The Grass Gallops at James Ewart Racing are a traditional 7 furlong uphill gallop complete with Easyfix® Hurdle and Chase fences, which are winged with full track railing. 

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In the past we have re-turfed the Grass Gallop surface with a specific sports turf to try and help the durability of the grass. We also regularly re-drain and roller the surface to prevent the ground from being too chomped up or heavy. - As some of you will know we are not far from Eskdalemuir, which has the highest rainfall in the British Isles, annually we have in excess of 65 inches, which means firm ground is not really a problem unless it is frozen!

The Grass Gallops are the final piece in the puzzle for proving a horses quality and ability with the finishing work, before debuting on the track or racing. This is where we gauge quality and the ability to handle different grounds through regular usage during training in the winter, i.e. good, soft, heavy and sticky, as nature dictates during this time. This information is then key and the strongest guide to ground preference and hopefully the right track selection for future racing engagements.

Through years of working with the Grass Gallops it is fair to say we know the value of a horse relative to the performance on the grass, we never work the horses more than 3 times up the gallop, but more often than not may only go once or twice. On a hard worked day for fit horses the first time up would be a warm up in Indian file and the second and third time would be upsides with the emphasis on a strong, consistent piece of work with a progressive finish or an increase with tempo for the final 2 or 3 furlongs. This work on the grass could be done once or twice a week and is inclusive of gymnastic schooling – Jumping.

This finishing gives the horses confidence and to get their eye in before they run and it is also good for them to jump on different surfaces; grass as well as the sand. Gymnastic schooling is a phrase we use for horses who are experienced handicappers, who just need to freshen up their jumping as an exercise like a tennis player practising his surf, or a golfer practising his swing.

For 2014/15 we have installed 3 Hurdle and 3 Chase Easyfix® obstacles, which are winged fences inclusive of full track railing to aid rhythm in the horses work. Easyfix® are used throughout the country in other training yards and also at the racecourse and benefits include:

Hurdles

- Maintenance Free

- Standard Racecourse Height

- Interlocking mechanism so easy to assemble and relocate to fresh ground

- Protects Horses and Jockeys from injury

- Do not fall over

Steeple Chase Fences

- Maintenance Free

- Standard Racecourse Height 52”

- Protects Horses from injury – mainly splinters.

- Interlocking mechanism so easy to assemble and relocate to fresh ground

Grass Gallop Schooling

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