A glorious week weather wise but an air of sadness here after taking the decision to put Harrietfield down. Rightly regarded as the matriarch of Kinneston (equine of course) she had been here for 23 years and her nine progeny have formed a major part of our lives.
In many respects she represented the last tangible link between my late Father’s equine exploits and our own in that he arranged the conception but didn’t manage to stay around for the birth. Actually her conception was a bit of an accident, her mother Lillie’s Brig had just given birth to a son of Ardross (multiple winner Solsgirth) and was due to visit the high class dual Ascot Gold Cup winner Sadeem but unfortunately he was “firing blanks” and a last minute substitute was arranged in the form of flashy chesnut Nicholas Bill.
Harrietfield was born in the field in front of the house whilst I was in the local curry house, great excitement on return but despite showing plenty of ability she injured herself prior to racing and as a sister to a few winners was sent to stud. She served up many a treat thereafter with the first highlight being winning the National Hunt Breeder of the month for the family with Fearless Foursome (doesn’t that seem like a long time ago- you can read the article here); another being producing our first home bred black type bred horse in Little Glenshee (not many of those bred in Scotland) who also formed part of our rarest of doubles at Ayr one day – two home bred winners ridden by two home bred jockeys.
She has four progeny left at Kinneston, three of whom will be flying the flag for her next season – Little Glenshee, Clan Chief and Clan Legend – you never know, the best may still be to come… No runners for us this weekend, Lucy is at Hexham tomorrow to ride Forestside in the 3pm and King’s Chorister in the 4.45, I will be pressing on in the office ahead of one of my favourite week’s of the year – the “two Royals” – Ascot and Highland Show though I may dust off my golf clubs on Sunday morning for their first outing of the year as a big challenge awaits…