09th January 2014

January: The National Stud gears up for a whole new year

January and already we are in hitting top gear for the new breeding season. Christmas at the National Stud is a little strange as we wind down for festive season but we already had mares in the foaling unit who were due to foal in January and early February. So from that point of view, it was business as usual, as we needed to keep an eye on those girls.

We also have horses boarding with us – either because they are out of training or because they were purchased at the December sales and are waiting to visit stallions in Newmarket. So the farm is busy over Christmas, possibly even a little busier than usual as half of the staff had Christmas Day off and the other half had New Year off.

As soon as we returned to work on 2nd of January, things really picked up.  January is our time to spring clean the Stud before the foaling season kicks off in earnest.  After New Year, most of the horse who were spelling with us (spending time out of training) returned to their yards and the barns that they were in need to be steam cleaned and disinfected before they can be used again. January is also the month the barren and maiden mares who are with us, start being teased in preparation for covering.

Elsewhere on the stud it is business as normal. Amberleigh House, has been out on his travels promoting the Crabbie’s Grand National, has now returned to the Stud. He is out in the field during the day, well rugged up, and in his box in the stallion unit during the night. Thank you to the kind member of the public who sent him a Christmas card and a present of four multi-packs of polos. He very much appreciates them.

With regards to the stallions, Bahamian Bounty likes to stay out as much as possible so unless the weather is extreme, he is normally to be found in his paddock, well rugged up. He is in magnificient shape for his age and thrives on his outdoor life - it is all about keeping him happy. Pastoral Pursuits is happiest out in the paddock during the day but prefers to come back in at night. Both have been parading for people visiting the December sales but now are being prepared for the new season.

Dick Turpin who has been enjoying the Australian sun on his second season down under, has started his journey home and we are very much looking forward to welcoming him back.

Looking to the training in bloodstock management we do here, we said goodbye to our  Apprentices before Christmas. The Diploma course will commence in February when students with stud experience will join us to  we are excited that two Childwick scholars instead of one, will be joining us from Summerhill Stud in South Africa. These scholars are graduates of Summerhill’s School of Management Excellence and gives young people who have excelled in their education there the chance to gain international bloodstock management experience.

It is going to be an exciting year for us and we hope to see you at the stud in 2014.