As Thursday's are a "quieter" day for the horses at Sun Hill having worked pretty hard the day before, we traditionally catch up with jobs we are unable to do at other times. The usual chores include sweeping, greasing and disinfecting all three walkers, scrubbing and disinfecting feed pots, feed skips water buckets, mangers, stables, hay and feed barrows, raking and levelling parade and lunge rings as well as the round canter while the water treadmill is kept on the go from 6.30am till 6pm with a break for lunch (and sometimes a different a shift takes over so we can put even more horses on the treadmill). Tack needs cleaning and oiling and “big Bertha” (aka one of the industrial washing machines on site) is kept super busy. A warm dry day will allow up to 50 rugs to be hung outside to dry, otherwise the “Teleprompter” pipes do the job for us.
The “Teleprompter” pipes are named after the wonderful horse who won the Arlington Million for trainer Bill Watts who trained for almost thirty years at “Hurgill Lodge” in Richmond. Bill installed the pipes after his horse won the big race, and when I took over the yard from Bill when he retired in 1997, the pipes were such a big hit and so useful for drying everything in super quick time, they were the first things we bought with us when we moved to Sun hill in 2000.
So, despite the horses having a slightly easier day on Thursdays, the staff certainly don’t. Owners and a variety of other people often take the opportunity to call in, knowing I am in the office and not somewhere up on the gallops. Today we resembled Kings Cross on a busy day with several owners popping in, builders, electricians, plumbers and the lovely Sarah Fanning- wife of jockey “Jo” called in to talk about this years “Good Friday open day” except this year it is being held on Easter Monday instead so please do put the day in your diaries and keep an eye on our “Open day” page for further information.
It is always a great day out with a dozen or more yards opening their doors to the public, enabling racing fans to meet the horses and people who put the racing show on the road. This year we will be opening from 11am till 3pm to allow time for vistiors to get around.