The View From The Office

In this week’s edition of The View From The Office we hear about even more new arrivals in the incubator, a milestone for Bridget and sand, sand, and more sand…

This afternoon we are writing from a gloriously sunny Lodge Hill, with the beach-building going well; Ella & I are becoming increasingly suspicious that this is a ploy so we won’t need to go on holiday…! Several more loads of sand have been delivered for use on the new gallop which is coming on well, although the front yard continues to be doing it’s very best Sahara impression.  With the weather so beautiful Ella and I are seriously considering investing in some deck chairs from which to eat our sandwiches (pardon the pun) at lunchtime…

Some more additions to the incubator…24 guinea fowl eggs!

We also have taken delivery of a new batch of eggs to add to the recently-hatched office chicks. These however are no ordinary poultry, as we have now filled up the incubator with 24 guinea fowl eggs. These guys have a slightly longer incubation period than our hen’s eggs, and are ‘due’ on the 7th June. The chicks are keeping us entertained and are all developing their own personalties; they are growing at a rapid rate and are becoming pretty bold, and it won’t be long before they will be able to leave their nursery (cardboard box) for big school.  

The horses are continuing in a rich vein of form and the team have just registered their 15th winner of the campaign so far with Bandsman winning on his first start over fences at Kempton this afternoon. One particular horse that I would like to give a mention to following an eye-catching hurdling debut is The Lodge Hill Syndicate’s Lady Maleficent.

Lady Maleficent & some of the Lodge Hill Syndicate

The story behind this filly is rather lovely, having been bred by Dan’s wife Grace out of her mare Lush Lady. Shares in Lady Maleficent were offered for sale before the filly had even been foaled, and the syndicate have therefore seen her right through from birth to making her racecourse debut last season in a Market Rasen bumper. Lady Maleficent, or Annie as her owners know her, made a very pleasing hurdling debut at Worcester on Thursday finishing second to the vastly more experienced Peggies Venture, and it looks like there could be plenty more exciting chapters in the story of the ‘Foal Syndicate’. Watch this space…!

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and it’s great to see this getting so much support from across the racing industry. Mental health is something that we must never take for granted and we will never stop learning about. As a team over the years we have tried to do our very best to build and maintain a positive working environment within the yard, and to instil a confidence in our staff that if they feel they are in need they can approach any of our team leaders for help; as such we are sending Ella on a Racing Welfare-run Mental Health Awareness course. This week we will be highlighting to the team the importance of knowing that sometimes it’s ok to not be ok, and doing our best to ensure they are equipped with the tools to support each other through the challenges that life can throw at us.

Bridget & Born Survivor after riding out her claim at Southwell yesterday

Finally this week’s highlight came yesterday at Southwell, with Bridget scoring on the Widdowson’s & Kelvin-Hughes’ Born Survivor and in the process riding out her claim. This is a huge landmark moment for any jockey, but it is a feat only to have been achieved by a handful of girls and was one of Bridget’s career ambitions. Bridge is a huge part of the team who works incredibly hard at home every day, and everyone at Lodge Hill was massively proud to see her achieving her aims.

Until next week…

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