Fawsley & Our Feed Man
As I mentioned last week we have been in midst of a head cold, but we hope yesterday provided us with a turning point. Both horses Fawsley Spirit and Perfect Pirate finished their races and galloped to the line, they all seem well at home so just maybe we have a glimmer of hope that they are turning a corner and coming out the other side!
It was not only great to see Fawsley run so well, but just to see him on a race course was a triumph and therefore it's his turn to be in the spotlight this week.
Bought as a store from the Tattersalls June Sale 2016 for the lovely Paul Bush who sadly passed away last year. Paul was simply the perfect owner, he lit up the yard when he came to visit us, with a wonderful sense of humour and someone who was willing to give a horse all the time and patience he needed to mature. This was definitely needed in the case of Fawsley!
He was a lovely horse, who like most of Ben's stores looked like a Chaser in the making.
To say he was tricky in the first six months of having him is an understatement, he was nearly impossible to break and gave a rodeo display that no one could sit! It was soon apparent that there was something upsetting and perhaps hurting him, so very quickly he was sent for an x-ray. He was found to have kissing spine and was operated on straight away that month. He recovered for the next 3 months and was brought back in this time last year.
A big horse, he had matured over his time off, his break had not however helped this quirky horses behaviour and he still behaved like a bucking bronco.
It got to the point where he was sent away to Gary Witheford who specialises in getting a horse to come around to our way of thinking through understanding the horse and working out why they are behaving in a certain way.
This process is by no means easy and Fawsley spent three weeks there. After this Ben went down to see him and Gary recommended that he be ridden in blinkers to help focus his mind.
He hasn’t looked back since! He still maintains his quirks and that fiery 'spirit' definitely raises its head every so often, but he is very much now on the right track and becoming the horse we always hoped.
To get him to a racecourse was a great achievement. But for him to perform and finish third to two very smart horses yesterday is a credit to him and his want to win.
We are so sad that Paul never saw his horse run. We are sure he would have thought yesterday was a huge success. His daughter Rachel who has been with us all of the way on this journey must get the biggest thank you of all. Her patience and belief in the horse has allowed us to get him to where he is today.
We have every faith that he will become a lovely horse and give us all many fun days ahead.
This man needs no introduction, 'Nige' has been with us since day one and we hope he’ll be here for many more years to come.
Ben and Nigel met before Ben acquired his licence in the spring of 2013. He had been working in racing for nearly 30 years. He brought to the yard a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Starting out as a young lad in his teens, this London boy headed to Newmarket where he was an apprentice on the flat. Unfortunately, his weight was against him and he headed to the jumps yard of then Champion Trainer David Nicholson (The Duke) up at Jack Daws where he excelled as a lad. With his Conditional licence, The Duke was keen to give Nigel rides. During his years at the Dukes, he rode 6 winners and was a key part of their team. Twelve years went by up at Jack Daws during which Nigel and his wife Theresa had two children.
The time then came to do something else and go down a different route. This would take Nige completely away from racing and into a different industry for the next 15 years. He would become a postman and we can only imagine that for this bubbly man who always has a smile on his face he excelled doing this, I can’t imagine there was one person who wouldn’t of been warmed by his cheeriness.
A return back to racing was always at the back of his mind, with his family settled in Stow-On-The-Wold and his young son Danny taking after Dad with his riding skills. The sport he loved was calling out again and he took up a position at Martin Keighley’s for the next 3 years before working under Shaun Lycett for a year or so before Ben moved into Bourton Hill Farm when Nigel started as Head Lad. He had two very successful years in the role, we will always attribute the success of the wonderful Malibu Sun to Nige, they seemed to be two peas in a pod!
As the yard grew he decided to take a step back from the role and would become invaluable as the man who feeds the horses. This is as big a responsibility as anything, without this the horses simply wouldn't be able to perform how they have over the last few years.
Nigel is a huge part of our team, he smiles through wind, rain and shine, a true team player and always willing to help those younger members coming through!