HOYS groom’s blog: a second wind and a big thank you

  • Monday was day seven of my week at Moor Farm. I had a short second wind this morning so getting up wasn’t too bad.

    There were a lot of horses to be turned out today so there was plenty of walking to and from fields with horses. If a horse has had a long day at a show they generally stand in and have a ‘duvet day’ the next day and then go in the field the day after. The exception today was Dinger [The Humdinger], who had been at HOYS for three days, so he also went out.

    Dinger isn’t a great fan of being in the field. He likes to go out, have a roll, maybe a buck and a run and then graze for about 20min. After that, he stands at the gate and wants to come in.

    The horses are now being prepared for their winter holidays. Most go for a couple of months without any rugs or shoes and are able to just ‘be a horse’ for a while. We spend a week or so reducing their rugs to give them a chance to grow their coats.

    Today was also spent unpacking the big lorry. There is a season’s worth of stuff to come out. It seems like a Tardis — bigger on the inside — with an awful lot of stuff appearing in corners you never knew existed.

    Looking back, the week has been absolutely manic! We have had some absolutely superb results, not only a second AND a fourth in the heavyweight cobs, but also a seventh for the large hack, who had not even been backed this time last year. The high point of the week has to be Dinger’s win and championship in the coloured classes — a real lift at just the right time!

    I must take a moment to recognise and thank the rest of the team.

    The ‘at show’ team were Mark Chesters (chief in charge of oil and quarter marks!), Josie Jo (jockeys assistant and chief wine pourer), Hannah Burt (Blackberry gin supplier) and Gemma Lucas (last minute life saver).

    The ‘at home’ team were Libby Larman (organiser extraordinaire), Amy Jones, Christie Tilley and Louise Hancock (also with knee blisters), Filip Flodin, Jodie Cantrill, Sara Egan, Selina, Vicky and Paul the drivers and Jess and Cyd, in charge of pest control (yard cats). If I have forgotten anyone I apologise!

    Lastly, I have to thank Jayne and Carol for letting me be a part of their amazing team and allowing me to write this blog for Horse & Hound.

    I’ve enjoyed sharing my week with you all. I’m back to teaching tomorrow, after a lie-in and a long drive home. I love this job and HOYS week is one of my favourite weeks of the year, however tiring.

    Thanks for reading.


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