On Thursday we schooled six young horses in our new ring. Crosse, Mark Grant and Noel came in and they were all very happy. Elmore Back was particularly athletic.
We had the new lights for the front of the yard put in later that day in preparation for the weekend, it now looks like the Dorchester hotel at night!
Tim Galer came in on Friday morning to see Greyfriars Drummer on the gallops, he was very pleased with him. He had been treating him for 6 weeks during his pre training to help strengthen up his knee.
The new signs arrived for the house and the yard on Friday afternoon, they are so big you can just about see them from the m4! The marquee also went up on Friday so later that evening we had 50 of the locals round for drinks. Most of the local trainers came, they all seemed very impressed with the new yard – so much so we couldn’t get rid of them so we ended up having to turn the lights out on them to help vacate them!
On Saturday morning we had the 3 jockeys in to ride out then we had a very busy day setting up. Friends and family started arriving on Saturday afternoon and soon got roped into dead heading flowers, laying the tables, sweeping up etc etc!
On Sunday we had what I think was the best Open Day ever! We had a very good Irish band and some fantastic Morris Dancers. They really made the whole day quite lively! I think that generally open days are very over rated so you have to think outside the box a bit. We had almost 200 people of enjoyed themselves and ate and drank far to much. the last owners to leave left at half past midnight!
I bet there are not many trainers in this his country who dressed as a morris dancer and made I prat of himself on the lawn in order to sell a horse, but if this is what we have to do then so be it!
I would like to thank all those that helped out on the day and made it a great success.
We schooled a new young horse this morning in our new schooling ring. All went well he jumped the tyres fine with Mr Big as his lead horse. He has come off the flat and looks a nice big horse.
Mr Big had his first time out Autumn Hunting this season on Saturday. Rose took him out with the OBH for an afternoon meet at Fernham. He was apparently a reformed character compared to his debut last season, much better behaved!
I drove down to London on Saturday night to watch Rod Stewart aged 69 in concert at the O2, I have to say for an old age pensioner he moved very well! We went to Annabel’s after the concert but I think the standard seems to have dropped some what as I was the only person in there wearing a tie!
I stayed the night in London and drove straight to Plumpton on Sunday. I ran Scepticism, who as it turns out will not a get 2 miles over hurdles in a horsebox. His next outing will be a Saturday evening meeting on the flat at Wolverhampton which is very disappointing.
This week final preparation is taking place for the open day, I have had to order a larger marquee as there are now so many people coming. The weather forecast is not looking that kind to us at the moment.
I rode Shockingtimes this morning who felt fantastic, he had a good try at bucking me off! After breakfast Bill Brindle and his wife came to see their new horse, it is nice to see Bill back into a horse as he has been an owner for many years and gets a lot out of it.
Western King runs at Newton Abbot tomorrow, he won there 23 days ago over the same distance but it is a better race tomorrow and he has been raised 8lbs so he will have far more on his plate this time.
On Tuesday Bryan Beacham who owns a quarter of Lord Of House came to see two horses, he has decided that himself and Edwyn Good (also in Lord of House) are going to buy Area Access between them. He is a very nice winning Irish Pointer and I hope they have a lot of fun with him.
That evening Lucinda Green came to stay, she is world class event rider. She rode at Blenheim Horse Trails last weekend, she had previously won it on Be Fair in 1973 some 40 years ago! Even AP McCoy hasn’t been riding that long! She watched the horses on the gallops the next morning and thoroughly enjoyed it.
On Wednesday we cantered 2nd lot around ‘Back Of The Hill’ gallop to bring the more forward ones on and give them a change of scene. Seventh Sky looks fantastic and is really thriving on his cantering. Stoney Silence is a big horse now, who is far more forward than he was last season and Who Owns Me is in tremendous form, he is very fresh up the gallops at the moment!
After a successful morning on the gallops a good owner Bill Brindle rang me and has brought a leg in Elmore Back. He is a lovely horse, Bill should have a great time with him.
Harry Bannister and Mark Grant came in today to school. We schooled Western King, Sands Cove and Scepticism with Mr Big as the lead horse. Everything jumped beautifully.
We had Harry Bannister here on Friday morning to ride 3 lots before he went to Bangor. Both his parents came down to watch, it all went swimmingly for a Friday 13th! Unfortunately for Harry his ride at Bangor for Mick Easterby looked rather slow.
Noel Fehily came in to ride work on Saturday. He rode Scepticism who did a nice piece of work. All being well and the ground is okay he will run in the Juvenile Hurdle at Plumpton on Sunday. Western King is fresh and well and should hopefully run at Uttoxeter on Sunday, however if it goes too soft he wont run.
I went to a birthday drinks party at Kim Meehans on Saturday night followed by dinner at my neighbour trainer Mike Blanchards.
We are trying our best to get things up to scratch in time for the open day, there has been plenty of lawn mowing, fence painting and gravel laying which are putting the finishing touches nicely to the yard.We have had a lot of rain in the last two days, the ground is certainly turning. We have even unpacked the light weight exercise sheets for the horses this week.
Elmore Back looks in tremendous form, he looks a stronger bigger horse this season. How I still have a quarter share left available in him I do not know! Attimo looks in good order, he is an impressive looking horse and goes about his job well. Shockingtimes has also impressed me this year. He is going up the gallops well and looks comfortable and happy. A marked improvement from last season after his surgery for a kissing spine.