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It;s a beautiful crisp winters morning

Thursday, 31 January 2019

"Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends."

Shirley MacLaine.

06_Mares
Mares on the stud having fun in the snow yesterday

10_Mare
Rosie Scot turned out 

There was a very hard frost overnight but it is a beautiful morning now, with a bright blue sky and no wind. We are very lucky that the heathmen are out at all hours putting salt and grit down on the walking grounds. In the olden days we would not have been able to do any exercise with the horses, except trot them round the yard on a straw bed. With the invention of the all-weather surface you can keep them going every day of the year. We have plenty of people in this morning and all the horses are having a good exercise, although, because of the conditions, we have had to be very careful. All has gone well.

16_Yearlings
Even the yearlings are enjoying the snow

There are two completely different articles in the Racing Post today on the BHA policies. One is by Richard Forristal who says the BHA is influenced by too many minority groups who don’t understand horses and the other is by Bruce Millington with the opposite opinion. He thinks that the reaction from industry professionals is excessive. Whichever way you come down we certainly need a leader, whether it be the BHA, the Trainers’ Associations or the Jockey’s Association. All three have been very quiet and tend to sit on the fence rather than be forthright and put across the professionals point of view. I tend to agree with Charlie Mann’s comment who said ‘they are a bunch of grey suited idiots that are completely out of touch with what we do’.

49_Cantering
Cantering on the heath at first lot

With my chairman of the Newmarket Trainers Federation hat on I was delighted to see Cliff Lines go into retirement with a winner yesterday. He won the seven furlong maiden handicap at Lingfield last night with Catapult. Cliff was one of the proper people in the industry. He worked for Noel Murless and Sir Michael Stoute and rode so many good horses over the years. A work rider who could tell you something, educate the horses but also love them. A very rare commodity nowadays. We wish him well in his retirement.

 

The snow is not stopping us

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals."

Zig Ziglar.

87_Snowy
We woke to a covering of snow this morning

88_2nd_lot
Cantering at second lot

We had the first laying snow of the year this morning. It was raining when I put the dog out and went to bed last night, but on opening the curtains at 5 o’clock we have got a half inch covering everywhere and as it has become lighter, it has got colder. There is no wind though, thank goodness, and it doesn’t look like we will be getting much more snow today. The heathmen have been out since very early putting tons of salt and grit on all the walking grounds and working the gallops so that we can get the horses out. It has been very busy on Southfields Round as it is close to a lot of the yards. We had one new rider in this morning which helps and two laps of the circle have been the exercise of the day. All has gone well so far.

99_Willie
Wrapped up against the cold

I see the RSPCA have jumped on the bandwagon since the BHA published the fatality list yesterday. I am not sure what angle they are coming from as racehorses are the best looked after animals in the country. Everything is done for them when they are in training and their welfare afterwards. It is certainly way above any other horse activity e.g. show jumping etc. as we have a professional retraining of racehorses association. The welfare of our horses in the industry is our number one priority so the RSPCA should not be worrying at all. This could be a politically motivated intrusion.

80_Moon
The moon shining over Newmarket

The BHA has climbed down from their horses ‘run of their own free will’ statement which was completely crackers. This is because the great and the good have been publically criticizing them. Yesterday Alan King joined the chorus of disapprovers and declared the governing body were in danger of becoming a laughing stock. I don’t know how they can get things so badly wrong and all they do is drive everybody in the industry to despair. We have not heard from their leader much, which is disappointing, as you need a strong man at the helm who will stand up and be counted.

 
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