I am sat on my front door step enjoying the clear night air listening to our resident tawny owl hoot his deep mating call across the evening sky. Following a deliciously warm spring day, my mood has lifted.
The grass is growing, daisies poke their white heads from the soil, daffodils wave in the breeze and the swallows have returned. A few more dry days and I can roll the remaining chewed-up, grubby looking pastures I despair of seeing every day.
Jesus the racehorse decided he enjoyed his spin in a point to point at the Bedale meeting recently. He finished a gallant second place in the Men’s Open race, suffering no shame in defeat behind a useful horse of William Easterby’s called Things Change. It was a horse I tried to buy at last year’s bloodstock sales but my pockets were not deep enough.
The Holy One has been quite pleased with himself ever since. I have entered him for the York and Ainsty meeting tomorrow which has an abundance of entries following last week’s abandoned meeting at Mordon. I’ve even had a few calls from jockeys asking if they could ride Jesus so they obviously fancy his chances but I’m rather tempted to wait until April 30 for our Pendle meeting at Skipton before I run him next.
I’ve taken something of a back seat in the responsibility of running the Skipton meeting this year as a result of being short staffed and having so much to do on the yard. I’m busy interviewing prospective candidates for the head person’s position following my present girl’s injury. Following her fall at the Holderness point last month where she broke her collarbone, she has been plated this week after it failed to heal. The doctor says she will require eight weeks of recuperation before she should ride again.
In the mean time I need to find capable help before the bloodstock sales start next month when I will be up and down the country searching for new horses. Two arrived in the yard this week, a lovely youngster from Ireland and a winning hurdler from Devon who loves the mud - he should be perfect for the English winters.
The Candlelighters charity race we have organised at Skipton is proving extremely popular. Entries have exceeded expectations with 19 runners so far. The thought of so many first-time jockeys careering round the track together made me cringe so we are splitting the race into two divisions.
There are riders from all over Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria taking part and all have raised more than £250 for the charity. They ride everything from hunters, ex-racehorses to cobs and even Clydesdales. It will be a brilliantly entertaining start to the day.
Skipton Races will be held at Heslaker Farm, Carleton Lane, Skipton, BD23 3AB. The charity race starts at 1pm and the main racing at 2pm. Entry to the meeting is £10 and there is a bar, bookies, trade stands, Jenny Foster’s home-made refreshments and my son Felix has his tombola stand in aid of Jack Berry House - any donations greatly appreciated, come on, you must have a box of truffles no-one likes left over from Christmas.
I’m offering a free car pass each to the first two people who email me with Jesus’s proper racing name. Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org