Superbly organised as ever by the Middleham based team from Racing Welfare, the glorious weather brought visitors from far & wide to the town. Although we had been taken off the official bus route, some of those visitors still made their way down to us and, along with a few of our owners who dropped in, we very much enjoyed chatting to those who came.
The afternoon then saw everyone make their way to the Low Moor where our team of “Mrs Brooke’s Boys” took part in the (fiercely competitive!) Inter-Yard Competition.
First up in the show jumping relay was Bedale Pony Club member Jake King who jumped a beautiful fast round on his very smart pony Bob, before a quick handover to jockey John Kington (minus stirrups) for whom the pony jumped another lovely round. At 25 years old, Bob is actually older than three of our four team members – what a dude!
Henry had managed to procure Thomas the donkey, who we believed to be the fastest beast of burden amongst those on offer, for the Donkey Derby leg of the competition and Jack Lander rode him brilliantly to win his heat. Unfortunately, as is often the case, with talent also comes quirkiness and Thomas was a bit of a naughty boy in the final – showboating with a bucking broncho display! Jack did really well to not only stay on board, but galvanise a bit of cooperation out of Thomas and they were unlucky to be pipped at the line by the team from Micky Hammond’s yard.
Last up was the bale push but even with Danny marshalling the pushers, it didn’t go quite according to plan when our bale got (tactically??) boxed in by a Team Jedd O’Keeffe one. But despite not being able to locate any stewards to hold an enquiry as they were all in the beer tent by then, our team had come 3rd overall!!
Later on in the afternoon saw a special visitor to our yard – it was 4 year old Thomas’s first visit to the Open Day having travelled down with his family from Gateshead. Thomas loves going racing, particularly National Hunt, and loves saying hello to the jockeys & horses at the races. He was delighted when Henry gave him a pair of goggles at Catterick races recently, and wants to be a jockey himself when he grows up. He was disappointed that we weren’t officially open so when he got a special invitation to come and see the horses he was really happy. His day then got even better …….
Budding jockey on Pete So High