Firstly I do hope anyone reading this is well and their families are not affected.
Well I certainly didnt think that in this lifetime the whole of the UK would be on lockdown, its very surreal, things you take for granted on a day to day basis being stripped from you. Luckily for us where we are is away from everyone and we have plenty of land and plenty of things to do to notice too much, we are basically in self isolation at the best of times, being miles from any sort of town, or even a shop for that matter so life can carry on as normal to a point!
With no racing on it feels very strange, I think when you are so heavily involved in this industry it becomes your world so when it is stopped it seems like there is just nothing to do. Although now we have had a few days to think about it there is actually rather a lot to do, some of the horses that were running or nearing their first runs have been backed off a little for a couple of weeks, they are enjoying plenty of grass and sun on their backs - luckily we have the weather! The ones that had only just started or half fit have carried on as normal, which is great as it wont affect them at all. It just means when racing resumes they will be ready. It is obviously massively frustrating for the owners of horses that were ready for a spring campaign, the amount of time, effort and money from everyone involved for nothing. We especially couldnt wait for the sun to come out, we always have a strong spring and summer campaign so for that to be delayed - and hopefully it is just delayed, that is frustrating. It has meant we can have a good spring clean though, clear everthing out, paint, disinfect, wash everything etc which is always needed a couple of times a year and to have the time to do that is handy. All the paddocks are being harrowed and rolled, seeded etc so its nice to have time to be productive in that respect. Some of the staff have taken some well earnt holiday as well. Although we are quieter at the moment we will make sure every member of staff is kept on, this is not their fault and they deserve to keep their jobs, even if they are found other jobs to do around the place, at least they have their jobs still which is important.
We have had our first foal of the year born, a cracking filly by Ardad out of a new mare of ours Fairmont, who has already produced 4 individual winners. We also have her yearling Heeraat filly who is a little bull, hopefully this time next year she is ready to hit the track - that is if racing is back on by then!! We are due another couple this season, a bit quieter than last year as we moved a couple of mares on. Fingers crossed all goes smoothly! I will update with some photos on social media as everyone loves a photo of a foal!
We had a clear out of some of our stock recently as well which was needed, just a few that were under performing for one reason or another so best of luck to them all in their new homes. We do still have a couple for sale to stay in the yard so do get in touch to discuss further.
Please follow all measures to keep yourselves and your families safe and hopefully we can all moved forward soon.