A busy week on the yard but a difficult one with Macgregors Ace being ruled out for the season and the team having to deal with an ultimately fatal secondary injury to Elmaatigra.
Bred jointly by Johnny Bradburne and Mark Fleming I first encountered this horse two years ago when I unexpectedly bumped into Susan working her horses on Lucinda’s gallop. Although it was an important piece of work for a horse of my own that I held in the highest regard, I came away from the gallop most impressed with the slightly unfurnished gelding that Fran was riding for Susan who certainly appeared to have plenty of ability. He came to Kinneston with the rest of Susan’s horses in summer 2012 and Dan and Michelle Macdonald bought a majority share in him. After a promising 5th in a good bumper at Newcastle we gave him a couple of educational runs on unsuitably soft ground over hurdles; when conditions dried up a bit in the spring we took him back to Newcastle and asked him a bit more of a question, he duly responded by finishing 2nd at 33-1. He then went to Perth for a final run of the season but unfortunately struck into his near fore through his boot; although superficially the cut looked innocuous we knew it was serious so he was transferred to Clydevet and operated on by Andrew later that evening, he stayed there for 3 weeks prior to returning to Kinneston to undergo a careful rehabilitation programme which was carried out to the letter by Fran despite “Tiger” always wanting to do much more than he was allowed to, all went well for four months until 4.30pm on Monday evening when his exuberance got the better of him and against all odds he severely damaged the same ligament on the horsewalker. The vet was in immediate attendance and had him strapped up but subsequent scans showed that the damage was extensive and there was no possibility of enough healing taking place to give him any quality of life so he was put to sleep yesterday afternoon. Potential unfulfilled and heart-breaking for all in the yard, his owners and most especially for Fran who having broken him in and ridden him in most of his work undertook his rehab with such care and attention prior to dealing with his ultimate predicament with compassion and dignity.
Unexpectedly damp this morning so harvest interrupted for TFF and he kindly deployed his troops to shift two years worth of dung; this will shortly be spread on the stubble prior to being incorporated into the soil and will provide plenty of nutrition for next year’s crop of oats, think of that when you tuck into your Quakers porridge- fuelled by very expensively created Kinneston manure.