Brilliant Open Day at Pauline and Doug Harkin Racing

There’s a grandstand made out of hay bales, some melt in the mouth beef rolls, an ice cream van, lots of nice people and some pretty impressive horses, oh, and pigs, ducks, chickens and puppies! Welcome to life at Blackgrounds Farm in Chipping Warden, where Doug Harkin has a microphone in his hand as he prepares to kick off the Pauline and Doug Harkin Racing open day.

Douglas Harkin introduces the horses for the 2014-15 season
Douglas Harkin introduces the horses for the 2014-15 season

The horses were paraded and first up was ‘We Never Give Up’, followed by ‘Back In A Flash’, ‘Intimate Whisper’ and ‘Ponty Pandy’, then Lady Barfad, Exclusive Rights, View The Dance, Glory Hunter, Velvet Cloud, Sea Rock, Out Of Range, Endofdiscusion, Velvet Shadow and Don’t Budge Me all took their turn in front of the ‘grandstand’.

We Never Give Up
We Never Give Up
Back In A Flash
Back In A Flash
Intimate Whisper
Intimate Whisper
Ponty Pandy
Ponty Pandy
Ponty and Pete
Ponty and Pete

Ponty Pandy and We Never Give Up both won last season and we were at Didmarton (photo here) and Sandon (see some pics here) respectively to witness both victories. We also have photographic evidence of the victory celebrations on the course but the party continued long into the night, and according to the programme notes ‘The Squashed Duck Club’ (Ponty’s syndicate) have not stopped celebrating since!

Ponty
Ponty

Incidentally, I had two personal favourites for my ‘ride of the season’ in 2014 and the ride that Pete Mann gave Ponty Pandy at Didmarton was one of them, the other one was the ride that Jane Williams gave Cottage Oak to beat Palypso De Creek at Chaddesley Corbett back in May (read about that here).

Lady Barfad
Esme Victoria leads up Lady Barfad
Exclusive Rights (Scruffy) and Toby
Exclusive Rights (Scruffy) and Toby
View The Dance
View The Dance

I’ve used lots of photos here but Carolyn Tanner wrote an excellent article about the day so I’ll include a link at the end of this post for anyone who wants to read a more in depth review of the horses.

Glory Hunter
Glory Hunter
Velvet Cloud
Velvet Cloud
Sea Rock
Sea Rock
Out Of Range (Harry)
Out Of Range (Harry)
Mrs S has a front row seat!
Mrs S has a front row seat!
Endofdiscusion
Endofdiscusion
Velvet Shadow (Doris)
Velvet Shadow (Doris)
Don't Budge Me and Esme Victoria
Don’t Budge Me is led up by Esme Victoria

Next up was a rather lovely un-named 4 year old filly, she is is completely untouched and will be broken in over the next week or so, then given a gentle introduction. She is out of 12 time winning black type mare She’s Our Mare and her breeding marks her out as a fine broodmare prospect.

This one could be special
The un-named 4 year old filly – this one could be special

Last out were the two Cheltenham winners, Popaway and the legend that is Doctor Kingsley, and as you’d expect both were given a great reception.

Popaway
Popaway
Toby leads up Popaway while Doug heads over to Roy Hartop, microphone in hand!
Toby leads up Popaway while Doug heads over to Roy Hartop, microphone in hand!
A few words from Roy ... he wasn't expecting this!
A few words from Roy … he wasn’t expecting this!
Doctor Kingsley and his regualr pilot, Pete Mann
Doctor Kingsley and his regualr pilot, Pete Mann
Doctor Kingsley is enjoying being the centre of attention
Doctor Kingsley is enjoying being the centre of attention
Doctor Kingsley (Jake)
Doctor Kingsley (Jake)

Pauline wrapped things up with a nice thank you for the team and the guests, but there was still plenty of entertainment to come as well as some delicious hot beef rolls!

Thank you team
Thank you team
Trophies on display
Trophies on display for Popaway and the Rob, Roy, Henry, John Partnership
More trophies
More trophies
The We Never Give Up Club
The We Never Give Up Club

I was having a nice chat with Dickie Barrett and Carolyn Tanner by the bar when Doug told me that there was an ice cream van in the yard. I love an ice cream so that went down well!

Carolyn and Dickie - one of them was in charge of the gin!
Carolyn and Dickie – one of them was in charge of the gin!
If you want to see the AGA man run then tell him there is an ice cream van nearby!
If you want to see the AGA man run then tell him there is an ice cream van nearby!

Rob Martin provided the final bit of entertainment for the day when he had his hair cut for charity, as you can see from the ‘before and after’ photos below, the haircut certainly made a difference to Mr Martin!

Before (or during)
Before (or during)
And after!
And after!

We couldn’t miss an opportunity to have a photo with Doctor Kingsley – and he seemed happy to oblige – then Mrs S almost made it back to the car with one of the adorable eight week old Jack Russell puppies hidden under her coat.

Mrs S and Jake!
Mrs S and Jake!
AGA man and Jake!
AGA man and Jake!
Bring that puppy back!
Bring that puppy back!
Still in charge of the gin!
Still in charge of the gin!

And that was it, a lovely afternoon with some rather lovely people had come to a close. It was good of Pauline and Doug to invite us and it gave us a reminder of why we love point-to-point horse racing so much. We really are very lucky to be involved!

For further information on owning a racehorse or joining a syndicate please contact Pauline or Doug.

Here are some useful links:

You can read Pauline’s excellent blog here.

Click here to read the ‘Open Day’ article by Carolyn Tanner.

For information on Velvet Energy click here, and for information on Equine Fitness click here.

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