Thursday, 24 December 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy.

The days leading up to Christmas have been very busy but were set rolling in good style by Maccabees' win.  A superb staff Christmas party soon followed.

Then Claude Greenwood travelled to Chelmsford City, where an improved performance saw him collect some AVC prize money for 5th place.
There was a large gathering for the final Saturday breakfast before Christmas, where cards were exchanged and Maccabees' victory was celebrated.
The following day Itoldyou and Kingscombe made the long journey to race at Fakenham.  Itoldyou earned some AVC prize money for 6th place and James won the "Best Turned Out" award with Kingscombe.
The following day saw Mabdab make his racecourse debut at Lingfield, and a very encouraging one it was being right in contention until the last half furlong and finishing 6th.
Mabdab's owner, jockey and trainer at Lingfield.

While Mabdab was at Lingfield, Claude Greenwood was back at Chelmsford City, again earning some prize money, this time for 4th place.
There is time now for a couple of easier days before Red Anchor goes to Fontwell on Boxing Day.

Monday, 14 December 2015

It's Maccabees' Moment.

Having made the frame a couple of times recently, Maccabees got the victory he deserved in the long distance handicap hurdle at Plumpton today.  Ridden by Tom Cheesman he settled in the rear half of the nine runner field for the first circuit then closed up going down the hill for the second time, taking the lead into the straight.  He possibly didn't want to be there that early and Tom gave him a breather up the hill, allowing the field to close.  Again going down the far side he started to stretch them and by the turn into the home straight there was only one to worry about.  It was a good battle over the final two flights but Maccabees always looked as if he would just hold on, which he did winning by 1 and a quarter lengths.

Co-owner Kim (left) with Maccabees.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Hunting Equals Happy.

Linda has sent Red Anchor and Claude Greenwood to a local hunt to keep them happy and hopefully freshen up their performances.  Certainly with Red Anchor it did the trick earlier in the year.  Valence Racing member Penny was on hand to see them.

Monday, 30 November 2015

It's A Sheila Thing made the long trip to Wolverhampton worthwhile when she showed improved form, according to official ratings, to finish third in the claiming race.  Upped in trip to 9 and a half furlongs and ridden by Steve Drowne she was always close to the pace.  She came up the rail in the home straight where she was hampered, but switched out she ran on to finish third under three lengths behind the much higher rated winner.
It's A Sheila Thing pulls out in third after meeting interference up the rail.

Monday, 23 November 2015

More From Ireland.

Those on the trip to Ireland attended the local drag hunt on the Sunday.
Some were spectators.

While others took a more active role!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Irish Getaway.

Linda, Paul and a few owners are on a short break in Ireland, staying at Bunglasha.  Their initial disappointment at a little rain and temperatures of only 7 degrees was soon banished as they learnt that it was 2 degrees and snowing at the stables.  A drop in at Goosers and some wonderful scenery is making for a great visit.  Karen, Ben and James have joined them today, and some of them hope to be out drag hunting tomorrow.


Winter's Here!

What a change in the weather, with a sudden drop in temperature and a variety of soakings from above.  True National Hunt weather!  We went down to the track in snow, then sleet, and finally rain, to watch the horses slosh around.
Dick did his best to keep the track drained.
Owners sought shelter under the trees.
The horses seemed to enjoy it all.

The hot breakfast after this lot had finished was very welcome.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Soggy, Satisfying Saturday.

There was rain in the air yesterday as the breakfast crowd gathered but it was an interesting morning.  It was good to welcome two new owners to the Saturday get together, the chatter was lively and plans for the horses over the next few weeks were put together.  It was really good to see a couple of the horses school over the hurdles and fences.
We were also treated to the following video, taken by Karen, showing how happy Red Anchor was after his comeback race this week, along with his equine friend Dillon.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

One Too Good.

Maccabees finished second in a three mile plus handicap hurdle at Fontwell (6/11/15).  Ridden by Thomas Cheesman, he looked keen going to post and didn't seem to want to settle.  He was close in touch as the field went on their three laps.  Due to the deteriorating ground in the rain, the field ran wide under the trees in the back straight and on the stands side in the home straight looking for better ground and adding another half furlong to the distance.  On the final circuit Maccabees started to drop back as the leading two runners pulled away, but as is his custom, he stormed up the home straight reeling in all but the winner, who carried a light weight, going down by 24 lengths.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Breakfast Tribute.

There was a large turnout this morning to remember Laurel Stevens who sadly passed away recently.
She was a syndicate owner of both She's Humble and Itoldyou, and she loved her Saturday breakfast visits to the yard.  After a few words, glasses of champagne were raised in her memory.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

All Blue But Everyone Happy!

Owner Rosemary Watson had a great day out at Newmarket yesterday with her friend Linda Beasley.  Rosemary had lent her horse, Fine Tune, to take part in the second ever running of the Varsity Horse Race.  In return they had a splendid day with lunch in the Royal Box.
Rosemary and Linda lunching in the Royal Box

The day was made even better when Oliver won his first ever "Best Turned Out" award.  £100!
Best Turned Out

Fine Tune was ridden for Oxford by Alice Thomson.  They finished mid-division and unfortunately Cambridge won the trophy.
Rosemary and Alice before the race.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Claude Looks Great Again.

Claude Greenwood made his return to racing today, in the Valence Racing colours, at Chelmsford after a summer break.  After running prominently until tiring in the final furlong, he finished 7th in the field of eleven and we hope he will come on for the race.  One aspect that needs no improvement is the way he looks, as yet again he won the "Best Turned Out" award, earning Frankie £50. 
Claude Greenwood is beautifully turned out.
Frankie is pleased with her £50.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Jumpers Are Coming.

It was starting to feel like the jumping season was getting close at the yard today.  Clonusker, Due South, Itoldyou and Red Anchor were all cantering and looked well.  Linda also announced that the breakfast would revert to the winter menu from next Saturday!
Clonusker leads Due South, Itoldyou and Red Anchor round the track.
Due South


Red Anchor

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Previous Post Follow Up

Well how did Kingscombe do?

Kingscombe performed well at the Southeastern Dressage Championships finishing a very creditable 6th of 20 competitors, some of whom were not racehorses and had had much more experience!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Weekend Odds And Ends.

Saturday morning saw new horse Mab Dab meet his new owner's family, especially appropriate as they were responsible for his name.  They all looked very happy as they thought about the future.

Later that day Karen took Fine Tune and Claude Greenwood out for some early autumn hunting.  This should freshen them up with the expectation that they will be racing later in the month.
 Claude Greenwood through Fine Tune's ears!
Claude Greenwood.

On Sunday Karen took Kingscombe to compete in the Southeastern Dressage Championships.  At this moment the results are not known.
Quite a diverse weekend!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Cross Country Warm Up.

As part of Yes I Will's preparation for his first run in a steeplechase, this coming Wednesday at Southwell, Karen gave him a spin over a local cross country course.  As you can see from the photographs he took to it well.

If asked if he will run better for the experience, his reply would almost certainly be "Yes I will"! 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Splendid Owners Open Day.

The sun beat down and the Pimms flowed on a brilliant Owners Open Day.  The staff had worked very hard preparing the yard and the horses for the visitors.  In the sunshine the horses looked magnificent, their coats shiny showing their well being.  After walking around looking at the horses in their boxes, eating a few nibbles and socialising, everyone gathered by the lawn to view the parade of horses.

There were many exciting prospects on view and Linda's expert commentary whetted the appetite for the coming months.

It was also nice to meet some new owners, some of whom were inspired to make purchases on the day.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Another Fizzing Saturday.

Yet again the fizz was out at breakfast this morning, this time to celebrate a variety of things.  Pauline, one of our owners, had won a show class with her pony and also gained reserve champion status.  Peter, husband of another owner, had won a cup with his steam engine.  Linda's Paul celebrated his birthday and the Due South owners formalised their syndicate name and received the news that he had passed the vet.
 Paul opens some birthday fizz.
Karen shows off Due South .

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Delicious Thank You

Some of the Saturday breakfasters took Linda, Paul and Barbara out for a thank you lunch.  They went to the Mulberry Tree, very close to the hill gallop.  The food was excellent, great praise for the bream, duck, crème brulee and brownies with honeycomb ice cream.
Why does everyone go serious then the photo is taken?

The opportunity was also taken to form a new syndicate to take on a new horse.  A very productive and pleasant lunch.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

House Warming!

Chris, owner of Denwood Lad, has been refurbishing the boxes on the top row of the main block.  As well as a new roof and doors, rubber matting has been installed, reducing bedding costs, and mirrors put up to keep the horses happy.  First to take ownership of his new accommodation was Denwood Lad himself, while the occasion was celebrated with glasses of champagne.
Denwood Lad enters his new box.
The owners celebrate with champagne and Denwood Lad.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Back To Work.

The last day of July and everything is being readied for the National Hunt horses to get back to work.  The boxes have had a makeover and a steam cleaning, while the farrier has been round to the holiday field to put their new shoes on.  It may be totally different weather to what they can expect to race in, but the timetable has been set to get them to their best for their autumn/winter targets.
Working on the boxes.

Red Anchor stands patiently as his new shoes are fitted.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Sun Thing To Cheer Us Up!

With the forecast of heavy rain and cooler temperatures over the next few days the horses in the holiday field, including Red Anchor and Itoldyou, made the most of their time in the sun today as they will be returning to the yard very soon.  For them, the last of the summer wine!

And by the looks of them they will need some serious work or new girths!

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ireland Buying Trip.

Linda has gone to Ireland to hopefully purchase a horse or two.  Two owners, Sally and Pauline, are accompanying her and very much looking forward to seeing what Ireland has to offer.  While Linda is searching generally for new blood for the yard, the three of them are looking specifically for a National Hunt horse for a newly formed syndicate.  The three of them flew out from Gatwick yesterday (Wednesday) evening to meet up with Pat Jones, one of Linda's friends, who is a breeder out there.
Thursday has been spent looking at horses.  The plan for a very full day was to visit  equine establishments from Clare in the east right across to Wexford in the west.  Typical Irish weather made for soggy viewings.

There was just time for Pauline to sample the local brew!

Other refreshment had to be taken when possible to help last out the day, with the prospect of a hearty evening meal when the day's viewing and travelling were over.

A couple of nice horses were seen on Thursday but no decisions made.  More horses to see on Friday.
As expected they had a lovely evening meal at Pipers Inn.

The B & B where they are staying in Tuamgraney, Scariff, has been very comfortable and Teresa Browne the proprietor has provided an excellent breakfast to get their long days started.

 After a morning looking at horses it was a visit to the wonderful Goosers restaurant in Killaloe.

 It wasn't all pubs and restaurants, there was plenty of horse viewing.  Here you can see an inspection of a field of fillies.