However we will be in touch with his family, as soon as this is all over, and, along with the help of Louise too, we have an idea of planning some sort of celebration of his life here.
We are in regular touch with all of our owners – none of us know what the immediate future holds. The National Trainers Federation are working hard on our behalf and we are keeping a close eye on what the BHA are doing and, like everyone, the Government too. Ireland has now ceased racing until mid April from today. It would be great to get some clarity so that we can plan more efficiently but we will wait and see and try and plan for any eventuality.
Keep safe guys and take care of yourselves. We’ll keep trying to share videos and photos of the horses on social media so look out for those. If there is a particular horse you would like to see then let us know too.
PS. Those of you on Facebook who enjoy music tune in at 6pm tonight to Mr Andrew James Music’s page and you can thank me later! We’ve had Andrew here at a few events and he lives locally at Chipping Campden and is brilliant. He did his first live streaming session on Facebook on Sunday night and we thoroughly enjoyed it (and Team Keighley got a shout out too!) – I think you can watch that on his page again to see if you’ll enjoy tonight’s music.