Well, a special week away from the rain in Majorca, persuaded Lucy to join us from Sunday so whole family assembled for five days, perfect weather and lots of laughs.  Normally my absence is the trigger for the sun to come out here, not this time and conditions have continued to be appalling, whole farm is sodden and  showers again this morning, racing abandoned from Perth to Salisbury and heavy ground for the July Cup at Newmarket – a drought in the Hebrides however, difficult to comprehend. 

Photo: Regret to have to tell you and despite valiant efforts by all the team here we have failed. A huge amount of pumping of water has taken place but simply no drying to help us. We thought best to make an early decision to help everyone make other plans and hope you can plan to come for our two concert evenings at the end of the month. Picture was taken earlier in the week. Murphy the terrier is happy, Derek not so! Sam
Perth Racecourse earlier this week……………

Straight back into the swing of things and Northern Flame, Makhzoon and The Paddy Premium all away for some work on Lucinda’s woodchip this morning, Lucy diverted from Perth to Southwell tomorrow where she rides Pete in the 2.10, Secret Desert in the 2.40 and Ocean Bluff in the 4.40.
The girls have done a marvellous job while I have been away – the yard is in good shape and the horses look well.  Although we only have five horses in full work at present there are about a dozen others on an interim regime of being on the walker, in the barns and out in the field so there is a huge amount of to-ing and fro-ing, picking feet, changing rugs etc.  Amidst all of this all of the boxes have been steam-cleaned and repainted (thank you Scott!).  Some of the more major works have been held up by the weather but so far the round school has been completely resurfaced, work to the main school and the all-weather awaits together with a new track connecting the two and six new stables scheduled to be started on Monday; in the office we are trialing new stable management software and we hope to be launching a new website in early August.  Making haylage is also a serious priority and we badly need a window in the weather in the next two weeks or the grass will start to lose nutritional value; we will start riding more on Monday and bring another half dozen in from the fields, hopefully we might actually have some runners at Cartmel next weekend….. I highlighted the paucity of fixtures in the North during the summer recently, three abandonment’s at Perth has accentuated the situation and we will be petitioning hard for a couple of replacement fixtures.