Last week, before equine flu struck, heavy snow stopped play for many across the equestrian world, but horsey people are know for their sheer determination. Here’s how some of those in racing battled through the very wintry conditions...
1. An all-nighter
The team at Paul Nicholls’ Ditcheat yard were able to get the horses out on the gallops thanks to their “trusty gallop man”, Rob Lee, who stayed up all night harrowing the gallops so they could be used in the morning — now that is dedication!
2. Snow at Seven Barrows
Champion trainer Nicky Henderson’s Lambourn base was hit hard with the white stuff, which meant the tractors were out in force. Fortunately for the team at Seven Barrows, there is an undercover exercise ring, which must be a saving grace at times like these…
3. Minus degrees at Dunlop’s
Lambourn-based Flat trainer Harry Dunlop managed to get his horses out onto the handy trotting ring for a leg stretch despite the inches of snow.
4. A mountain of snow
The team at Berkshire-based Jo Davis’ put the hard work in to clear the yard of snow, including digging out the horsewalker so that it could be used.
5. Getting to the races
Flat jockey Rob Hornby had to dig himself out of his drive on the morning of Friday 1 February, in order to get to Lingfield Park Racecourse. Even though his remarkable efforts to get there did not yield him a winner, Rob picked up two third placings at the all-weather meeting in Surrey.
6. ‘Beautiful but unhelpful’
Point-to-point trainer Francesca Nimmo, who is based near Stratford, takes some very artistic shots in the frozen conditions, crediting James Pritchard and Joe Hutchings for their work throughout the night to ensure the gallops were usable in the morning.
7. What is this white stuff?
Snow hits the historic Bonita Racing Stables in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where National Hunt trainer Emma Lavelle is based, and the team do well to clear the pathways on the yard.
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