Well, the heatwave went on for much longer than anyone expected this summer, making a little more work for everyone than in previous, cooler summers; with the mares and foals coming in every day out of the heat and having hay and hard feed as the grass was almost non-existent!  They continue to grow on really well.
Here is Lecon Benefique with her Kayf Tara colt (b. 27th April) enjoying a spin around the paddock.

3-L and L - 25 August 2018

And having a little chat in the early evening.

L and L - August 2018-a

The following photos are of Kassis and her Mount Nelson colt (b. May 27th), this colt has made the same height as the Kayf Tara colt already, even though he is a full month younger!

2-George - Aug 25th 2018Kassis and George-25 Aug 2018

The two-year-old fillies are coming on well too, turning into nice young ladies and living out 24/7 with the boarding gelding by Midnight Legend.

The gang of 3 - Aug 2018

Looking expectantly, for a feed maybe ??!!
The Shirroco filly is on the left with the Califet filly on the right.

Annie and Ebony - Aug 2018

At the end of August we took a short break in Ireland and visited Ballincurrig House Stud to see Sazerak (Sinndar x Toile D'Auteuil)  before she goes to Denis Leahy's for a little education.  I am pleased to say she looks very well indeed and has grown somewhat since I last saw her!

Tilly at Ballincurrig- August 2018-3

At the same time we became reaquainted with the lovely Miss Mahmite (Mahler x David's Delight) who was at Ballincurrig for her summer break before returning to Denis Leahy's and then going into training later in the year.  She looks really well too, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the staff at Ballincurrig House Stud.

Miss Mahmite-August 2018-3a

Jamie Snowden had his open day at Folly House in Lambourn on Sunday 2nd September and we went along to support him, with many more of his owners.  It was a really great day, as always, with Jamie giving a running commentary as the horses were paraded for all to see.  Naranja was led out looking very well and very relaxed.Jamies Open Day-2nd Sept 2018

Here is a quote from Jamie at the end of Naranja's last season:
“We took a couple up to Ayr last weekend where Naranja was most courageous to stick her neck out to win the valuable Class 2 Mares Staying Hurdle under a great ride by Sean Bowen.  In turn she became our highest earning horse this season having won twice earlier this season as well.”
So, it’s fingers crossed for some black type for Naranja this season.

Naranja was joined at Folly House in the middle of last week by our 4 year old filly Early Morning Rain (Martaline x Rosewater).  She came straight from pre-training at Denis Leahy's yard to Jamie. We are hoping that he can find a syndicate for this lovely filly to start off her racing career.

Rosie at Denis Leahy's - Aug 25th 2018-a

Weaning time has arrived again, too quickly as always.  All three foals were weaned this week and are now living together with their adopted granddad, Jack.  They settled down and stuck close together on the first day, managing synchronised grazing!

Weaned foals - Sept 4th 2018

A couple of days on and they are all chilled and enjoying catching some early morning sun, overlooked by the lovely Jack.

Foals at rest with Jack - Sept 6th

And finally, I would like to introduce the latest addition to the farm - Maggie the Labrador puppy, who is settling in very well with the other dogs and is already in love with Zeus !!

Maggie

* * With thanks to Jessica Joubert for most of these photos * *

 

Our third (and final) foal for 2018 entered the world on Sunday 27th May.  A huge bay colt by MOUNT NELSON (Rock of Gibraltar x Independence) out of our beautiful winning mare KASSIS (Kalanisi x Gastina).

Newborn colt - George 2018

He is a big, rangey colt with a great walk already and his mother's bold, inquisitive nature,  the Grandchildren have named him 'George'.
Here he is, just 4 days old, investigating a daisy in the paddock. 
George - 2His legs proved to be just too long to be able to reach the grass so, calling on his Irish heritage, he improvised !
Legs far too long - George 4Now, Just over 3 weeks old and he is flying around the paddock, stretching those long legs.

George - 19th June - 2

Louis (Kayf Tara x Lecon Benefique) is growing on well and turning into a really nice, friendly young man.
He enjoys a quick spin around the paddock with or without his mum.  He is just over 7 weeks in these photos.

Louis - 19 June 2018-1Louis - 19th June -3

With Summer finally here, all the foals are now turned out together and are enjoying each other's company.  The mares and foals are turned out at night and brought back in during the heat of the day, so Jess has been able to get some nice sunset shots.
Here is Lecon Benefique and her colt foal by Kayf Tara doing some synchronised grazing.

Louise and Louis-Sunset June 2018This pic is the 2 colt foals playing as the sun goes down. George (Mount Nelson x Kassis) on the left and Louis (Kayf Tara x Lecon Benefique) looking like a unicorn !!Foals playin at Sunet - June 2018

And finally, we say cheerio for now to Naranja as she heads back to Jamie Snowden's Folly House yard in Lambourn with her field buddy Marlow Moss after a good couple of months R & R.

Naranja goes back - July 2018

With thanks to Jessica Joubert for these lovely photographs.

The sun is out, the sky is blue and a host of golden daffodils - Spring has arrived!

Spring has sprung -20th April 2018

In the middle of April we said goodbye to our home-bred filly BALLYMILAN (Milan x Ballyhoo) as she left us for pastures new.

April 2018

She joins Heart Racing and has gone to Neil Mulholland's Conkwell Grange Stables, 4 miles east of Bath, to begin her pre-training education.  What a difference 3 weeks makes!

Snip at Neil Mulholland's - May 2018

We wish Becky Bailey and Heart Racing all the best with Snip (Ballymilan) and look forward to seeing her out on the racecourse, strutting her stuff, sometime next season.

One out - One in ! 
On April 27th our lovely black-type mare LECON BENEFIQUE (Beneficial x Lessons Lass) gave birth to a beautiful dark brown colt by KAYF TARA, his stable name is 'Louis'.  He is a very strong, long-legged foal with his mother's attitude and good looks.
In this photo he is just 12 hours old and getting his first taste of sun on his back.
Just 12 hours oldHe is already enjoying his time out in the paddock, having a leg-stretch with Mum, may we have many more days like this!
Photos taken at 4 days old by Jessica Joubert.
DSC_0981_previewL and L - 1st May 2018
Our boarding Mare, Centoria and her 6 week old filly by Sholokhov continue to thrive in the ever improving weather.

Bunny - 1st May 2018-1

As do our 2-year old fillies, now turned out in the summer paddocks to fill up on the summer grass and grow on. They are already competitive - racing around the field, when they are not eating!

Annie and Ebony battle it out - April 2018

In this photo Tamango (Shirocco x Liss Na Siog ) leads Cojito (Califet x Ebony Palm)

On 3rd May we drove to Jamie Snowden's Folly House Stables, in Lambourn to collect Naranja (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) and bring her home for a well deserved Summer break.  She was accompanied on her journey by Lucy Snowden's 4 year old mare Marlow Moss (Fame and Glory x Moss Artiste) who is having some 'down time' too.

Home - May 2018

Naranja, happy to be home and free!

Naranja and Moss - May 2018

Naranja and Moss in their Summer paddock, enjoying a much deserved holiday with plenty of grass to keep them occupied!

With thanks to Jessica Joubert for her lovely photographs.

 

After all the rain and disappointment of abandoned meetings this season, NARANJA'S final trip out was to Ayr and the Scottish Grand National Festival meeting.  She was entered in the "coral.co.uk Seafield Trophy Mares' Handicap Hurdle"  (Class 2)  (4yo+)  (3m70yds)  3m½f   Going: Good  over 12 hurdles,  with Sean Bowen in the plate as her regular jockey, Gavin Sheehan, sustained a broken arm whilst riding in the Grand National the previous week.
This very game, genuine mare WON the race for us, first past the post of 16 runners !!    Very well done Naranja and Sean.

IMG_2263

Racing Post Analysis:
Race distance increased by 28yds. A wide open mares' handicap and a thrilling finish after some drama on the first circuit.
"NARANJA, below par since landing consecutive handicaps over shorter during the winter, was trying this longer trip for only the second time and she was never headed after being left in a narrow lead when the clear leader ducked out at the final hurdle on the first circuit. She displayed a terrific attitude, as well as plenty of stamina, and her future will be over fences."

Naranja winning at Ayr

Naranja wins at Ayr - 20 Apr 2018-1

After Race comments:
"Chased clear leader, left in lead 6th, made rest, hard pressed from 3 out, held on gamely under pressure from last."  Giving 10 lbs to the horse placed second, Our Valentina.

QUOTES: "All Naranja does is stay. She needs to go left-handed too. She's going to be a nice chaser, we've schooled her already and she jumps well" - Jamie Snowden, trainer.

Naranja - eating up at Ayr - 20th April 2018Here is Naranja - in the stables at Ayr, eating up after a hard day at the office !!

She travelled back to Folly House, Lambourn on the Sunday after the Scottish Grand National and settled back in, like she always does and went out the next day for a relaxing hack and a quick splash in the stream !

IMG_2276

She will be coming home soon for her Summer holiday to chill out with her old friends and companions and we look forward to another season of racing with her, maybe over some of the bigger jumps too?!

With our thanks, as always, to Jamie Snowden Racing and his fantastic team at Folly House for all their hard work, efforts and expertise.

Following a couple of months of wet and windy weather NARANJA (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) set off for Chepstow racecourse on 19th January to run in the 'In Play Betting At 188Bet Mares' Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier For The Challenger Mares' Hurdle Series)'
(Class 3) (0-130, 4yo+), 2m 3½f, Going: Heavy, 9 hurdles - 2 omitted.
Naranja won this, her first handicap race, by a cracking 9 lengths !!!  A brilliant ride by Gavin Sheehan once again.

Naranja at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018

‘Racing Post’ analysis:
Race run over an additional 14yds. Fair mares' form.

NARANJA was well backed and made all on this handicap debut, her mark having been untouched after her Lingfield maiden win which also came against mares. She stayed on much too strongly for the runner-up, who looked a threat at the second-last. Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan both continue in fine form.

QUOTES: "Naranja won nicely. She enjoyed the ground and I thought we'd keep it simple. She was probably off a nice mark and ability-wise she wouldn't be the most natural, but she toughs it out and Jamie's horses are flying. She wouldn't be the most scopey sort, but she'd probably jump a fence and she's game - the more you ask the more she gives you" - Gavin Sheehan, rider.

Naranja wins at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018-1

Chepstow blog
"Jamie Snowden and Gavin Sheehan completed a double in the 2m 4f mares hurdle with NARANJA (13/8 fav, backed from 3/1 in the morning).  She made all the running until Lerichi Belle drew alongside two out, looking like a big threat.  They duelled for a furlong but Naranja proved the stronger and galloped on to a nine length victory."

Naranja at Chepstow-19 Jan 2018-a

Our broodmares are looking well awaiting the arrival of their foals in the Spring. Centoria (Generous x Cent Prime), our boarding mare, will be the first to foal - she is due to Sholokhov in March.
Here she is saying hello to her first foal (by Midnight Legend), now a strapping 2 year old gelding, on their first meeting since weaning.

Centoria and Bugsy-Jan 2018-1

Lecon Benefique (Beneficial x Lessons Lass) is due to Kayf Tara in April

Louise - Jan 2018-2

and Kassis (Kalanisi x Gastina) is due to Mount Nelson in May.
Everything crossed for successful deliveries of healthy foals for these 3 mares.

Kassis - Jan 2018

Taking advantage of a less busy period for our feed delivery guys, they have been putting their various skills to good use renovating one of the barns.  So we now have a covered turn-out area on one side for use during inclement weather and 10 large stables on the other side of a dividing wall to house the 2 year olds and the horses when they come home from training for their summer holidays.

Barn renovation-2018

And finally, our Rotweiller puppy Zeus is all grown up and on guard !!

Zeus - Jan 2018

Monday 13th November found us in Ireland at Tattersalls November National Hunt Sales.  It was good to catch up with all our friends and contacts we have made over the years and to partake of the odd Guinness or two in the bar !

Our thanks to all the staff at Ballincurrig House Stud, both colts looked fabulous after their 6 weeks pre-sales prep with them and our Yeats x Ballyhoo (Supreme Leader) foal was the first of the two to go through the sales ring, on Monday.  He was sold to Tommy Newton.

Freddie-1b

Tuesday afternoon saw our second foal, by Telescope x Lecon Benefique (Beneficial) go into the sales ring.  He was one of only 3 of Telescope's first crop presented at the sale; he was sold to Pat McCarthy.

Buzz-3a

We hope their new owners are happy with them and we look forward to maybe seeing them back here in the Derby Sale in 2020 !!

On 1st November our young mare, Toodlepip (Robin Des Champs x Shannon Theatre), left Denis Leahy's yard and travelled to Harry Fry's yard in Seaborough, Beaminster in Dorset.  She has settled in really well and I visited the yard on 22nd November and watched her first canter on their gallops.  I am now looking forward to her making it to the racecourse.

Polly at Harry Fry's - 22nd Nov 2017-2

Here she is coming back in after work and looking good after her wash down.Polly at Harry Fry's - 22nd Nov 2017-1 (2)

Naranja (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) had her first run of the season on 6th November at Plumpton in the Download The Free At The Races App Mares' Novices' Hurdle - (Class 4) (4yo+) - 2m4½f - Going: Good - 12 hurdles.
Gavin Sheehan was in the plate and she was a creditable 3rd of 10 runners.

Naranja at Lingfield - 28th Nov 2017 (Photo by Alexandra Walters)

Her second run was at Lingfield on 28th November in the Thoroughbred Breeders Association Mares' Maiden Hurdle - (Class 4) (4yo+) - 2m3½f - Going: Soft - 8 hurdles  (2 omitted because of low sun).
Naranja won this race (8 runners), guided home by Gavin Sheehan.

Naranja-Lingfield Winner

Racing Post analysis:
"Not always fluent, made most, headed 3 out, pushed along before 2 out, led again before last, stayed on and drew clear by almost 4 lengths."

Quotes:
“They got racing a little early and Gavin waited on Naranja and let them get on with it. She is very tough. She deserved that - she has only run two poor races and they were in Listed races last season when we threw her in at the deep end. She won her bumper first time and ran a great race to be third in a Listed bumper. She jumps well so tried her highly but then kept her novice status for this season. She is rated 112 but whether we go down the handicap route or go for another novice under a penalty I don't know”.
- Jamie Snowden, trainer.

 

So, here we are at the start of the Jumps Season and Naranja (Black Sam Bellamy x Full of Fruit) is now back in full training with Jamie Snowden at Folly House, Lambourn.  We watched her schooling a couple of weeks ago and eagerly look forward to her first outing.Naranja schooling-21 Sept 2017-2 Naranja schooling-21 Sept 2017

Our Filly, Ballymilan (Milan x Ballyhoo), has recently come back home from her time at ‘Prep School’ with Roger and Christine Wernham and  L & B Equine Services where she was backed and ridden away. She will now have a break while we decide on the next phase of her education.

Snip at school-Sept 2017 (2)

The end of September was the time to have the mares scanned to confirm they were definitely in-foal.  Happily, all 3 mares were.

Lecon Benefique (Beneficial x Lessons Lass) – in foal to Kayf Tara

Louise - Sept 2017-crop

 

Kassis (Kalanisi x Gastina) – in foal to Mount Nelson

DSC_6958 (Large)-August 2017

And our boarding Mare Centoria (Generous x Cent Prime) – in foal to Sholokhov

Centoria-Sept 2017

Time to say ‘goodbye’ to our two foals, Freddie (Yeats x Ballyhoo) and Buzz (Telescope x Lecon Benefique) as they left us to travel to Ballincurrig House Stud for their pre-sales preparation for the Tattersalls November NH Sales.

The boys - September 2017

Thanks to the men from Ballinroe Horse Transport who did a sterling job getting the 2 foals loaded up and to their destination safe and happy.

Ballinroe lorry

On 10th January 2017 - NARANJA went to Lingfield Park for the “Call Star Sports Mares’ Novices Hurdle”, her first outing over hurdles partnered by Nick Scholfield.  This was a 2 mile race for 4yo+, over 8 hurdles in Heavy going.

She finished a very creditable 3rd just 3 lengths behind The Nipper and 24 lengths in front of the only other finisher out of 6 starters;  she has still never been out of the frame in all of her starts!!

Naranja-race (2)

Racing Post comment:
"Naranja showed fair form in bumpers and she made a pleasing hurdles debut. Better ground will help and she can win something similar."

 

KASSIS travelled to Leicester on 24th January 2017 and stepped up in class for the “Charnwood Forest Mares’ Chase (Listed Race)” – a Class 1, Listed race for 5yo+, over a distance of 2m 6fl 51yds with 18 fences in Good to Soft going, again with Nick Scholfield on board.

Desert Queen set quite a pace from the off, Kassis made a bit of a mistake at the 12th and stayed on well to get 4th place, just missing out on that black type!

Kassis Parade Ring

Racing Post comment:
Kassis ran way better than she was entitled to with a rating of just 107.”

 

Our Robin Des Champs filly, Toodlepip, is progressing well in pre-training with Denis Leahy in Ireland.  She has been tried over the schooling hurdles and has taken to that with great enthusiasm!

Polly at Denis's schooling track-Jan 17

She will soon be having a well earned break, turned out for the Summer back at Ballincurrig House Stud with Michael Moore and his great team.

 

Our Milan filly, Ballymilan, is  being brought on slowly by Amanda and Jess.  She has had a saddle and bridle on and been led around with no objections at all.  She has taken to loading like a pro and now almost puts herself into the lorry !

Snip starts her training-Jan 2017

We will make a decision about her future later in the year.

And finally, I would like to introduce the newest member of the family - Zeus, our Rottweiler puppy, now 14 weeks old and full of fun and mischief!!

Zeus with foot mallet

 

 

As we enter a New Year we are looking forward to the safe delivery of our 2 foals in February and March. All being well, Lecon Benefique will visit Kayf Tara and Ballyhoo will visit Black Sam Bellamy after foaling this time.
Our boarding mare, Centoria, will be travelling to Ireland mid-February to visit Sholokhov; she will board at Ballincurrig House Stud, Co. Cork to be walked in.

On 11th December 2016 Naranja went to Carlisle for the "Racing UK Mares Standard Open NH Flat Race" where she took 2nd place out of 14 runners, ridden by Nick Scholfield.  She has been in the frame in all of her 3 races!

naranja-ready-to-race

Quote from Racing Post:
"Naranja ran another sound race, making it 3 fine runs in bumpers.  She has the stamina to make a hurdler."

On 29th December 2016, Kassis went to Doncaster for the "Thoroughbred Breeders Handicap Hurdle" with Nick Scholfield on board, taking 4th place.  She did not run to the best of her ability as the ground had barely thawed out after a heavy overnight frost and she was never happy with the going.

Our Robin Des Champs filly Toodlepip, now a 3 yr old, remains at Denis Leahy's yard in Cork in pre-training and is coming along very well.

polly-deniss-sand-school-jan-2017

She has popped over a hurdle or two and is thoroughly enjoying herself.

Our filly Ballymilan (Milan / Ballyhoo), has now turned 2 yrs old and is growing on well.

snip-jan-2017

She will soon be starting some groundwork with Jess and Amanda - our stud grooms - in preparation for her eventual visit to Denis Leahy for pre-training assessment later in the year.

snip-5-jan-2017

And finally, Centoria's Midnight Legend colt, Bugsy, enjoying a frolic with his field companion Jack, our retired polo pony, on a cold and frosty morning earlier this week.

jack-and-bugsy-playing

 

The National Hunt season is up and running.

Kassis’s first race was on 31st October at Hereford  “The Re Group 15-year Anniversary Mares Handicap Chase (Qualifier for the Challenger Mares Chase Series)”.  It was a small field, Kassis had Daryl Jacob in the saddle this time and she was a bit disappointing as she didn’t jump her best.

kassis-at-hereford

She picked up a very deep speed cut in the race, which is healing up nicely and she is now back in full work.

It was with a mix of excitement and trepidation that we set off in the early morning of Tuesday 8th November for Heathrow Airport on our annual pilgrimage to the Tattersalls November National Hunt Sales in Ireland.  This is always a great few days, meeting up with old friends and seeing the foals in the flesh after studying the catalogue avidly for the 2-3 weeks prior to the sales, trying to find the next potential listed mares race winner!

Tuesday was always going to be a busy day for us as we had 16 fillies earmarked to look at, a couple of these were withdrawn prior to the sales but still a lot to see!

Lucky for us we managed to buy the 2 fillies we had ‘double tagged’, one by Sinndar out of a winning French Mare.

sinndar-filly-tilly-at-tatts

and the other filly is by Califet out of a winning point to point mare.

califet-filly-at-tatts

They have gone to Ballincurrig House Stud for a couple of months to get over any stresses which the sales may bring and they will come home to us early next year to join our expanding herd of fillies!

Bertie, our colt by Sholokhov, was entered on Wednesday 9th November, having spent the last 6 weeks or so in the care of Michael and his team at Ballincurrig House Stud, being prepped for the sales.  They did a great job, as always, and he came into the ring looking fantastic, a credit to all involved in his preparation.

bertie-tatts_full-body

He was sold to Ben Case for Lady Grosvenor’s stable.

bertie-tatts_head

Thursday was slightly less stressful than the previous 2 days and we looked at a few fillies and decided to go for one later in the day, so around 4.30pm a Shirocco filly out of an Old Vic mare went under the hammer and is coming home to us with the other two!  She is similarly bred to Annie Power, so fingers crossed she is as talented!

shirocco-filly-at-tatts

We flew back home late Thursday night, tired but happy. A very rewarding and fulfilling few days had by all!!

Last but by no means least, Naranja had her first race this season on Saturday 12th November at Cheltenham in the “High Sheriff of Gloucestershire’s Mares’ Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed Race)”.  This was a huge step up in class for her from a Class 6 to a Class 1 race, ridden this time by Nick Scholfield.

naranja-at-cheltenham-12th-nov-2016

She finished 3rd out of 19 runners, proving what we all knew, that she is full of stamina.  We are all delighted she now has black type.