In Limbo

In Limbo

Our new assistant/head lad ‘Foxy’ started work last Monday, he has come from Nigel Twiston-Davies. We are getting on very well and I am sure he will be a huge asset to the yard.
Monday Club lunch was in the Hare last week due to the Malt Shovels closure, I think that until it re opens we will be doing a bit of a pub tour for the next month or so. I left lunch early to go and pick up Katya’s engagement ring, it was toss up between the purchase of the engagement ring and a new bathroom suite. Suffice to say there was no contest!
Lambro left for Perth on Tuesday morning as he had to complete a 3m chase to qualify for the Pardubice, I booked Brian Harding to ride him on the condition he rode him in the Pardubice. All he had to do was get round and finish. He dropped him in last and never got competitive, he pulled him up before the last fence. This means as we stand right now he is not qualified for the race. Lambro did not blow for long and the vet gave him the okay and noted that he had hardly had a race. I can’t for the life of me figure out why he pulled him up when he did. It now means we have to run Lambro at Warwick on ground that is most likely to quick for him in order to qualify. It is not ideal as he will have to leave Lambourn on Sunday to travel out for the race the following Sunday. However after seeing him school round the Cross Country course at Lyneham yesterday it should all be worth it as he seems to be an absolute natural and a perfect type for the Pardubice.

On Thursday I did something I haven’t done for  a very long time…..I schooled Mr Big over 9 fences (video already up on the previous post) I have to say I really enjoyed it. I later went to watch my daughter Tildie play hockey at St Edwards in Oxford, she played really well and her team won 4-1. Victoria my sister had come down from Scotland to stay for a few days and made it just in time to join us for a lovely family supper.
On Friday it was another day for things I have not done fore a while, I rode out 2 lots then drove Almost Gemini to the races! We have got no one eligible to drive our big box at the moment, it is becoming a bit of a bore with all the qualifications needed to drive these boxes. I am looking forward to our new 2 boxes arriving. Almost Gemini finish third on his Novice Chasing debut. He jumped very well, on the back of this he will go to the sales in November and should appeal to those wanting a nice Pointer this season.
My new parents in law came round for a lovely lunch on Saturday, we had a very nice afternoon watching the Ryder Cup and the Racing. We have now got the painters in inside and out and builders everywhere, I have to keep retiring to my office after lunch to get some peace and quiet!
I rode Plum Stone this morning, she is defiantly one of the more forward ones.  She has  been doing some jumping in the ring in preparation for her first run over hurdles. I hope to get her on the course at the end of October. I have been riding Cedre Bleu a lot recently, I am trying to keep him fresh by changing his routine every day using different gallops. Most of the horses have now done two little bits of work. Nimbus Gale has really been impressing me , he seemed very green when he first arrived but this does not come through in his work where he is very straight.
Bridal Suite is going well at home, Lawrie has been riding him and thinks he is very game. The other new horse Miller of Glanmire has been going about his routine well and is now really using himself having been ridden out recently in a bungee which has been lowering his head helping him work more from behind. Both did good bits of work on Saturday.
All the horses coats are still gleaming and bar a few that are starting to look as though their coats are just starting to come we might get away with not having to clip any for a little while yet. We still have more arrivals coming in, this week Area Access’s half sister arrived from their breeder Heather Silk. She is by Milan and has a striking resemblance to him. She is small but if she has the attitude that he does then she could do well. The three young store horses that we bought are now just starting to grow up. They are going about their business well although Run To the Rhythm can still put in some rather hairy bucks! I think the ‘Beat All’ is the most forward at this time.
We now seem a bit in limbo with the summer jumpers slowing down and the main string not quite ready yet so I am getting rather itchy feet. But at least jump racing is back on Channel Four which means the season proper is imminent at least!
Charlie Schooling

Charlie Schooling

A head of Almost Gemini run, I decided that on his last schooling session yesterday I would give Gavin  a lead on Mr Big over the schooling fences on the all weather. It has been a awhile since I last schooled but it seems I have not lost any of my ability, maybe I should show the young boys how to do it more often!

 After Gavin schooled Plum Stone for the first time around our ring. I am very impressed with how well she went. She seemed to take it all in her stride and really enjoyed it with a natural jump to.

Sure thing

Noel Fehily came in on Tuesday and rode couple of lots for us, at this time of year he doesn’t get in much as he is off riding out around the country so it is great when he does have time to make it in. Later that day a caterer came in to give us a quote for the food at our wedding, it was nearly a £100 a head so I showed him the door pretty quickly!
We worked four horses on Wednesday. Sureness and Almost Gemini went to the back of the hill and both put in a good bit and Lambro worked with Seventh Sky. It was Seventh Sky’s first bit, he looks a like a massive bull of a thing at the moment so we will need to get cracking with him. That afternoon I drove to Preston to take a look at a new two box that we are having made. We have decided to trade in our large horse box as it is now becoming difficult to find anybody qualified to drive it. We will now have two small boxes which anyone can drive.
On Thursday Gavin Sheehan came in to school, he jumped Sureness who showed a little bit of life giving a quick whip round (she is incredibly lazy, I even took a blood test to make sure she was feeling alright as you just wouldn’t know from what she shows at home!) and Almost Gemini for the first time over fences, he actually showed plenty of scope so fences may well bring out the best in him – we will see though.
I have had builders in the house all week, we have a new kitchen floor and all sorts of other refurbishments, it really is starting to look great but with so many people in the house I have felt like a stranger in my own home, I will be glad when we can resume to normal!
We had four red letter days in on Saturday morning which was good timing as it was the first morning I planned to set up the routine and work a couple. Most of them did two canters upsides with the second time going a half speed.  Plum Stone and Royal redemption looked fabulous and shouldn’t take long to come to hand. The horses that had wind ops are still a little bit behind the others but they are now doing two canters and coping with that well.
Michael and Mandy Bowlby jumped a horse around our loose school on Sunday and then stayed for a nice lunch. We watched Sureness win a novice hurdle at Plumpton after pudding! She was very badly in on the weights having won three novice hurdles so she carried a large penalty against those rated higher than her but I didn’t fancy the look of the handicap she was entered in. She drifted out in the betting to 12-1 which put us on the edge of our seats however shouldn’t have been so nervous as she won really well, lunch went on for a little longer after that! She will unfortunately be crucified by the handicapper but being a 4yo she has plenty more to come. I will take a look at races for her next month but she may well have a little holiday now.
There are some pictures of her on 
Our new Head Lad / Assistant Trainer ‘Foxy’ started today, he comes from Nigel Twiston-Davis’ with a great reference. We are looking forward to having him on board and hope he will be a great asset to the team.

One hell of a weekend!

One hell of a weekend!

We were all very busy on Friday putting the finishing touches to the yard before the weekend. Even Rose was out pulling manes for all of her lunch break! I have to say it was a pretty nerve wracking day for us all not knowing what to expect with our first public open day looming the following day.
On Saturday we pulled out 1st lot at 6am, we rode out 3 lots straight away, Lawrie Gill and Emily Scott came in to ride a couple each helping to get all the horses ridden by 10am. The lads did a super job and didn’t not stop all morning. I rode 1st lot myself  before having breakfast with our two Red Letter Day guests Dawn and Andy and Mr & Mrs Kimber who came to see our horses for sale. It was their second trip to Neardown and after a trip up the gallops they decided to purchase the remaining 50% share in Royal Redemption. It is great to have them on board in such a lovely horse. When we arrived back from the gallops I found out that the people coming in to do the catering for the Open Day had suddenly let us down. It was all hands on deck and amazingly it turned out that Andy was a whizz with the BBQ and whipped up our guests some hot food all day. I owe Dawn, Andy and Roses mother Jackie a massive thank you for their hard work and humour that kept us all going.

The open day was a great success, we had about 200 new faces through the gates during the day. The horses were all paraded and behaved impeccably and looked extremely well. Mr Big also had a bit of school with Gavin Sheehan showing everyone how its done. The Morris Dancers then took over for the afternoon and once again I showed them how it was done-I believe there are a few videos of me going around! It was great to meet so many racing enthusiasts and show them ‘behind the scenes’. I hope that everyone had an enjoyable and insightful day and didn’t noticed our small hitch!

The day didn’t stop there as following on from the open day Katya and I had our engagement party up at the house. A copious amount of champagne was drunk in a short space of time and we all let our hair down a little but handily it meant that it wasn’t a very late night as we had to be up early on Sunday for our owners lunch. No rest for the wicked!
Everyone was in to set up for the owners lunch at 10am on Sunday, there were a few sore heads amongst us all but we all knuckled down and got the show back on the road. With amazing fate we had a glorious day and laid a lovely long table down the centre of our court yard. The contingency plan was to lay the table down the middle of the horse barn if rain struck but luckily for the second year running we were bathed in sun for most of the day. With great thinking from the more sober people on Saturday night a couple of cases of Champagne were hidden to provide the owners with Champagne reception to toast the coming of the new season.
We ate fillet of  beef and dauphinoise  potatoes with some lovely fresh beans. Cheese and chocolates followed as did more wine! It was a brilliant day and I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with lovely owners and hope they enjoyed the day as much as we all did. It could not have been done better by our team of merry helpers, Rose and Jackie, the sunday chef Avery Ffrench Davis, and the wonderful duo Helen Whitfield and Emma Frampton and the children William and Charlotte who all worked tirelessly all weekend.
Today has been a struggle for the humans at Neardown but the horses seem as well as ever!

Five To Follow

So results from October 2013 – September 2014 FIVE TO FOLLOW are in;

WELL DONE TO BRYAN BEACHAM. Impressive as not only did he top the leader board with his Five to Follow selections but his two horses also topped the leader board! Well done to Christine Holt and Sue Welch who both had the 3 top scoring horses in their selections.

Bryan a cheque for £195 is coming your way! Christine, Sue and Bryan Borrough (last years winner)prize money is on its way to you as well.  A donation to the IJF will also be made.

You will be able to make entry’s for this years Five To Follow at our OPEN DAY so get yourselves down here on Saturday!

46 Bryan Beacham 140
LORD OF HOUSE 42 Christine Holt* 130
SEVENTH SKY 42 Sue Welch* 130
ELMORE BACK (IRE) 22 Marie Ellis 122
FINE PARCHMENT  20 Simon Beccle 122
WESTERN KING 20 Harry Bannister 120
WHO OWNS ME 20 Gine Cohen 116
SHOCKINGTIMES  16 Terry & Gill
SCEPTICISM (USA) 12 Dave Coster 110
DUKE OF MONMOUTH  10 Tim Stutt 100
LATELO 10 Gary Bradley 100
PLUM STONE 10 Philippa
AIRMEN’S FRIEND  8 Rose Osborn 94
LOW GALES (IRE)  2 Sophie Round 90
VICTOR LEUDORUM 2 Cathy Leuchars 88
Marie Ellis 86
Amiee King 86
Tony Holt 86
Trevor King 84
Simon Beccle 84
Rose Osborn 84
Helen &
Archie Bannister 74
Gill Gladders 74
Fiona Stonehouse 68
Richard Curry 68
Jane Ashby 62
Julia Bannister 56
Bryan Beacham 54
Carol Coster 48
Juliet Thornhill 48
Helen &
Nick Quesnel 34
Nick Bannister 30
Anne Swerling 26
Joanne Hoaream 24
Sue van