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Go Mr F

I got back from a lovely weeks skiing on Saturday and it was made even better by the wonderful Mr Fitzroy winning again for us all. He is an amazing horse, who gives his all and never lets me down, I ride him out everyday and knew that if Jerry could get him filled with confidence and jumping well, he would win. He gave him a great ride and Mr F was very brave, its nice when you are a small yard to have a horse everyone loves win, all of us work with every horse in one way or an other so its very personal when they win.

Mr F the superstar!

We were hoping to run By the fireside at Kempton yesterday, but again he didn't get in, very frustrating for us and his owners, he is in great form and we are struggling to find somewhere that isn't going to be bottomless, isn't just for mares only and isn't miles away...

Captain Flash goes to Uttoxeter today - providing I can get the lorry out of the yard looking at the snow - and we are hopeful of a good run, he is working well but it is his first run for a while and he may just need the run.

Its hard being a small yard with only 16 horses in work, we don't run regularly to keep people noticing when we do get a winner, however I am happy with our run to place ratio over the last year, if we put them all together it would be more impressive.

I don't like to run horses unless I think they are ready, healthy and in the right races. Obviously I get it wrong sometimes (only human!) but I hope to learn when I do get it wrong and try not to repeat it, I am grateful when I learn something and know that only by failing do I learn, improve and grow, something that the younger generation seem not to grasp. It is a frightening world we live in now when children aren't allowed to fail or be told no. Without being knocked on my arse more times than I can remember, by circumstances, bosses that bullied me, owners that shafted me and staff that took advantage, I would not have learnt the lessons I have and without the grounding I got from my mother as a child (she was wonderful, very tough and the most amazing role model) I could not have made it this far, for that I am eternally grateful.

I have noticed in the last few years increasingly employing people and speaking to other employers in all walks of life, how hard it is to get good young people who are dedicated and have any sort of determination to succeed. Its very hard to correct or teach them because they think you are criticising them or being nasty - which makes life very difficult both for them and for us as the employer. I have had girls come and tell me they can ride anything blah blah blah, however the reality of it is they get run away with on the easiest horse in the yard, nearly bucked off a fresh one and generally turn my hair grey in 30 secs. I think what most kids forget nowadays is that the employer is beholden to their customers, if I cock up then I let my owners down. If my staff cock up I still let my owners down, its not a hobby that I play at. I need my horses to be ridden how I want, because A. I'm paying the wages and B. I know my horses...and if I offer staff training then I am happy to help for their sake not just my own.

Ella in her first slalom race

The skiing was amazing and we skied hard everyday, we had a couple of bad light days and a couple of great sunny ones, it also snowed loads. Obergurgl was a really nice resort with very friendly people and the food was amazing - we ate far too much, drank too much and slept loads! Back into 5 lots everyday on Monday - feels like I have never been away...

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