Leah Barnfather’s excellent pony racing form continued with a second win at Kelso on 4th June on Sarah Rogers’ pony Wilsarben 1. This was in the Intermediate race which she won by a distance so this was a great achievement and she has proved a worthy ambassador for the George Crawford Legacy Trust.
Leah Barnfather looking very happy at Kelso
Wilsarben1 in the paddock at Kelso
At the age of 67 David Macleod, our Head Lad has finally decided to hang up his boots and retire to Ednam near Kelso with Maggie. As a leaving present we have given him life membership of Kelso Racecourse and some fishing tackle. David has spent 50 years in racing and his advice and experience over the last 13 years have been invaluable. His dedication to the horses has been outstanding and he has always put them first.
David left home at 15 to work with Harry Bell near Hawick and started there on the same day as Willie Cowe who was head lad here before David. This was followed by the Crawfords at Haddington where he rode as a jockey and then down to Newmarket for 13 years with Ron Boss. He held a training licence himself for horses owned by Maurice Chapman and then worked for Mark Johnston in Middleham managing a yard with plenty of good winners.
We are so lucky that he then came to us and we have so many happy memories of the horses he was involved with here – Aristo du Plessis, Un Guet Apens and Empire de Maulde to name but a few of the more recent ones. He will be very much missed.
We had a great dinner at The Nightsafe in Hawick where David entertained us with all his wonderful stories – of which there are many! We wish him a long and happy retirement.
Charles Marini has been working with us as assistant over this last season and he has been well trained by David. He also spent two years with us in 2012. His partner Vanda will be coming over from Italy and they will be working together as a team and will bring plenty of experience having both trained in their own right.
We have discovered that Ed Austin was riding with a broken leg on Hapy La Vie at Hexham! This was missed in the first x-ray. However, he has taken this opportunity to take some holiday and has become engaged to Emma Dunkley who is travelling head lass for Rose Dobbin. We are looking forward to celebrating with them both on Friday night.
Chloe is going to do the Category A Amateur Jockey’s Course in Newmarket and Leah will do the Foundation course after she becomes 16 in October.
Scottish trainers were hosted last week by Weatherbys bank and Henry Taylor at The Gleneagles Townhouse hotel in Edinburgh. This was a fun evening with delicious food and plenty of good stories and a rare opportunity for everyone to get together.
We have had encouraging news of another of our retired racehorses – Sao Maxence who was owned by Jill Dodd and won twice for us. He has now retired to Leanne Morrow and had his first show last week. He came third in the ESAH showing class at Murray House Livery near Carlisle and as you can see from the photo below, he looks very pleased with himself!
Sao Maxence at the ESAH show at Murray House Livery
Obviously with this unseasonably warm and dry weather, the going has been of concern for our summer runners. However, we have entries at Hexham next weekend and hope that Hapy La Vie may be able to go one better from his excellent second there last time.
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