Onwards and upwards ...

There is a hard frost this morning

Monday, 21 January 2019

"There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice."
Mark Twain.

Warm up over, off to canter

It’s an overcast start to the day which is very disappointing as I was hoping to see the wolf moon this morning. It was visible from half past four to just after five and is not going to occur again until 2029. If you missed it, like me, you now have a long time to wait to see another. There is absolutely no wind today but we have had a hard frost and it would be very cold if the breeze was up. The forecast is for it to continue like this all week but it is January and is only what we should expect at this time of year. The horses have all been out cantering on Southfields Round and everything is going well. The walking grounds could be a bit better this side as when they freeze they can get a bit rutted, but apart from that things are moving ahead smoothly.

Cantering single file

All moving well

It is disappointing to see Fawzi Nass, a prominent Bahrain business man who had recently set up a private trainer in Newmarket, pull the plug on his investment. They had just bought Eve Lodge Stables off Lester Piggott but with the finances as they are, and the cost of everything, he has decided to send most of his horses back to the Middle East and a few to stay with other trainers in Newmarket. What with the Godolphin pre-training yards only half full, we now have two big yards empty this side and with Bedford Lodge on the market, plus several other smaller yards up for rent, the prize money situation, which I have been banging on about for so long, is beginning to hit home. Something needs to be done about this situation and quickly or else more people like Fawzi will be leaving.

Amelia receiving her Christmas Quiz prize

We have all had an email from the BHA about equine influenza which has seen outbreaks in France, Belgium, Ireland and one or two in the UK in non-thoroughbred horses. It is an airborne transmitted disease but it can also be carried on peoples clothing. If you were watching Countryfile last night you would have seen the disease which is spreading in pigs throughout Europe. It has not hit England yet but if it does, it will complete decimate pig farming in this country. Equine flu doesn’t kill them, but it would stop racing in certain places and we must all be taking every precaution to avoid such an outbreak. With the movement of horses now worldwide, sooner or later you are going to get a strange outbreak of something and let’s hope everybody can get it under control before such an event happens.