Sorry for the delay on my latest instalment of Harry’s blog. I have been, and am still having, technical issues with my iPad and it’s likely to get a flying lesson out the window very soon!
Harry has been very busy in the past few weeks, mainly terrorising the general public around Lifton with his epic displays of wild behaviour. I’m not quite sure what’s got into him (other than lots of good haylage and food!).
Anyway, his schedule has consisted of plenty of cantering and we aimed for Buckfastleigh on 15 February. I unfortunately made a massive c**k up and entered Harry for the wrong race. My bad! Luckily we managed to transfer him to the correct one.
Off to the races
Before Harry ran on the Sunday, we had a busy day point-to-pointing at Wadebridge on Valentine’s Day with Teddy and Tiz running. Tiz (pictured right) was making his racecourse debut, and with his breeder Steve Long present, we were all very excited and ever so slightly bricking it!
He was a good boy though, and with Vicky Wade doing the steering, he ran well. He was keen enough and learnt loads.
Inbetween his run and Teddy’s, friends Pauline and Tony Geering’s horse Racey Lacey made all the running in his race (the second division of the maiden) and was the easy and impressive winner under Will Biddick. I was delighted for them and for the mare’s owners, the Racey Club. The club includes many of my friends and it was a massive thrill for all of them!
Ted (pictured below) then ran with cheek pieces installed. He ran well, although a little off the pace, and finished fifth. He jumped like a bunny as always and Jo Buck was pleased with his efforts.
An untimely Baywatch impression
So it was all down to Harry …..
I was under no illusions that the restricted was going to be a tough test, especially with the going becoming very tacky by the end of the day. It was going to be no easy task for “Hazza hurricane”.
David Noonan unfortunately couldn’t ride Harry as he was stepped down (oops!) so Matt Hampton kindly took the ride.
David felt Harry made too much use of himself in front at Chipley Park last time out so felt that if we tried to drop him right out the back it may help him settle better. As asked Matt did just that and Harry jumped amazingly. They went a mad gallop from the off and poor Harry looked to be caught off guard somewhat. However he picked up and got into the race nicely.
As the main pack kicked on five fences from home, Harry didn’t go with them and as he jumped the fourth last he got rather stuck in the mud on landing. As I saw him fall and my heart sank. Harry didn’t move and I saw Matt pin his head down. I ran (imagine something similar to Baywatch, but across plough and in jeans — it isn’t an easy look to pull off!) over to him and I have to say I feared the worst.
The last time a horse of mine fell, I lost her to a broken shoulder. The relief when Matt assured me he was just winded was enormous. I can’t thank all the professionals and volunteers enough for their care of Harry. He had some oxygen and a lie down in the mud for 25min! It felt like a lifetime, but once he was back to his feet he dragged myself and Claudia back to the lorry at full tilt!
The following day Harry went out in the field with Rusty, my first pony. He was absolutely fine and seemed to show no ill effects from the previous day. I had him blood tested just to check there was no reason as to why he stayed down for so long and thankfully there wasn’t!
Harry then had a quiet week just hacking out and enjoying life after his fall. His first canter was a success and everything has gone to plan since, including schooling well (see video top). Fingers crossed that fall was just a blip and he will be fine now.
I have waited until now to enter him again as I wanted better ground, so he’s off to the Lamerton point-to-point at Kilworthy on 22 March.
All the other horses are absolutely fine and the plan is to run all four of them at Kilworthy. This day out will include my first ride out on Lundy Sky. A former hurdler with a decent rating, he will run in the hunt race, with Tiz and Harry for each division of the maiden and Teddy in the restricted.
Meanwhile the eventing season kicks off at Aldon this week for me. Both horses are fit and well and I feel the dressage could be a little exuberant!
Hope you are all well and enjoying the better weather. I promise a swifter update on Harry next time.