| Nikki’s News | 02.01.2019 | 


Happy New Year, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and the coming year will be happy, healthy, peaceful and lots of fun!

I have to admit I did struggle to get into the spirit leading up to Christmas, I think with having a member of the family not being well all the preparations and excitement seemed secondary. Thank goodness the patient is on the road to recovery and I did manage to organise some sort of celebration!!!

About 6 weeks ago, a friend of Hadden’s let slip that Hadden was coming home for a flying visit over Christmas. He hadn’t mentioned his plan, so I presumed it was going to be a surprise. As the time got nearer, I thought it was unlikely to happen. He is now based down in Florida, at a winter competition for three months and I couldn’t see how he could leave. But he had arranged a rider, groom and plenty of food, packed his bag and jumped on a plane! It was fantastic to see him, if only briefly. So, I had all my children at home. Bryony rode out and drove down, only one portion of pud for her, she had a low weight boxing day! It has always been difficult for me over the years with the jockeys in the family who are riding on boxing day. It almost feels like I’m torturing them, by presenting tonnes of Christmas lunch which they really shouldn’t eat. Bryony, obviously doesn’t find it as hard as Jim and Hadden, did but she is careful.

During the Christmas period, we are very aware that the normal routine is slightly different, as all horse owners know, they are creatures of habit. And feeding times and exercise have to be kept as near to normal as possible. Our staff are fabulous, and everybody turned up to help. More hands make light work!!! We did have a major panic on Christmas eve, when the walker had a blip! The walker is the best invention ever, next to a dishwasher in my view!!! The thought of it not working was enough to strike fear in to us all. None of us are mechanically minded and with no chance of getting an engineer out the only option was to apply plenty of oil and bash it with a suitably large hammer! It worked… so all the horses could go on the walker for a Christmas stroll!!!

The horses are all really well and the runners have been in good form. I haven’t been racing for ages it seems. With racing starting so early at this time of the year there is always still a lot to do by the time the lorry leaves.

All the latest arrivals have settled in and are doing well. They all seem very nice horses. My pointers are coming along and I’m looking forward to getting started with them. The early part of the season is a bit disjointed for us, there are a few meetings in the south west. We tend to wait until the new year, when there are more regular meetings and you can get some sort of sequence going. A cunning plan!!!

The stables are nearly finished and look fabulous, I will take a video to show you all. Atlantic Grey discovered he can kick one of the poles and it makes a really good noise! It didn’t make the feed barrow get there any faster and he was promptly moved to another box before he did himself damage!

Well, I think that is most of the news.

Again, Happy New Year and hope to see you all soon.