Tractors, glamping pods and racehorses

A quick introduction for those who haven’t visited this blog before. I started blogging in 2011 (back in the AGA days) but for the past two years or so I’ve been unusually quiet. Lockdown blues, a lack of inspiration and enthusiasm, plus a bit of writer’s block all contributed to me having nowt to say – which is very unusual! Now, buoyed by the success of my recent post about a family wedding (Scott and Hayley Easterlow) and with loads to talk about, I’m back in the game!

This is why I have loads to talk about – Cropredy Lawn, the home of Paul Webber Racing and Cropredy Lawn B&B

I joined the team at Cropredy Lawn on the first day of March this year – one of four new starters on the day – and as I write this on the first day of August I can honestly say that I bloody love it! No two days are the same, it’s friendly and quirky and it has character, it also has characters – lots of them! So, with a wealth of material available and a plentiful supply of pics (and videos), I’m going to post regular updates about life at Cropredy Lawn!

Racehorses will feature a lot, this one – Ceci Wells – was being weighed before a trip to Lingfield Park racecourse last Monday (26 July). She finished 5th and the race finish can be viewed here on At The Races.

Our equine residents and the aforementioned characters will feature a lot, as will dogs – we have plenty of those – and tractors. We have several tractors that are, shall we say, advancing in years, although rumours that they are older than the trainer are simply not true!

One of the tractors I mentioned is pulling this trailer full of hay, one of the characters* is sat on top of the hay! *Character is fairly apt, although there are one or two other words that would be just as suitable…

I wish I’d started this weeks ago, however, there’s always plenty going on at Cropredy Lawn so I should have no trouble making up for lost time. There will be news about glamping pods (more of that later), the great facilities we have here, open days, owner visits, race days – and hopefully a winner or two!

Our facilities include an equine swimming pool, so you can expect to see plenty of footage of horses swimming!

We usually swim five every morning and it’s one of my favourite parts of the job, especially when we swim one for the first time – that can be a challenging exercise, but it’s also very rewarding!

He’s A Knowall (that’s the name of the horse, not a comment about me!).

The lovely lad in the photo above is also known as ‘Noel’, and he won a point-to-point at Barbury in December 2020 when he was trained by Melanie Rowley. He’s now owned by Old Gold Racing… and me! Well, me and quite a few others. He’s due back at Cropredy Lawn soon and we’re all looking forward to seeing him.

We’ll be seeing the Old Gold Racing team soon as we’re hosting an open day for a large group of their owners on 22 August – it promises to be an interesting and fun filled day! We also have another event on 18 September when we hold an open day for Great British Racing as part of National Racehorse Week. The guest list is now full and that will be another busy and interesting day!

Chris Hughes is fronting the campaign for National Racehorse Week and you’ll see the hashtag #LoveTheRacehorse being used on social media channels during the build up.

The glamping pods that I mentioned earlier were delivered around 10 days ago by My Shire Houses. They are in situ but there’s still work to be done, and as you can see from the pics below, we were hard at it last week. The ‘Shire Pods‘ are smart, very smart, and by the time Ku Webber has worked her magic – not just on the pods, but on the site – they will be luxury personified!

We love a project at Cropredy Lawn!

The digger saw plenty of action in the early part of the week and we had it out again on Thursday when we dug out a section of our gallop so we could top it up. We ticked some more stuff off the job list when we repaired a section of the floor in one of our horse walkers, before turning our attention to the jumping lane as the sand had become quite compacted. That meant it was too hard to rake by hand so we sent the tractor in to sort that problem!

Our new schooling fences arrived on Thursday morning with the cheerful driver from County Durham (why aye) asking how we were going to unload them without a forklift! With great difficulty we thought, but we did it, even though tempers did became a bit frayed at one point (nowt to worry about, just a bit of frustration coupled with plenty of passion).

I finished off the week by trimming some rather large and unruly bushes in the garden while listening to Ibiza Club Classics on Spotify! It’s a playlist that wasn’t entirely suited to the weather conditions (pissing down) but it did the job.

This pic was taken today (Monday 2 August) but I’m using it now as Gail (left) was on annual leave last week and she’s only in for one day this week!

Another busy week is under way and we also have one potential runner, Chronos, who is entered in a maiden over 1m3f at Lingfield on Friday evening for The Fitzdares Racing Syndicate.

That’s it for now, but there will be plenty of good stuff to share in my next update – and of course, loads of photos!

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