Where do I begin? After a near six-hour drive from central Scotland to south Wales, my friend Annette and I arrived to glorious wind and rain (having left the mother of all storms that destroyed both my garden shed and half of my yard fencing, and subsequently flooded poor Netty's house) at Wellfield Stud. Rachel was there to greet us, along with her friend Sarah G who owns a Thoroughbred mare called Ballyhollow (who won today in a 3m hurdle race at Ludlow - this is as close to a tip as you'll ever get from me so keep an eye on this mare).
|Wellfield Official & Annette|
As I've already mentioned, Netty's favourite is Wellfield Official, or Fish, a winner of a heat at Appleby last May and second in the final, and also second in both heat and final of the Famous Musselburgh Pace in July. He is still a full horse, but a perfect gentleman nonetheless and a gentle giant with wee Netty. Every person who is friends with Rachel always seems to adopt a Wellfield horse, and in the same way that Netty has Fish, I have my boy Bruce (Wellfield Bruce - Village Connection x Atout A Leuhre x Handsome Sum), and I have also taken the grumpiest horse at Wellfield Stud under my wing - the gorgeous grey Wellfield Ghost (Village Connection x Newtown Alysia x Direct Current). He was the heat and final winner at Aberystwyth last summer, and the main reason Rasus (the Welsh language harness racing programme) visited Wellfield to record Roy, Rachel and Gramps (Roy's 86yo father who still jogs the horses, and even warms them up at the races if we're not fast enough to stop him) and the horses. As well as Trendy, Fish, Bruce and Ghost, there is also Alfie, Theo, Shadylady, Ruby, Posh, Dylan, Survivor, Earl, Benny, Busted, Baby, Dancer, Scary, Sporty, Annie and Rosie (all with the Wellfield prefix) stabled and potentially going into training this year.
We spent the remainder of Friday afternoon putting horses on the walker, mucking out, feeding and giving hay to the horses. We also found time to sit down with Roy for a cuppa and a catch up. I envy any yard that has somewhere with armchairs and a kettle situated within the same barn as the horses and the walker, I really do. It's my version of heaven!
|Wellfield Ghost & me|
Saturday night saw us celebrating Rachel's birthday with a meal and drinks in her local pub. Roy joined us later in the evening and despite what he may tell people, he instigated a level of drinking I haven't experienced since 2014...the party moved back to the yard and I kicked out the last person at 5am (that last person was Roy). I declared myself last man standing, for which he owes me £1.05, and went to my bed. Unfortunately I didn't see much of Sunday as a result of this...but you only live once right?! I am making an official public statement here though that I will not be drinking for the immediate future; I simply cannot go through that level of self-inflicted pain and suffering again.
We departed Wellfield Stud in the same wonderful wind and rain that we arrived in, and came back to the same wet and windy Scotland that we'd left. It's a trip I hope to make again next year!
Over and out,
#1 Scottish groom (although Netty gave me a real run for my money over the weekend),