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Cold January

FInally I am sitting at my desk applying myself to writing this and also updating the website, it seems like only yesterday that it was Christmas and each week passes in a blur at the moment. The weather is rather trying, everyday is a constant battle of stopping the water, haysteamers and pretty much everything else from freezing constantly. However after much practice we have managed to cope, mind you yesterday it wasn't freezing when we started at 6 but by the time we had fed and mucked out and were ready to pull out on the first lot, the yard had frozen into sheet ice. Luckily we have a very kind neighbour who lets us use the field at the back of the yard to go to the gallop, without this it would be very tricky getting all the horses out, we have had days where all we can do is canter 30 laps each way round the school - gets very boring but once round is a furlong so they are getting plenty of work.

We have had horses ready to go for a while but with meetings being abandoned all over the shop, we are just having to be patient. I am hopeful for tomorrow at Huntingdon, we have By The Fireside running for the first time, he is a sweet little horse who has shown enough to have a run, his owners are lovely people who deserve a bit of luck.

BY the Fireside and Jerry in Lambourn

Heroes or Ghosts ran a few weeks ago and to be honest the ground was far too soft for him, he shouldn't have run, his main owner wanted him to have a run and then a break - it was hard not to allow him to run because he had won his point on heavy but there is a world of difference between winning a point and running over regulation fences on that type of ground. However he came out of it sound and has had a few weeks rest, he is fresh and happy and will probably be running at the end of Feb.

I was gutted that Fakenham was off today, JB looked to have a great opportunity to win another this season, there is nothing else really suitable for a while. Looking at the program book for then next month, the lesser hurdles 0-100, are all at courses that would have ground that is too soft for him.

By the fireside and JB up the gallops in Lambourn

Mr Fitzroy has his belated seasonal debut on Sunday hopefully, he has taken a while this season after having a go at cutting his leg off in the field last summer, he had been out for 5 weeks and managed to cut the leg down to the bone, not nice. He seems in great form and I am hopeful for him to run a nice race if its on. I do think he is probably slightly too high in the handicap but would be delighted if he proves me wrong!

At the moment we have 14 riding out, which is great and are hoping to get a few more over the next couple of months. It makes life much easier when we have staff who are reliable and actually want to do the job, the atmosphere in the yard is so much better and the horses are happier. The weather, although bitterly cold gives us some beautiful mornings, here are some pics.

Cold gallops!

Above the cloud

Finally I am off skiing on Saturday to Austria, it still seems a million miles away, going away is more stressful than staying at home, there is so much to do to get organised, however the last time Mr F ran whilst I was away he won, no pressure...

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