This latest instalment is being written after a nice ribeye steak and a cheeky little bottle of medium bodied red from the
Rhone Valley, so I fully expect to fall asleep before too much longer, wake up and delete everything that I’ve written whilst pissed, then absolutely nail it on Sunday or Monday or Tuesday… that’s the plan anyway!
Happy horses are mentioned in the title so here’s a pic of a happy horse (and a happy bloke)! The horse is Leading Man, . we all love a horse with character and he has bags of it I was making a right old racket outside his stable with that hammer, however, he didn’t flinch, he just kept popping his head out for a nuzzle. Thanks to Gemma for being on hand to capture the moment!
Happy horses and a happy team too, or is Gail smiling because I’ve just said something incredibly funny? Monday passed by fairly swiftly, ‘horsey stuff’ all morning then after lunch I took the opportunity to cut some grass around the farm. A lot of ground was covered but I must mention my reflexes, they need a bit of work as I didn’t duck quickly enough while negotiating the cherry trees – ouch! I’ll be wearing a hard hat next time!
Tuesday, 7:04 – misty and murky is the most apt description to describe the gloomy start to the day, which felt like an October morning, thankfully it didn’t last!
We love our horses… and I reckon they love us too!
Chronos (aka Ron) and Jakobe, both love the camera…
Gemma is not always a fan of the camera…
But Gumbo Flyer loves the camera! Most of our equine residents are easy to photograph, and a lot of them seem to enjoy it as much as the photographer!
After lunch we fired up a couple of the tractors and set about topping up some more of the gallop surface, but not before taking a couple of moments to admire the view…
That’s because the view from the top of the gallop is one of our favourites, although there are plenty of contenders for ‘best view at Cropredy Lawn’.
Here’s a few more contenders…
The next big job on our list is right next to the gallop, we’re going to replace the old schooling fences with some nice new ones, but that will be covered in my next instalment.
When Mitch said “What are you two old men up to this afternoon?”, we took a pic and sent it to him! I’m not sure Martin has ever worked with someone who is quite so fond of selfies as yours truly…
This is Mole, he ‘works’ on a Wednesday and a Friday and wherever Martin goes Moley will follow!
Cropredy Lawn is now also home to Dawn Ball and DAB Racing (point-to-pointers, pre-trainers and bloodstock), looks like we might ‘ Go Pointing‘ again next season after all!
This is what happens when you get washed off next to the grass barrow! The horse tucking in is ‘Tango’ and he was totally unconcerned about being caught red handed.
This is Tommy Tracey, 2nd in an Irish point-to-point back in May at Ballingarry, he’s another one who has plenty of character. He recently started swimming, albeit reluctantly at first, but he’s come on a ton since that first dip!
Hold me horse mate! Harley perfects the ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ look, In The Detail takes it all in his stride.
Wednesday saw the return of two Old Gold Racing horses, Lady De Vega and He’s A Knowall (pictured above with Gemma). Noel is back in his old stable and it feels like he’s never been away – I can’t wait to see this big lad in action!
The two old fellas had their tractors out again on Wednesday afternoon! There are still a couple of gallop sections to top up but we’re quite pleased with what we’ve done so far.
Ask Mitch how many stables he’s jet washed and painted during the past couple of months – loads! He has three left and then he will have done the whole yard!
Thursday, 07:19 – looking up at the glamping pods (can you spot ’em?) while cutting some fresh grass. Within a couple of hours I’d be up there helping Geoff Mander (the builder) construct a frame for some decking. He’d sourced the timber for the frame without too much fuss, but the decking itself would prove to be quite elusive – more of that later!
There’s going to be some view from up there!
Hello Sunshine takes a break
Slimming World for horses! The top left pic is a view of the glamping site in the early morning sunshine, the horse having a lay down is the aptly named Hello Sunshine and the horse on the scales is Esteem (Thursday is weigh day).
Getting a feel for the glamping – honest!
Mart escaped soon after this pic was taken
Geoff works quick…
Geoff also sings – badly! Building stuff – as I mentioned earlier the decking was proving hard to source, then Mrs S said “what about Billy?”. Billy owns Cotswold and Vale Fencing and Landscape Supplies Ltd in Toddington with his brother, Chris, and he used to drink strong continental lager (with lime) in our pub – The Anchor 1774 – in Tewkesbury back in the naughty nineties! A few phone-calls later and we’d secured 50 lengths of decking from Billy, collection only!
Decking being loaded
Unexpected reunion for me and Billy! It was pissing down in Gloucestershire but nowt would have wiped the smile from my face as I was chuffed to see Billy. It’s 21 years since I pulled my last pint in Tewkesbury but we’ve kept in touch with a good number of our regular customers, Billy included. We speak regularly, although Covid misery has prevented any reunions so this one was overdue! Incidentally, Billy’s brother part-owns Natton House Thoroughbreds in Gloucestershire and last year one of their mares was in foal to Cracksman – he was the world’s joint top-rated racehorse of 2018!
The badass and the beast… Chronos takes a breather between laps of the pool, he swims like Mark Spitz – the young ‘uns will probably need to click on the link to find out who he is.
What do you do when a colleague drops his phone into a container full of creosote? A) Help him out, B) Laugh, C) Whip your phone out and take a photo. The answer was B & C, sorry Martin, although we did help after we’d laughed and after I’d taken a couple of pics.
It looks like a building site but it’s taking shape and even the most cynical can see the potential (and this is just one of the pods), when it’s finished it’s going to be mint!
Knocking off time on Friday and a good (tough) days work was rewarded with a cold San Miguel and an old school ice lolly – a Fab lolly, if you’re interested! It was a canny couple of days with Geoff as he’s a right character. He’s way past retirement age, he sings 60’s songs and crap old TV themes but makes half of the words up, he cracks jokes, he tells stories and he swears like a trooper, but boy does he graft, the bloke is like a machine! He’ll be back soon but in the meantime we’ve plenty to be getting on with around the farm. Oh, one more thing, thanks to our yard sponsor, Fairfax Racing, that new cap kept the sun off my head all day on Friday – cheers!