I have been dying to tell you all about this past week for ages. The last few weeks have been particularly difficult as I have really wanted to let you in on our secret, but I was not permitted to!
However, now the Royal visit has been completed, I can tell you all about what an absolutely incredible day it was on Thursday when we hosted Her Majesty the Queen at our yard.
The mechanics of the visit began taking shape when Lina, our accounts manager, and Paul were holding secret meetings to plan everything and there has been a huge amount of work gone into in particular from Lina who alongside the palace and police force made the whole thing happen.
The Queen was in Somerset and expressed an interest in coming to Paul’s yard and so the visit was arranged. To be honest, with the busy nature of our work I had not given it much thought up until the day when, as I arrived for work and saw the place teeming with police, I started to realise how much of a huge deal it was. The amount of thought, work and security that goes into the Queen visiting anywhere is massive and I quickly knew this was going to a special day.
We rode out first lot and then the press started to arrive just as second lot was going out. A few radio interviews were conducted before security told us that our special guest would be five minutes so we organised ourselves one last time and awaited her arrival.
Magical meeting a fabulous experience
The next half an hour went so quickly, but it was incredible. The Queen arrived in a huge Bentley and was introduced to Mr and Mrs Barber, Paul’s landlord, before meeting Paul, his mother and father and three daughters.
Immediately after those initial greetings, our second lot came in from exercise and walked in the yard past Paul and our special vistor.
We then paraded Clan Des Obeaux, Cyrname, Frodon, Mcfabulous, Politologue and Topofthegame and that was the part I enjoyed the most.
Watching Paul and the Queen discussing each one of the horses and seeing her interest in them was fascinating and we walked the horses all around the yard, stood them up and then took them individually to meet her.
Now I have lead and ridden Politologue all over the place, but I was so nervous as I pulled him out of his stable to parade for the Queen – “guey” like the others behaved beautifully and gratefully accepted the carrots she fed them.
After the parade, the Queen met some members of the team including our farrier Tom, physio Teresa, Lina, Harry, Bryony, Clifford and me.
What struck me the most was how knowledgeable about the whole industry she was – racing is clearly a big part of her life and it was incredible to have met her, a real once in a lifetime opportunity which I will never forget.
Paul then had a final chat with our guest before she headed off to, as she said: ‘to do some work’. It was a day I will never forget, but the part that will stay most with me was watching the Queen and Paul stood in the middle of our yard just talking horses like they were just two racing fans, that was magic and I know Paul loved it too.
Elsewhere this week we have slightly had a case of seconds, Coup De Pinceau ran a good race at Warwick to finish second, as did Scaramanga and Favorito Bucks at Ascot where they both ran nicely, but found one too good, albeit with Scaramanga not enjoying a huge amount of luck.
I write this blog en route to Ludlow with Brian Carver on Monday morning, but before I headed off I was lucky enough to watch the Aintree chasers school which represented the perfect way to start the week. The horses all seem great and I am looking forward to seeing what they can all do in Liverpool.
It is no Secret the love I have for Seeky
The only thing left to tell you all about is my highlight of the week and for those regular readers it will not take a scientist to work out what that was. For a couple of seasons now Secret Investor has been one of my absolute favourites in the yard.
Although they are not important qualities in a racehorse, ‘Seeky’ is as kind and gentle a horse you would ever come across. He is a big boy and has to overcome plenty of niggles from day-to-day to keep the show on the road, but he is a wonderfully honest horse who made my week when he won at Wincanton.
I thought Harry did a really great job on him as he rode him very positively, got him jumping and, in all truth, never looked like being beaten The manner in which he jumped and galloped home with his ears pricked was brilliant to see. It was great for Kate who looks after him and rides and who kept saying how well he was and that we needed to run him, so a big well done to her.
That’s about it for this week, until next time, go well everyone.