Well it has been a busy few weeks here on the yard and I am still riding out for my brother, Harry, the National Hunt trainer too. I am very glad it is staying lighter for longer in the evenings so that I can fit everything in.
The countdown to the Cheltenham Festival is well and truly underway. There is a lot of excitement and a real buzz about the yard as we hope to be sending a good strong team to the Festival.
Before that and while I still have a few weeks until my event season starts, I am whizzing off on a quick holiday to Norway for some skiing — lucky me!
My family have skied in Norway since we were tiny and it is such a beautiful place. We will do a mixture of downhill and langlauf (cross-country), which is fantastic for fitness.
Over the last couple of weeks there has been lots going on. I have been out to Ireland for a couple of day’s horse shopping with Carolyne Ryan Bell and a friend and we had a great time.
We definitely saw as many horses as we possibly could in the two days and were still trying them at 7pm in the dark! I hopefully have an imminent new arrival so watch this space.
I also haven’t introduced another new equine member to the team, rising 5-year-old Effie. She is a lovely grey mare by Emperor Augustus (TB) and owned by Nick and Gill Engert. She came to me in the New Year having only been broken so we have been starting her education. She is proving really willing and looks an exciting mare for the future.
We have been out showjumping at West Wilts and Summerhouse; dressaging at West Wilts and cross-country schooling at Pontispool on their fantastic all-weather cross-country arena.
In addition there have been jumping lessons with Emma Fisher and dressage lessons with Hannah Biggs so it’s full steam ahead for the season. All the horses are feeling fantastic. The first entries for Aldon have been made and I cannot wait for the season to get started.
Walking the courses
I must bring your attention to an incredible upcoming charity venture: Walking The Courses. A great university friend of mine’s father, Richard Farquhar is walking between the 60 British racecourses over a 13-month period — starting next month and covering approximately 2,750 miles — in aid of two extremely worthy charities, Pancreatic Cancer UK and Racing Welfare.
It is quite a daunting task and I will definitely be joining in for a couple of legs of the south west racecourses. Please take a look at their website to find out more www.walkingthecourses.com and I encourage you to support them and help them reach their incredible target amount of £1.4 million.