Jacqueline Coward: How far will you go? [H&H VIP]

  • I’ve noticed in recent years that trainers are more willing to travel far and wide to win races. I’m definitely in that category when it comes down to championships!

    Are people travelling long distances for the right races, ground conditions or specific types of track — such as a long, stiff track or short, tight track?

    The furthest we’ve travelled from here in Yorkshire is to Devon, which is 6½hr in the wagon with four horses on board.

    We did two trips to Dorset last year and we were really lucky to stay with the legendary Richard Barber who was fantastic to us and the horses — we couldn’t have asked for more.

    It’s always a worry travelling the horses long distances and then expecting them to perform, but I think as long as they are fit and well, they can easily manage a night or two away from home.

    On our journeys, we always offer water and feed. Amicelli won’t drink “foreign” water and when we went to Punchestown, he wouldn’t drink at all.

    My mum (Cherry Coward) put down a bucket of Yorkshire water from out of
    the wagon and of the two buckets he had to choose from, he chose the Yorkshire water.

    Rotating dates

    I often think that some people prefer either Saturday or Sunday racing. It might have something to do with the time of year — some hunts can find it very hard to get helpers on a Saturday when hunting is still going on.

    One subject I still feel strongly about is swapping and changing meeting dates. Hunts and racing clubs should rotate their dates so that it’s not the same meetings on the prime money-making dates such as the Easter bank holiday weekend.

    This would then give other areas the chance to make money, too. After all, our point-to-point meetings are continually reducing in number and we need to do all we can to keep them going.

    One of the hardest things is change, but we must not sit back on our laurels — we need to keep with the times.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 1 Januray 2015