Martin’s Blog 6th April

Strange times and, whilst we all wish that we could have watched the actual Grand National on Saturday, the Virtual Grand National brought so many of us together (virtually) for a short while and we all undoubtedly forgot the worrying times that surround us. It was an absolute success too with TV viewing numbers of 4.8 million and £2.6 million raised via the Bookmakers for the NHS. Fantastic and so uplifting – well done all.

We had 3 runners but this was in the Go Racing Green Grand National with OldBillHaddow ridden by pony racing jockey Richard Cook, a regular here, Back of the Telly, partnered by Freddie and SwallowsAndAmazons partnered by pony racing jockey Harry Atkins who also rides out for me.

You can watch it HERE with Mike Cattermole explaining the idea, find out who the runners and riders are and then finally watch the actual race with the fabulous Richard Hoiles as commentator. A bit of fun and we loved being involved. Anything to raise awareness of Mental Health gets our full support and Freddie thoroughly enjoyed making his video too (as did I!!).

Farrier Nick Partridge in this morning to take a few shoes off – have a look at Twitter to try and win a caption competition!

Racing isn’t to start again over jumps until 1st July at the very earliest. That decision, made on Friday, resulted in us turning a few of the horses out that we had kept ticking over in case it started earlier, after consultation with their owners. We’ve kept a couple in training that can run on the flat although we’ll play it by ear as to whether that will be allowed to start earlier – there are far more important things in the world at the moment and we obviously need to get on top of Covid-19 well before racing can start again. Yes we do need our business to survive and getting jump racing back will obviously help that in a huge way however there is a bigger picture too.

Belinda is happy that the start of the Easter holidays means no home schooling for the next couple of weeks but always things to sort in and around the house & garden – all those jobs we’ve been too busy to do.

I had a productive conference call with our Chairman Jon Hughes and Paul Davis, who runs our Racing Club and Syndicates – so very odd not having them both in the yard for such a long time. Since Paul retired and moved back from Switzerland he’s been here 3/4 days a week and Jon lives locally so is a regular. Good to hear they are both safe and well and we very much look forward to a normal morning on the gallops with them both here soon.

How amazing was The Queen last night? How is she 94 years old?! Quite superb and made us so very proud to be British. We Will Meet Again. Stay Safe.

Happy Birthday to Claire Hardwick (nee Hart) – we’re sure that you will party hard when you can! Claire was our Head Girl when we were training Point to Pointers/ Hunter Chasers and now has a fantastic pre-training/pointing yard of her own in Adlestrop.