Another year, another National Hunt Festival at Cheltenham, but this year behind closed doors due to the continuing covid pandemic. The extraordinary achievements of the Irish contingent who did come was the highlight of the week, particularly the exploits of both trainer Henri de Blomhead and female jockey Rachael Blackmore. In 2020, of course, the
Nothing was more convivial than supping good wine with Lord Sam Vestey and his wife Celia at the Deauville Racecourse during the summer meeting, something both my wife and I had the pleasure of on several occasions when we had horses running at the track. It is with great sadness that at only 79 years
Earlier this month, the thoroughbred world learned of the sad passing of one of its greatest supporters, His Highness Prince Khalid Abdullah. In fifty years, Prince Khalid built a thoroughbred empire which was the envy of the world, both in his success as an owner on the track but also as a breeder. He was
While the world economies have been ravaged by Covid 19 in 2020, the European bloodstock world has proved to be remarkably resilient. “Keep going and carry on” seems to have been the year’s moto? Although prices have been down this year and sales have had to be rescheduled on more than one occasion, business has
The main European breeding sales are completed successfully in Newmarket and Deauville. For the first time since March this year, a few spectators have been allowed back to watch racing live. Top hats are outlawed in future dressage competitions from January 1st and Holly Smith takes the main showjumping Grand Prix of the week in
First, we must congratulate jockey Hollie Doyle for her award from The Times Newspaper Group in becoming the 2020 top female sportsman. Oisin Murphy, British Champion jockey of 2020 has been banned from race riding by France Galop for the use of cocaine. Almond Eye finishes her brilliant racing career with a win in the
World racing in 2020, like everything else in 2020 has had to make huge adjustments to its programme and organisation due to the Corona Virus pandemic. However, as we reflect on the flat season of 2020, it has coped really very well. Just as the season in the UK was about to start with the
While the protagonists continue their squalid arguments over who should be the President of The Dis-united States on January 20th 2021, in the republican state of Kentucky, the Breeder’s Cup series of races continued unabated this Friday and Saturday. In the sport horse world, the Bordeaux leg of the World Cup dressage and showjumping succumbed
The Melbourne Cup is the best known race run each year in Australia. Always coinciding with the end of the horse trial eventing season, the two events bring the reality that the end of another equine sporting year is soon to come to a close. Christmas, new year and then we start all over again.
With hugely higher Covid 19 cases reported every day and governments scrabbling around, trying to find a way through this most hideous pandemic, most of Western Europe is now in or about to be in lock down once again. Slightly different from the first lock down in that elite sports are set to continue but
Owning, looking after and if paying for training, any horse is not a cheap exercise. In the racing world though, for the past thirty or so years, there has been the option of sharing equine ownership, the expenses and the pleasures with others. This is commonly known as syndication. Racing is known as ‘the sport
The weekend saw the first and only five star horse trial eventing take place in 2020 in France at Pau, won by Laura Collett. There was also top class racing around the globe, on what was mainly atrocious heavy ground. To make a change, there were also World Cup qualifiers in the USA, the first
There are a few race horse trainers who not only have the ability to train and place horses to their best advantage, but also have extraordinary wisdom in what they do. John Oxx, who has recently announced his retirement, is one. John Oxx was born in 1950. His father John Oxx Snr, was also a
As European racing comes to an end for the year in Europe, the Champions Day at Ascot was another race meeting where further records were broken. It was the tenth anniversary of the ‘Champions’ meeting. There were also two dressage World Cup qualifiers over the weekend. At Ascot, the racing provided the first ever double
It was on a cold February morning in 2014, a bay filly was born at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket. Who was to know then, that this filly was to become Enable, many believe the world’s greatest record breaking female race horse of all time?