Jacqueline Coward: Off the mark, despite our horses not firing on all cylinders [H&H VIP]

  • Our point-to-point correspondent breaks her season's duck, but the horses are not as well in themselves as they should be. We need a cold snap to kill the bugs!

    It was great to break my duck this season when winning the mixed open at the Sinnington meeting on 16 February.

    I was riding Elusive Swallow, who was my first winner of the season last year, too. She was also the horse to give me 4 wins — the most I had on one horse last season — so she is definitely one of my favourites.

    It’s horses like this who keep you going, especially when your own yard isn’t firing on all cylinders, which ours isn’t at the moment.

    Our horses haven’t been quite right for a few weeks and it is mightily frustrating. I just want to be riding and winning races.

    I’ve spoken to a lot of people and they seem to be in the same boat, with horses who are off the boil.

    Most people are blaming the weather and the fact that it hasn’t been cold enough to kill off the germs and viruses that seem to be going around. It’s just been so mild.

    Mine should be looking better and aren’t as well in their coats as they should be. They’re not bouncing about after a few days off like they normally are and the odd one has a bit of a cough — sure signs something isn’t right.

    I’ve been panicking to my granddad [Mick Easterby] and he says I can’t do anything about it and that it just takes time.

    It’s even more frustrating because we’ve hardly got going with them this season and, before you know it, it will be over. But there’s no way I can run them because that’s when you end up with wind problems and burst blood vessels.

    We’ve given a few immune boosters and antibiotics — I’ve learned lots about antibiotics over the past few weeks. There’s so many out there to spend a fortune on, but the old saying certainly rings true — if they’re right on the inside, they’re right on the outside.

    I’ve even been given an antibiotic that is also used for turkeys and chickens because it’s meant to kill all nasty bugs. I’m willing to try anything if it works! H&H