Last week started with a major steam clean and disinfect which has continued unabated this week with the remaining three horse walkers being completed. Every inch of every stable has been steam and pressure washed with detergent and then sprayed with specialist disinfectant, water buckets, feed mangers, feed skips, hay and feed barrows, muck barrows and yard equipment have been done too while the walkers were left to the last job. The cost of a major steam clean is not insignificant. Staff time, hire of equipment purchase of sixty litres of disinfectant and forty five litres of fairy liquid, hire of the equipment and six to eight bags of bedmax for each stable afterwards comes to three thousand five hundred pounds. But, it is a job worth doing and credit goes to James for the lion share of this work, he is fastidious in the way he does things and loves to see a job well done. The Captain and Aussie Mick helped too while most of the other lads lent a hand when their riding out etc was finished.
I don’t think James would let me anywhere near a pressure washer, God knows I am dangerous enough when washing horses off, the person holding the horse can always expect to get a thorough soaking. Recently I have been more clumsy than ever, and I am not referring to the car crash which as seen the Range Rover written off. I am instead referring to my allowing Anna (my right and sometimes left arm) to have ten days off!
This generous move must rank as foolish in the extreme and while Hayley is doing an excellent job in Anna’s absence the office simply isn’t the same without her. Seriously though, Anna deserves her holiday, both her and Allen do, but roll on next week………….
Yesterday was an interesting day at the races with Arnold the deserving favourite and with conditions to suit, fast ground, a good draw and a good deputy in Jo Fanning standing in for Joey Haynes. Uncle Charlie running in the same race didn’t seem to have the conditions to suit although he was dropping back to six furlongs having failed to get further last time and, he was drawn badly in stall one.
By the “off time” things had changed dramatically with heavy rain producing Charlie's favoured soft ground and a complete change in draw bias which always accompanies the softer underfoot conditions at Thirsk. Arnold floundered while Charlie revelled in the mud and it was great to see Uncle Charlie and David Barker back in the winner’s enclosure.
Uncle Charlie under George