Hello all you lovely people, I hope you are coping with this dreadful situation and you are staying healthy? I thought about writing some stuff on facebook, but thought I would just bash some stuff out on here.
With racing not happening until May, I am very concerned that there are going to be a lot of small businesses who support the racing industry and smaller trainers who are going to be in a desperate situation financially, not to mention the owners whose businesses are at risk.
I'm not sure what the answer should be and I wish there was something we could do as a collective to help. I am trying to keep things as normal as possible here, we are putting the horses on the walker for a couple of weeks to get over what was ailing them and to get them used to their new environment.
We will aim to be riding them out after that with a view to getting most of them ready to run in May. Obviously the soft ground horses will go out, but those that will go on the good ground haven't had a season, what with the weather and our own viral problems. So i thought why not try? and if the powers that be decide that racing in May is not going to happen, then we will have to stop and turn them all away.
I am in a precarious financial position with a few horses to sell to stay in the yard and had hoped that the move would aid me in doing that. However if that is my only problem, then I am one of the lucky ones. I am down to 2 staff now and I will do everything in my power to keep them on, they are brilliant and I would be lost without them.
The new yard is beautiful, it is taking some getting used to though, just having so much space and the out door boxes are so airy it shows just how sheltered the East Garston yard is, the air flow is completely different. The horses have all settled very well now and have lots to look at. I will move over there as soon as I am happy that it has made the difference I hoped it would.
In other happier (I hope!) news would like to introduce you to a new recruit that I seem to have acquired...He is called Zeeshan.
Zeezee came to me in the beginning of Feb, he had run on the flat in Ireland and his owners wanted a few more options to choose from when deciding where to run him, hence the move to England. However Zee had quite a few niggles that we found and after working through them, the owners were not in the position to continue with him financially.
Yup you guessed it, Jojo ended up falling in love with him and offering to have him. He is still a very strange shape and will take some time to become what I think he could be, however I haven't felt this way about a horse since I bought Marmont or trained Passato.
Zee is the kindest, most beautiful moving horse, he only wants to please and has got the biggest stride for a small horse, that I have ever seen. He had to learn to drop his head and stretch and has mastered that really well, his m.o. before was head up as high as he could and to go sideways on three tracks whilst holding the left rein like a plank of wood!
At first glance his pedigree is a sprinter's, however his dam was half sister to hurdle winners and his sire, Anjal is half brother to 2 mile stayers on the flat. There were those that told me Mr F and Marmont would never stay looking at their pedigrees and I proved them wrong, I am even more certain about Zee, he looks like the horse equivalent of Mo Farah!
So when the time is right and people are back on their feet and we are all in a better place, I will be selling shares of him, he will run in juvenile hurdles and on the flat this summer (providing the current situation changes!).
Anton came to do the horses today and I feel so sorry for him and other self employed people like him, all of his work has stopped and he has a family and mortgage, it was a stark reminder of the awful times people are facing.
I am now certain (self diagnosis!) that my illness a month ago was coronavirus, Ella had 5 days of raging temperatures too, my Greg has been under the weather for a few weeks, but nothing specific and Gregg (Trace) who works for me had 3 days off sick (unheard of!) two weeks ago. He said he had never felt so rough, we all agreed it was like being body slammed by a truck, I was the only one who had the shortness of breath.... Obviously my self diagnosis is something we can never prove but all the symptoms were there. However we are all fine now and I would be very interested to find out the real figures about the prevalence of the virus and how the immunity and time we are contagious works.
If there are any people in Highworth and East Garston who are isolated and struggling, please let me know, I am backwards and forwards between the two (I have to do the horses in Highworth and am still living in East Garston for now) and either myself or one of my lovely staff can get you provisions or do whatever we can to help you.
Right I am off to do the school run in a bit, so stay safe people, please look out for one and other.