After a glorious Easter Sunday weather has reverted to type with two grim days, more snow, driving sleet and the vast majority of the UK feels as if it is under water.
Easter Sunday morning at Kinneston – seems an age ago!
Every turf meeting abandoned on Easter Monday and today and tomorrow; even the driest of courses, Musselburgh, has already called off Thursday’s meeting due to waterlogging. Unprecedented and hard to take at the end (??) of what has been the longest of winters, many of our horses have had no sort of a season and we had hoped to run about 20 over the next week; many of these desperately need some nice spring ground which is being denied again and those that are happy on heavy are having their fixtures abandoned.
The scene at Kinneston 1st lot this morning – it’s April!!!
Disappointing but I feel this needs kept in perspective at a time when our farming colleagues are facing a much deeper crisis. There is no doubting the misery involved for the sheep farmers who have lost so many thousands of lambs, the sheer numbers don’t bear thinking about and my heart goes out to those that have to cope with these losses as well as their daily battle with the weather. My real concern though is that this crisis is running much deeper in the agricultural sector and as yet is largely unreported; we went into this winter with record prices for fodder and bedding and they have only gone in one direction since. This was partly caused by the wet harvest but a more significant influence was the subsidy driven renewable energy sector buying up grass leys for anaerobic digesters and straw for biomass plants; simple economics allows them to pay far more than farmers can afford and the big unintended consequence of the government’s renewable energy policy is to risk bankrupting the most vulnerable farmers.
And heading back into the school at the end of 3rd lot, grey and wet everywhere
Whilst the arable sector isn’t in much better shape as to date ploughing or planting spring crops has been nigh on impossible, the real crisis is unfolding among the smaller livestock farmers. So whilst I may be frustrated that we can’t provide the sport our Owners so richly deserve and our horses aren’t having the opportunities to show them at their best I realise that in many ways we are relatively fortunate; our business model allows us to import the best haylage from Lincolnshire, others aren’t so lucky.
Clan Legend waiting to be checked over at evening stables today, he’s had a quiet month after a busy winter and will hopefully now be built up for a finale at Ayr
On another note wonderful to see Elliot & Mullins carry forward their Cheltenham domination to Fairyhouse, no doubt the Brits will get more of a chance at Aintree as they will be looking to Punchestown next but I share the thoughts expressed by Ruby that these two trainers shouldn’t be resented by the rest of us, rather held up as role models and something to aim at even if it may seem a little unrealistic at times – sport needs brilliance to thrive and they are both geniuses and have my utmost admiration.