Today was challenging to say the least. George, PJ and Colm don't ride out on Tuesday's at the moment, Rowan is injured, spare riders Chrsitine and Parkie are not here on Tuesday's either. Mac was off and Julie and Hayley were involved in a very nasty incident nearby, enroute to work early this morning. A land rover defender (aka a "tank") crashed into them head on, Julie's drivers side took the brunt of the hit which pushed the car into a wall, giving the passenger side and Hayley a proper pasting too. Air bags and a well made vehicle were to thank for both girls walking away, or maybe I should say stumbling away. I went to the scene as soon as Julie called and it wasn't a pretty sight with blue lights, sirens, and road closures. Julie is sore but is a tough war horse, Hayley has broken ribs and is not feeling too good, both are very shaken and we are all worried about the pair of them.
Car crashes, like serious illness tend to put things into perspective, so being short staffed for the morning was suddenly much less important or annoying. Everyone just got on with it and, as James always say's "the work will go on and get done - no matter what" and, the funny thing is -it always does.
Today was also a day of "firsts" with Cheltenham's First day of the big festival with that wonderful "Cheltenham Roar" announcing the start of the first race. It is a sight and a sound to behold. As always it was a fantastic days racing with the all powerful Willie Mullins stable scoring three times. The Northern Echo kindly put me on their front page announcing the racing column they asked me to do once a fortnight and, the launch of "Anns thought for the day" which already as a few followers. Sadly Toboggan's Gift didn't make it another "first" but nevertheless she ran a blinder to finish second after being carried left handed on the run in at Southwell.