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Last week marked the second manifestation of National Racehorse Week – an initiative introduced to broaden the public’s knowledge of the care and attention that our beloved friend, the racehorse receives away from the track and we opened the doors to Pond House for in excess of 150 visitors.

National Racehorse Week

I couldn’t be more pleased to support National Racehorse Week and it is tremendous to see that many other stables, stud farms, and training centres up and down the country are doing the same,

In this digital age, I feel that it is more important than ever to be transparent with our methods.  The advent of social media means that genuine news or idle gossip can travel the globe at the speed of light and it is often difficult to differentiate one from the other.  I hope that by opening the doors to our stable, we can demonstrate the love, respect and devotion with which our horses are treated and promote this positive message widely for the good of racing.

Our guests were able to tour the yard and meet the horses in their stables.  There was a demonstration of horses swimming and jumping in the loose school, and cantering on our Wexford sand gallop.  Our blacksmith, Kevin Hollis was on hand to demonstrate the care that goes into keeping the horses feet in the best possible condition, whilst retired former Pond House resident, Ekayburg (pictured right) looked magnificent as he gave a ridden demonstration with his new owner, Pamela Martin.  Ekayburg is now competing in Retraining of Racehorses dressage classes (and competed at Blenheim earlier last week) and is a tremendous credit to connections.  It is wonderful to see these horses doing so well and enjoying such rewarding lives after their racing careers have finished.

David Pipe Racing Club Members Visit

On Sunday we welcomed members of the David Pipe Racing Club for their annual and they were able to see their string of horses paraded along with a few stable stars, including Aintree legend, Vieux Lion Rouge, who paraded on both days and continues to look extremely well during his retirement.

Across the two days, we raised in excess of £1,000 for charity with contributions for cakes and refreshments and donations for some trophies that we have won at Pond House over the years.  I think this is a tremendous effort and will benefit St Margaret’s Hospice, who were so good in supporting our dear friend, Kathy Rollason, who lost her battle with cancer this summer.  Kathy had been our hostel housekeeper for the past five years and looked after everyone at the yard with delicious cooked breakfasts and bacon rolls and is still sadly missed.

I would like to extend my grateful thanks to my mother-in-law, Ang Green, Jane Dougherty, Angela Edwards, Jan Pearmain and my daughter Sophie for their efforts in baking some wonderful cakes, Tim and my father-in-law, Pete and of course, my parents for their help over the two days.  I continue to be indebted to my fantastic team, who gave up their weekends to welcome our visitors – they enjoyed a few beers and burgers after the Racing Club visit yesterday!

So Close…

On the runners front, the horses continued to go well without quite getting their heads in front.  Lady Reset ran her usual honest race when runner-up at Uttoxeter on Tuesday behind a well-handicapped type.

Ben Lilly ran well for the David Pipe Racing Club when third over 3m2½f at Newton Abbot on Wednesday, whilst Kolisi met trouble in running when fourth in the two miler.  d’Jango was another to reach the frame when runner-up in the staying handicap chase and he looks capable of winning again, be it over hurdles or fences.

Borntobealeader shaped with promise in the juvenile hurdle at Plumpton on Sunday.  He has only been with us for three weeks and the experience will not have been lost on him.  Cadeau d’Or saw out the longer trip well in the 2m4½f handicap hurdle on the same card and he looks sure to be winning races over timber sooner rather than later.

The Week Ahead

With Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral taking place today, the team have been in early to get the horses exercised and they will be leaving early so they will have the opportunity to watch the service.

We will be back with three runners at Warwick tomorrow as Al Roc, El Paso Wood and Dindin participate.  Al Roc goes in the 2m4f handicap chase and it looks a decent opportunity for him.  He has had a tremendous start to the season, winning four times and is back to his last winning mark.

El Paso Wood contests the staying handicap chase and is bidding for a hat-trick following successes at Stratford and Uttoxeter, whilst Dindin has been unlucky not to get his head in front and contests the conditional jockeys’ handicap chase.

On Friday, Koi Dodville, Oceanline and Free Chakarte are intended runners at Worcester.  Oceanline is in the final of the Fixed Brush novices’ hurdle series and there is some excellent prize money on offer.  Lady Reset and the David Pipe Racing Club’s Iron Heart are the other entries on the card, whilst we will have a few entries at Market Rasen next weekend.  For full details of all our runners, keep up to date with our daily news section…

Left: the horses exercise on our sand gallop and Right: Cesarewitch favourite, Adagio parades at our open mornings

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