Thursday 14th February 2019
Weather - 0 degrees, misty and frosty at 05:55 hrs
Been a quiet and frustrating start to 2019.....
With abandoned meetings, snow, non starters and the equine flu scare in the UK it has been a little frustrating but we are looking forward to the end of the month and into March when we have entries for Exceeding Power, Ask Jilly, Midnight Jitterbug, Helfire, Zefferino, Champion Chase, Olympic Legend and Nawar.
Equine Influenza scare in the UK.......
Thankfully we were not one of the yards to be labeled as in 'lock-down' - possible horses in a stable who have contracted the equine influenza. It was very frightening last week for everyone who has horses especially if you have young stock (foals).... the studs must be extremely stressed. When the outbreak was announced the British Horseracing Authority were quick to act and we thank them for doing so. Annoying as it was to have no racing for six days but they tested over 2000 horses in that time and thankfully yesterday we were back racing but only for horses who had flu vaccinations within the last six months...... flu vaccinations are normally annual.
The downside for us over the flu scare was that when racing resumed yesterday we were unable to run Champion Chase due to the new time scale of the six monthly flu vaccinations (new regulation started this week). He had his vaccine at the end of the summer when the majority of NH horses have them, unfortunately this is over the six month time scale! Frustrating that we could not run as an ideal race for him but looking on the positive side he is not one of the six horses who has contracted the equine influenza...... hopefully they will be back in training in due time but it's going to need the time and patience.
Last week was the first time a flat horse refused to go into the stalls at the races for us in over 30 years! Catheadans Gift who was having her second career run at Kempton refused to go in the stalls last week. As the stall handlers were loading the runners of her race she seemed to be getting further and further away from the stalls (150 feet), therefore looked like she was going to be in last. When they tried to lead her in she just dug her feet very firmly in the sand, there was no rearing, no going sideways or backwards...... she just firmly would not budge with her ears picked..... laughing at everyone! A blind was put on, a bit of pushing and she was then within 10 foot of the stalls. They then took the blind off her head, she walked forward, got half way into the stalls but then backed out and that was the end of the stalls team trying! With all the recent sensitivity (BHA rules) with getting behind a horse to ask it to go forward at the start of a race they were not going to try too hard.... well that's what it looked like! She had been in our stalls twice the week previous to her race attempt and we don't have the team strength that they have on the racecourse! We have to do a stalls test now before she can go racing again!