20th August 2015

20th August 2015

On Tuesday 11th we took Barney Windsor Clive and
Evelyn Faber to watch Cody Wyoming cantering up the gallops, who was in
tremendous form and looks a picture right now.
We picked up a nice Proclamation filly from Sue Welch last
week and have sent her to Mark Grant, who has a breaking yard locally, to get
broken in before she is sent on to us. She is a lovely looking strong filly.
I have been riding out two lots most days lately and getting
on as many different horses as possible; I really think we have got a quality
bunch this year and I am enjoying getting to know the youngsters.
Jill Mayo and Bryan Beacham came over last Wednesday. They
came to see some of the new horses as well as their own Gowanauthat.  We are very pleased that Jill has decided to
come into The Neardowners; the shares are selling fast, which is really great.
We sent Lord of House for a new life as a show horse/hunter,
under the care of Lucy Ralph, who has had another ex-racehorse of ours, as
unfortunately his wind operations have not been very successful. It is a big blow
for both us and the owners as he was a decent horse and won some good races,
but at the end of the day, if the horse cannot run to its maximum ability,
there is no point in carrying on, which is a great shame. He will be sorely missed,
but we hope he has a very good life in a different role. Lucy has been keeping
in touch and reports that he is settling in well. She is taking him to
Newmarket this week as she is working at the BRS for the next 6 weeks – I think
he is getting pampered!
We have done lots of schooling lately, which as I said in my
last blog, I find very exciting. We schooled Dragon City last week; he was a
revelation! Airpur Desbois was also very good over hurdles – Tommy was very
pleased with him.
I had a nice surprise second lot as Peter Toole turned up on
the yard – he was staying with his friend Jack Pilkington for a few days and
called in on us which was great. I drove him up to the gallops and talked about
old times and new ventures. I am delighted that Peter is in such good form and
in very good terms with himself. I am looking forward to having a days hunting
with him in Ireland in the winter!
It absolutely poured it down last Thursday. We took Sureness
to Fontwell, but had to take her out, as the ground got very soft. Sam Twiston
Davies was due to ride her and said the ground was very variable as well.
John and Veronica Thorneloe came to see their horses and
also bought a share in The Neardowners, which is fantastic.
I got absolutely soaked on Friday riding out two lots. We
schooled Sureness over fences in preparation for her race at Southwell on
Sunday 16th. She flew over the fences and was in great form, so we
had high hopes for her run.
I took Katya down to Southampton last Friday, and got a
ferry over to Cowes. We stayed with some friends called Martin and Laura Levi
at their lovely house called “The Prospect”. It was the big fireworks night
that evening, which marks the end of Cowes week. It was great fun and we saw
lots of people that we knew.
On Saturday we ran To Begin at Market Rasen but
unfortunately he bled again, so we are getting his wind done as we speak and hoping
that will help him.
We had a very good lunch on the top floor of a double decker
bus overlooking the harbour at Cowes on the Saturday – we had lobster and chips,
washed down with a bottle of Champagne and it really was quite something!
Charlotte, Patrick and a friend went to Newbury’s Ladies Day and said they saw
some interesting (!) outfits!
We drove home from Cowes, and had a very good lunch party on
Sunday with lots of people from the village, cooked beautifully by Katya. She
had marinated some steaks, which were ever so tasty.
Sureness ran at Southwell in a race that was made for her, but
unfortunately the best jumper in the field fell at the second fence and in
avoiding him, she managed to get rid of her jockey Gavin Sheean. She jumped
every fence lose and quickened up well in the straight to win by a good margin,
although unfortunately without a jockey. I think she would have won if that
hadn’t have happened, so as you can imagine, it was pretty frustrating!
A young lad from Ireland named Shane Harte started working
here on Monday. He has ridden in point to points in Ireland and rides quite
nicely. He is hoping to get his Amateur’s licence and seems to be fitting into
the team well.
Andy Durham and Darrell Muffitt came for lunch on Monday –
Darrell bought the last share in Cody Wyoming; it is great to get him on board,
and nice that the partnership (Charlie Mann Racing Club I) is complete!
The final three horses; Dukes Den, My Anchor and Chief
Bottlewasher; came in from their holidays at Colin Tinkler’s and they are being
ridden as of now. They are currently just doing roadwork, but I am looking
forward to seeing them canter. All three are FOR SALE.

We were woken by the dogs at 5am on Tuesday morning and discovered two ponies
on the lawn! Luckily they hadn’t done too much damage, and had chosen to eat
the grass rather than any of Katya’s plants!
John Davies and his son Luke came down for lunch on Tuesday
and I showed them their horses.
On Wednesday, we had Bill Brindle in for breakfast. He watched
the four horses he has shares in on the gallops second lot and Patrick managed
to get out of bed to film them in their slower paces. Bill is very excited
about the oncoming season as all of his horses are looking extremely well right
now. The Steeplechasers look as if they have three nice young horses, so there
is lots to look forward to!
Katya and I took Patrick, Matilda and William to Barbury
Castle Shooting School to shoot clays yesterday, which I must say was quite
good fun. I think the children might go again for a days lesson.

http://www.barburyshootingschool.com/
Following on from Barbury, we headed to Worcester races to
watch Airpur Desbois finish third in his first Novice Hurdle; it rained most of
the evening but was quite warm. He ran a nice race and should win something. We
had a delicious dinner with his owner David Fox afterwards. James was playing
at Worcester after racing, so there was a big crowd which is always nice to
see. It had also been Ladies Day, so again, there were lots of
interesting/bizarre outfits on display! Tommy and Matty won best turned out
with Airpur Desbois – he looked an absolute picture in the paddock!

This morning we schooled Dragon City over hurdles with Mr
Big as a lead horse; he jumped beautifully. We also took Sureness up to the
schooling ground to see how fresh she was after her “race” and she was crazy,
so is in very good form! She has an entry at Worcester on Sunday but I think
the ground will be too soft for her – we will wait and see. We then schooled
Baltic Storm and Aspasius over their first ever poles in the ring; they both
looked like naturals and I was very pleased with them.

Kyril, one of our lads took this nice photo of some of the horses looking over their stable doors, it’s so nice to see them looking so happy and well:

Summer 2015

Summer 2015

Please forgive me for my lack of
blog; I will endeavour to keep it up to date from now on.
We have had a very busy summer so
far, which has taken our minds off the fact that the weather hasn’t been the
warmest on record. In fact we even had a frost on the 30th July!
We have bought some lovely new
horses who have been in for about 5 weeks now. The majority of them are cantering
and I have managed to sit on all the new horses and I must say they are a
really impressive lot. We still have shares available in a couple of syndicates
(which I will fill you in on later) but they are selling fairly quickly.
We have a lovely new secretary
called Tessa Champion, who started just in time to help Katya and the lovely
Chrissie to organise all the golfers at our Charlie Mann charity golf day in
June. It was the first time in fifteen years that we had more players turn up
than we actually needed. It was a fantastic day, the golf was won by Sylvester
Kirk, Mark Grant, Dominic Ffrench Davies and Jason. Mark  Grant was definitely the secret weapon! We
raised over £5000 for the Injured Jockeys Fund and I think everyone thoroughly
enjoyed themselves and now Katya has organised it once, we are hoping to make
it an even bigger success next year, so get your teams in early!!

Myself, Katya and Tess have been
very busy over the summer working hard to get new owners in and we have got a
bigger team of horses this year than last. We did have one wonderful week away
in turkey though to escape from all the work! Katya, myself, Matilda, William,
Charlotte and Patrick all went away on a gullet (which is a Turkish sailing
boat) and sailed around the West coast of Turkey, stopping off at two different
bays every day. It was a great success as we ate very good food, spent our days
reading and swimming in the sea and the children didn’t see a television for a
whole week!

We had a very good steeplechasers
lunch on the 5th July. This syndicate is now full and all the
members seem very pleased with the horses that we purchased for it. From there we
went onto the July meeting at Newmarket and bought a couple of really nice
horses at the sales. One of them is the biggest 3 year old that I have ever
seen called Capatosta (USA). I then drove up to Northumberland where my brother
Robbie married his lovely new wife Emma on Holy Island. It was a really wonderful
weekend where I managed to catch up with lots of relatives and old friends.
On the 16th July, Andy
Weller and Andy Durham came for lunch. Katya cooked a delicious lunch and Andy
Weller actually didn’t leave until the next morning after finishing the evening
with a late night Indian!
It hasn’t all been wining and
dining though – we have managed to fit in some tennis, which is a sport that I
really enjoy. I partnered an owner and friend of mine, Barney Windsor Clive, in
mens doubles match against J Francome and J Rowlinson, and whilst we flew into
the lead winning the first set 6-1, they then beat us in the next two sets 6-4,
6-4. Perhaps we could have more success in the mixed doubles as this might
affect Franc’s concentration a little bit!!
We have had a very quiet summer
runners wise as we do not have many summer jumpers, which has been a little
frustrating. Having managed to do all five days of Royal Ascot, I thought I
would never want to go racing again, but actually I am longing to get back into
the nitty gritty of going racing on a regular basis! We have got Sureness
entered next week at Fontwell and Southwell, and To Begin has some entries at
Market Rasen next Saturday, so things are starting to pick up.
We have been schooling some of
the younger horses recently – Dragon City and Airpur Desbois – in the sand ring
and they both jumped beautifully. Schooling young horses for the first time never
fails to excite me and these two really were very pleasing.
We also took Katya’s horse Agnes
B up to Meridian Stud so that Elizabeth could have a lesson on her with Ruth
Honey. She was very impressed with the way she went and thinks she is a very
natural jumper. I have to say that if she doesn’t make it as a race horse
(which we very much hope she will) she will definitely have another job as an
eventer! We hope to run her in a bumper first but it is good for a young horses
balance to school them over poles. Katya says it is the best birthday present
she has ever had!
We also went to a big lunch at
Newbury on the 18th of July for John Hills memorial. There was a
very big turnout, which is testament to what a popular person he was. He was a
great friend of mine and is very sorely missed.
We went to Simon Christian’s 60th
birthday party at Oaksey House last Sunday and saw lots of people that we
haven’t seen for a while. Again it was a very good turnout and I am sure Simon
was thrilled to see so many friends. Well done to everyone who organised it!
I also went to the New Forest
show with Sue Welch last week and was very surprised as the was  much bigger than I had anticipated. It was lovely
to catch up with Sue and I look forward to having her Proclamation filly join
our yard tomorrow.
As I mentioned previously, we
have lots of lovely new owners, but most notably, we have just got our youngest
owner on board. He is called George Fitzgerald O’Connor – he is only 6 years
old and he has come into the Charlie Mann Racing Club. If George is the
youngest member of our owner entourage, then I must also mention Tom and Liz
Slater who most definitely travelled the furthest to visit us. They popped over
from New York to go to a wedding in Hertfordshire on the Saturday and then spent
the Monday morning with Tess, looking around the yard whilst we were away in
Turkey.
Since the horses have come back
into the yard from their summer holidays, they have most definitely had the “once
over”. Not only has Matty, our Head Lad, done a great job in the hairdressing
department, they have also had their teeth done and also we welcome on board a new
Chiropractor called Stuart who came to the yard yesterday to treat a few of the
horses. They all seem very happy with what he did and he even put his healing
hands to our cat Oscar, who having been hit by a car and having his tail
amputated thoroughly enjoyed having some TLC!
I am sorry for anything that I might
have forgotten but there seems to have been so much going on this summer, but I
am now back in my work routine and will be providing you with a regular blog
from now on.
As I mentioned earlier, we do
still have shares available in syndicate horses and also horses for sale as a
whole – please look at our website for more details and contact me to discuss
things further!