- February 9, 2018
09th February 2018
A timeless passion that keeps ticking
Winter may be in full swing, and thermals a morning routine for us all, but with fingers crossed the sun may shine at Exeter on Sunday. If you find yourself twiddling your thumbs with not much to do, the racing will be at its strongest. Some big races give the chance for some exceptionally talented horses to come and strut their stuff. You may need to pack an extra jumper and some fluffy gloves but there'll be a warm atmosphere and a buzz around the last furlong in every race. I'll be about so if you spot me be sure to come and say hello! Of course, I'm biased about our sport, but I see it from the frontline and behind the scenes and what's unique is that the clogs in the clock would not turn without each individual piece working as hard as the one next to it. And they all work towards one goal and that's the time that we deliver winners. Without the passion, patience, dedication and obsession from all involved it simply wouldn't be the world we refuse to leave.
The owners are the hour arm on the clock, for their patience in their horses is tested, as they do not become winners overnight. But this patience is rewarded with the memories their horses give them and the pride they feel, just in owning them.
The trainers are the minute arm on the clock, for there isn’t a minute in their day that their team of horses is not on their mind. They strive to give the horses the very best opportunities so that they can thrive during their careers. The horses are always in their minds, each with their own precise training plan so that success can be achieved.
The head lads/lasses are the numbers around the clock face because without them you would not be able to tell the time. They constantly have their ears to the ground and watchful eyes to maintain a five star standard for their team of horses. They know when the horse is feeling 100 per cent, and they know just what to do to if they are not. They are the thread that sews everything together.
The lads and lasses are the second arm on the clock for they work endlessly to make sure that their horse is content. They know the horse like the back of their hand. Horses are each individual characters, but they will latch onto their lad or lass for comfort, as they are the person they see the most every day. At its best this relationship between the two can be both influential and inspiring.
These people and horses can be together for years, from the start of their careers to the end, through the highs and lows of life, but with memories that never fade; I guess just like the tick tock of a clock that never slows.
I giggle when I say the horses I'm lucky to know will have a better retirement home than me. When I'm getting served baked beans, they'll have a rug for every occasion and the finest oats on the market! But in my second breath I say they deserve it!
I met a lady up at Musselburgh last weekend who took massive pride in telling me about her retired racehorse. She showed me a picture of him with his flash white socks and deep chestnut coat. I can see why she was proud to show him off. He ran in a point-to-point in the Devon and Cornwall area - its a funny world how some paths can cross and to be in Scotland listening to his story and hearing the pride in his owners’ voice.
Dad has the Frost Racing Club and we had the ultimate dude - Baccalaureate. He had his way of doing things when I started riding him, but he taught me a lot in the time I spent with him, at home and on the track. I was lucky enough to ride a winner on him at Exeter last year. I remember joking with him at the start saying, 'Baccie if you can give me your grade two turn of foot we may just win this.' I'm glad he decided to agree with me, even though he is a man who is very much in his own control! He raced 76 times, 11 times with me on board, and six times at Exeter.
People who looked after him when he was at different yards ask after him to this day.
Dad decided that Baccie had run enough races and his time to go and be a different person had come, so our search was on to find him the luxury home he deserved! He is still in the Devon hills with a rug for every occasion and he is very content in his new life! I was privileged to be associated with him and the memory of the win at Exeter he gave me, my family and the Club will stay forever strong. We live to make memories. My world does that for me everyday.
The last piece of the clock is the face - and that is the horse. The racing world would not exist without horses and we could not be who we are and have a passion like we do if it wasn't for them.