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Hen and Terry

Latest News

Latest NewsListed below is the latest news from West Lockinge Farm. Clicking the [more...] link will take you to the full news item.

Happy New Year

Christmas and the New Year have been very busy.  One member of staff broke her leg dismounting from a 15 hand horse in the yard on 23rd December!  As you can imagine, this caused a lot of problems with Christmas work plans.  I have advertised for another helper for the next 3 months – if anyone is interested in a job please ring me on 07860 110153.  I need somebody experienced with horses and a good rider.    The horses from Mick Channons ran creditably at Kempton on Boxing Day but 2 of the races were not suitable.  However, their owner, Mr Radford was taking his family to the meeting and wanted to see as many of his horses on the track as possible.  Knock House ran very well in the 2 ½ mile Novice Handicap Chase to finish 2nd.  Warden Hill was well outclassed in the Kauto Star Feltham Novices Chase but still finished 2nd due to most of the other horses falling or pulling up.  Sgt Reckless’ run in the Christmas Hurdle was – to my mind – a waste of time.  He is currently on a Novice Chase programme and needs good ground.  He was totally out of his depth and did not like the softened going.   Despite being one down on staff, we are still very busy on the yard and Calgary Bay is due to make an appearance in a Hunter Chase in February.  He has been off a course for nearly 2 years due a leg problem and he is now 12 years old but he is in great form and looks a picture.  He will run from West Lockinge Farm.  Edredon Bleu won the King George as a 12 year old!  Harry Bannister will ride him this Spring and we have a couple of other horses here belonging to his father – another of whom – Port Golan – is due to go Hunter Chasing as well.      A Happy New Year to everybody. It has been a tough year without Terry but my staff and supporters have been great.  I spent 3 days in Connemara over Christmas.  It was a lovely break but very sad as I stayed in our favourite hotel.  Fortunately, I have wonderful friends over there and I was well cared for. [more...]

Merry Christmas

It has been a busy December at West Lockinge with plenty of horses in the yard.  We have concentrated on their jumping and fittening work.  On Boxing Day, 3 of Camilla Radford’s horses are running at Kempton – Knock House and Warden Hill will be ridden by A P McCoy and Sgt Reckless (surprisingly reverting to hurdles) will be ridden by Noel Fehily. Calgary Bay is getting nicely fit at the farm and will run in a hunter chase in February with the Foxhunters’ at Aintree in April as his goal.   I am spending Christmas in Connemara in Ballynahinch Castle Hotel where Terry and I had so many wonderful holidays.  It will be sad to go there without him but I have some great friends over there and fantastic memories.  My house will be well occupied and looked after for me at West Lockinge, and it should be a good break.  I will watch the Racing on Boxing Day from the Betting Shop in Clifden. [more...]

November update

As the wet weather gets a grip and the ground changes to soft/heavy on many courses, there is some exciting National Hunt racing in the pipeline in November/December starting with 3 days at Cheltenham this weekend.   Most of the young hurdlers/chasers that we prepare her have now gone back into training with their individual trainers and there have been some pleasing results to date.  Knock House and Sgt Reckless both won their first chases in October for Mick Channon and could turn out again at Cheltenham on Saturday and Sunday although Sgt Reckless would not want it too soft.  Warden Hill ran a promising race at Carlisle to finish 4th over 2miles 6f in a Novices Hcap Chase but he clearly needs 3 miles and jumped very big over some of the fences.   At West Lockinge Farm we have some interesting horses here for jumping education – some will go Point to Pointing whilst others will run under NH rules.   Calgary Bay is going hunter chasing from Lockinge and should be ready to run in January with the Liverpool Foxhunters as his target.  He has not run for 2 seasons due to leg problems but seems in great heart.     Yogi Breisner continues to help me with some of the racehorses but won’t take any ouside courses until the Spring when the ground improves.  My newly dressed schooling fences look fantastic and are often used by outsiders.  We are very proud of our facilities – if anybody wants to use the hurdles/chase fences, or gallops – please feel free to ring me 07860 110153. [more...]

Novice Chasers

We have some lovely horses in the yard at the moment – a lot of them waiting to go back to Mick Channon’s for their Autumn/Winter campaign. We have a lot Novice Chasers for the Seasons. They have all done well over hurdles and should be exciting prospects – in particular, I like Sgt Reckless, Knock House, Paradise Valley, Warden Hill and Viva Steve.  They are all superb types.  Also here, we have some very promising youngsters who are here for schooling and jumping before going into training.   Yogi Breisner still continues to give his monthly clinics at West Lockinge Farm and we were delighted to see that one of his pupils, Max Warburton, won a section at the Pony Club Eventing Championships.     The next course is on Saturday 27th September starting at 9am. [more...]

Loch Ba for sale & facilities for hire

Getting very busy now with some lovely horses stabled here to prepare for the Autumn/Winter National Hunt Season.  They are looking fantastic and have Summered really well.  We have some excellent riders and the horses are doing plenty of work.  Loch Ba is selling at Doncaster in September.  He is in from the field and back in work.  He is a fine horse and would be a great horse for Hunter Chasing.  He jumps superbly and has already been ridden by an Amateur.  Anybody interested in him can come and ride him at home.   Vacancies available for young horses to school and educate especially in the jumping field – brilliant facilities.   Also gallops and schooling fences to hire.  Gallops let for daily use especially for event horses £10 per horse.  Point to Pointers for next season welcome.     Please contact for details - Henrietta 07860 110153 or e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk [more...]

Stables and Livery Available

Two barns available at West Lockinge Farm, OX12 8QF, totalling 11 stables ( 5 + 6).  Would suit professional with racehorses/point to pointers and/or event horses.  Exceptional facilities – gallops, schooling fences, jumping field, arena, turnout and paddocks plus excellent hacking on Berkshire Downs.   We also have vacancies for horses taken for pre training/livery/breaking etc.  Experienced staff and riders.   Apply to:     Henrietta Knight 01235 833535 or 07860 110153 or e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk [more...]

Part time rider required

Part time riding out work available - mornings only, getting National Hunt horses fit for the Autumn/Winter Season.  Must be competent riders who have evented or ridden racehorses before.  Please ring Hen on 07860 110153 or e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk  [more...]

Are you looking for a N.H. horse?

The N.H. horses are now coming in from grass and getting ready for next Autumn/Winter season.  They have summered well and look good.     I have seen 3 star horses in Ireland of late.  Two 3 year olds – by Robin de Champs & Sir Percy (superb N. H. pedigrees) and a lovely 5 year old Point to Point by Kayf Tara.   They all look like Cheltenham horses.  Anybody interested please make contact – hen@westlockinge.co.uk or telephone 07860 110153. [more...]

Trip to Ireland

Had a fantastic 3 days travelling in Ireland last week.  Was priviledged to spend a morning with Aiden O'Brien at Ballydoyle - mind blowing - and watched Australia on the gallops.  What a set up and what unbelievable attention to detail.  Then I went to Coolmore and saw the Stallions and the Museum and unbelievably life like model of Sadlers Wells with his own hide and mane and tail.  Camelot is so beautiful.  Also saw Galileo - what a gentleman.  Travelled to Co Clare to the Costellos and saw several outstanding 3 year olds.  Does anybody want to buy the next Best Mate, because I think I have seen him! [more...]

June update

A great run from The Hon Macinlay at Stratford on Saturday night.  He is owned and bred by Kykie Allsopp and was 2nd in the competitive bumper ridden by Dominic Elsworth.  We had Macinlay her last Winter and this Spring.  He is a charming horse and jumps well too.  He is an exciting prospect for the future with a wonderful temperament. We all love him and so does Mick Channon!   At last the weather has improved a little and the horses are starting to ‘do’ in the fields.  They have had so many soakings in May.  I used to dread looking at them in the early mornings when they looked so wretched and cold with their coats staring.  Some of them will be starting work again in 3 weeks time so they need a proper holiday with sunshine and warmth.     The schooling field looks great!  We have greened up a lot of the fences and the grass has been regularly topped.  The ground is very good at the moment and a number of people have been over to use it.  We charge £15 per horse for use of the field and £10 for use of our gallops.  If both are used together then it’s £20 all in.  [more...]

May news

Balbriggan went to Doncaster Sales on Wednesday 21st May.  He made £35,000 and went to Gordon Elliot in Ireland.  He plans to run him at the Galway Festival.  There was huge interest in the horse and he was hardly ever in his stable.    A lot of the National Hunt horses from Mick Channons are now out in the fields on their Summer holidays.  They are doing really well.  Somersby did not enjoy his trip to Punchestown at all and is obviously no good too far away from home.  He is a very sensitive horse and fairly neurotic.  Next season he will only race close to home.    Sgt Reckless ran a good race to be 3rd but he’d had 3 races in a very short time at Festival meetings – Cheltenham/Aintree and Punchestown.  He lacked sparkle and he was probably go chasing next Autumn and looks an exciting prospect.   We have several Summer vacancies for liveries. Young horses to teach to jump or young horses to educate and school on the flat.  We also take horses in to sell for clients and have recently sold some nice young event horses.     Yogi Breisner is here again for clinics on Monday 2nd June.  3 sessions starting at 1pm.  Very inexperienced horses to horses of BE90 – BE 100/Novice eventing standard. [more...]

May Day update

Somersby ran a dreadful race at Punchestown. He finished 5th but he sulked and did not even want to go to the start.  AP McCoy had to dismount and remount twice.  Obviously the long journey did not suit him – he’s a neurotic horse – and he was very quiet in the preliminaries.  He will now have a long Summer holiday at West Lockinge Farm.  Sgt Reckless ran very creditably and was 3rd but he’s had a long season – 3 championship races in 6 weeks.  He is entitled to be over the top.  Hopefully he’ll go chasing in the Autumn.  A lot more of the young NH horses from Mick Channons are now having their holiday at the farm.  The Spring grass is fantastic.  Warden Hill and Viva Steve are out full time whilst Paradise Valley, Loch Ba, Knock House and Ballypatrick are roughing off gradually.  Balbriggan is going to Doncaster May Sales and could make a great Hunter Chaser for next season. He is a lovely horse to ride and a super jumper.  We are still taking horses to educate especially with their jumping and people are also sending us horses to produce/sell.  We’ve just sold a lovely young horse from Ireland who is destined for Eventing. [more...]

Forthcoming Cheltenham Sales

A lovely win for one of the Radfords young horses, Paradise Valley at Wincanton last Sunday.  He had an easy victory in the Novice hurdle and jumped superbly leading the field from pillar to post under Dominic Elsworth and trained by Mick Channon.  He is a horse that Terry and I picked out in Ireland at Tom Costello’s a year ago.  We’ve always loved him and he will make a super chaser.     Incidentally, there is another big NH Sale at Cheltenham next Friday 25th April and I have several orders to find horses.  Please let me know if anybody is interested in buying a possible future champion – 6 winners at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival came out of this corresponding sale in 2013!  I shall be going down to the sales on the Thursday to preview the horses which I like the sound of. [more...]

UPDATE & SUMMER GRAZING AVAILABLE

Great run from Sgt Reckless at Aintree to finish 2nd in the 2 mile Novice Hurdle under AP McCoy.  He may now go to Punchestown alongside Somersby on April 29th. We have Summer Grazing available - lovely post and railed paddocks and fresh grass.  Not grazed by horses since last July.  Expert care and attention £12/day with or without extra feeding. [more...]

A little update

Busy at West Lockinge Farm.  The Connemara mares getting ready to foal – already had one new one on Sunday 30th March – and Yogi Breisner courses have re: started, 2 clinics today. Photos to follow.  His next date here is Monday 14th April.  Please apply if interested.   We still have Point to Point horses winning from the yard.  Kirstin Mellor keeps her Arkendale here and he has won his 2nd race of the season yesterday at Godstone.  He was ridden by Philip York.      On the racing front, Somersby is going to Punchestown to run in the 2 mile Champion chase over there on 29th April and Sgt Reckless could go there too.  This week Balbriggan, Paradise Valley and Viva Steve are all due to race and will hopefully do Mick Channon proud.  The beautiful 4 year old The Last Cavalier by Presenting is now in training with Mick and getting some nice education but he’ll be back here in May and won’t run until the Autumn.  He’s gorgeous but still quite immature and needs another Summer.  [more...]

Cheltenham Festival Week

What an amazing week at Cheltenham!  Some extremely emotional moments but some great results.  Firstly there was the race dedicated to Terry – The Terry Biddlecombe National Hunt Chaser on Tuesday, then Somersby under Dominic Elsworth ran an absolute blinder in the Champion Chase to be second to Sire de Grugy and finally our ex stable jockey and Terry’s protégé, Jim Culloty – who rode Best Mate to 3 Gold Cup wins, captured the Kim Muir Chase with Spring Heeled on Thursday, then the pinnacle of the week – the Gold Cup itself – with Lord Windermere.  Terry would have been so proud of Jim.  During Terry’s illness over the past 6 months, Jim was a huge supporter to us both and often came over from Ireland and stayed here.  He also attended both Terry’s funeral and the Celebration of Terry’s life at Cheltenham in February.   We have been very busy here at West Lockinge Farm.  My leg is mending well and I’m starting to walk again.  We still have some lovely young horses in work and the ground is good so plenty of jumping.  The floods are finally beginning to dry out.  What a winter of water!  We have some excellent staff her and good riders, and vacancies for young horses for jumping education and basic schooling or pre training.     Yogi Breisner will be in attendance on a regular basis throughout the Spring/Summer, and my Connemara Stud will be very busy with mares to foal and visitors to our stallion, Lecarrow King.  Watch this space!  [more...]

Celebration of Terry's life

Trying to get back to normal but not easy with a broken leg and being unable to walk/move around.  Terry’s “celebration of his life” which was put on at Cheltenham Racecourse last Monday was an unbelievable occasion.  So many friends and fans including many jockeys and trainers past and present.   Alastair Down, David Mould and Bill Smith gave superb addresses. It was very moving but there was plenty of humour as well.  He was an amazing man and lived life to the full and what a life!  I am still receiving lovely letters and cards.  Thank you so much.   My leg is quietly healing and I hope to be able to go racing on the Tuesday of the Cheltenham Festival when the National Hunt Chase is being named after Terry for this year.   The horses at West Lockinge are doing very well.  We have some lovely inmates and good staff.  The gallop is in excellent shape and a lot of people are using it from outside.  Yogi Breisner has been coming her every 10 days to give lessons in the Indoor School in the village.      We have vacancies for more horses too – youngsters or for pre training. [more...]

Thank you to you all!

I should like to thank all the wonderful people who have so kindly sent me messages and cards about Terry and also about my broken ankle. It has been a difficult time but my friends have been a huge comfort.  The yard is running smoothly and the horses are doing well.  Yogi Breisner has been helping on a weekly basis and the jockeys have been riding out as well -  in particular Dominic Elsworth and Andrew Thornton have been brilliant. [more...]

Terry

As I expect you all know, I have lost Terry.  He died on January 5th.  Not only was he my husband but also the best friend that I will ever have.  I am feeling desperately sad and I am missing him every minute of the day but at least he has no more pain and can now rest in peace.  All my friends are being fantastic and helping me through these difficult days.  Life at West Lockinge Farm will never be the same again but I will continue to run my horse business and in due course expand it.  Terry would have wanted this and was right behind me in everything that I did.  More news in due course after the private funeral on Friday 17th.  Watch this space. [more...]

Our Pre trainers are winning!

The horses which we prepare here and send on to Mick Channon are running brilliantly!  Warden Hill won at Doncaster on Saturday and Knock House won today at Plumpton.  They are 2 lovely youngsters and Chasers in the making.  They are by Presenting and Old Vic. Somersby also ran an excellent race in the Tingle Creek and was 2nd to Sire de Grugy – a bit further and he’d have probably won but he’s a difficult horse to place distance wise.  He is now at home at West Lockinge Farm for his Christmas holidays as he won’t run again till later in January.  At the moment we are trying to put weight back onto him and he goes out daily in the field with his old friend Calgary Bay who will hopefully be up and running by next March after a set back at the end of last season.  Paradise Valley – the baby – ran really well on his debut last week and was only beaten a head in the bumper at Huntingdon last week.  He’s got a great future.  Watch this space! [more...]

Sgt Reckless wins!

Fantastic result today – Monday – for Sgt Reckless.  He won convincingly at Kempton beating a 6-1 on shot of Nicky Henderson’s.  He has so much talent and obviously the 2 wind operations he’s had since last season – courtesy of Ben Brain – have really worked.  Mick Channon has always believed in the horse but last season at Cheltenham and Aintree he could not breathe!    Onwards and upwards!     Dominic Elsworth, who has extensively schooled him over obstacles this last Summer/Autumn, gave him a beautiful ride. [more...]

All ready for the NH Season

We’re very busy as usual at West Lockinge Farm with a lot of lovely young horses coming here for jumping education.  All the facilities are in top condition and the fences have been re: done and “greened” up with spruce.  They look great! A number of outsiders are coming in to use them.   The horses which were here and are now at Mick Channons are running well.  Somersby is being aimed at the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 7th, even though he may have to take on Sprinter Sacre.     We also have some lovely horses for sale in the yard including a couple of lovely potential Juvenile hurdlers plus links with some superb NH Youngsters in Ireland.  If anybody would like Hen to buy them or choose them a racehorse please RING.  Great past record! [more...]

A P McCoy's 400th winner!

Congratulations A.P. McCoy – what a jockey!  It was great to see him get his 4,000 winner at Towcester today.    Life is very busy at West Lockinge Farm and the stables are once again filling up with horses. We have several DIY liveries - mostly eventers – and a lot of young horses to school and teach to jump.  Also, another trainer – Gary Brown – is resident in one of the barns with his string of horses.   It was great to see Somersby win the Haldon Gold Cup last Tuesday.  Mick Channon – his current trainer – was chuffed with the horse and so were we.  He only left here 3 ½ weeks ago so we feel that he was still trained at West Lockinge Farm!  (We did all his jumping and schooling with him).  Dominic Elsworth rode a great race and it was very exciting.     Mick has some lovely young jumpers in his yard this season and we are really looking forward to the Winter season. [more...]

Preparing for the Autumn

We have been very busy over the past month at West Lockinge Farm preparing a number of NH horses for the Autumn/Winter Season.  They are in excellent shape and look superb.  We have also had several horses here for jumping tuition alone – something we love and find most rewarding.   The chase fences and hurdles are being re: vamped at present.  More birch and more green spruce is being added to the existing obstacles.  Bob, in our yard, is becoming an expert with the “stuffing”, and is enjoying his new task so much that I worry he will give up his yard job.   Yogi Breisner returns here next Monday (16th September) for another couple of clinics.  He is taking 2 hourly sessions.  The spaces were quickly filled and we have a waiting list.   The Connemara ponies are well and the mares and foals have been running out on fresh pastures about ½ mile from the farmhouse.  We have several foals to sell at weaning (1st week of October).  They are lovely ponies and definite top class show standard.   Last Sunday I judged the BSPS Gold Cup working hunter pony finals at the Burghley Horse Trials.  The standard was extremely high and there were some lovely ponies.  Next weekend, I am judging the Retrained Racehorse Class at Henley Show.  I have to get stand in nurses for Terry when I’m away as he still cannot stand or walk.  Fortunately, he likes the helpers and they seem to understand his humour!     Plenty more spaces here for horses needing extra schooling. Excellent facilities and no extra to use all the jumps/gallops etc.  A lot of Event horses have been turning up to gallop as it is!  Just ring 07860 110153. [more...]

Busy Busy

We are getting very busy at West Lockinge Farm with lots of horses in work.  Some are being prepared for the Autumn/Winter NH Season and others are here for schooling and jumping tuition.  It has been lovely weather and the horses are thriving.     Yogi Breisner was here again on 20th August and had a super group of riders and horses to teach that ranged from 17 hands to 13.2 ponies, but they all jumped so well.  He is not back here until after the European Championships/Burghley 3 Day Event and Blenheim 3 Day Events.  He holds his next courses here on Monday 16th September at 3pm and 4pm.  Anybody interested please e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk [more...]

Terry improving

Terry continues his stay in hospital – been in there 12 days – but he is improving and hopefully will get home before too long.  His gastric problems have resolved themselves but his knees and leg ulcers are very painful.   Everything is running smoothly at the yard and the Yogi Breisner lessons last Monday went very well.  He had 14 people in 3 groups and everybody seemed to benefit.  His next course is on August 20th and one session will be aimed at really Novice horses – ones that are just learning about jumping and gymnastic exercises.  Please e-mail if you are interested in coming along.  We usually end up with a waiting list so don’t delay in contacting me.  It will be afternoon and outside.  The grass is superb.   We are very busy with racehorses here as well.  Lots on the go to get fit and several jumping as well.  One of our Summer inmates, Fitzwilly, romped home in his Juvenile hurdle at Market Rasen.     There will be vacancies for liveries and short stays in September and October.  Jumping and tuition or re; schooling or general education.  We have some good riders  to hand. [more...]

Mondays News

Despite Terry being in hospital – has been in 10 days due to Gastric problems plus leg ulcers and arthritic knees – things are nevertheless very busy at West Lockinge Farm.    Yogi Breisner has just given another fantastic course – 3 hours and 15 riders!  Everybody happy despite the rain.  The next date will be Tuesday 20th August – please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!! One of the sessions will be for ponies only and/or very novice horses.  Friday will be busy too, as Hen has 16 Pony Club children for lessons – use of gallops and hurdles and schooling fences (racehorse style!)   We have some excellent members of staff and are ready to take in horses for schooling or horses/riders for 2 or 3 days for jumping/dressage tuition or loose jumping (loose school) for very novice beginners (horses not riders!)  Watch this space.     We currently have 18 horses to prepare for next NH Season and so a lot going on! [more...]

SHORT TERM/TEMP JOB VACANCY

I have a short term/temporary job vacancy available from mid August to mid/end September here at Lockinge - pre training and young horses. Plenty of riding including on gallops and jumping, depending on experience. Suit student or more established equestrian person. Excellent wages and accommodation if required. Please send C.V. to hen@westlockinge.co.uk or telephone 07860 110153 [more...]

Yogi Breisner Jumping Clinic

Another highly successful Yogi Breisner Clinic her today – July 9th – 10 horses in 2 groups and so interesting.  The ground was amazing.  We have a shady field where the grass is constantly topped and it’s like a carpet!  No horseflies in Lockinge either!  (Never have been).      Yogi here again Monday 5th August in the afternoon.  Anybody interested please e-mail me – hen@westlockinge.co.uk or ring 07860 110153.  The places fill very quickly! [more...]

Charlotte Agnew Clinic

We are also holding a course on Tuesday 6th August with Charlotte Agnew.  It will be a low key "Beginners" course for very Novice horses and/or riders - more Riding Club/Pony Club level.  Mostly grid work and jumping small show jump course.  Horses or ponies welcome. Charlotte is a very successful 3 Day Event rider and excellent instructor.  She went well round Badminton this Spring and although she lives in Scotland, she is based close to West Lockinge Farm for the event season.  Cost per session £20 per person. [more...]

June update

Life at West Lockinge continues to be busy and varied.  I have been judging at several Horse Shows in June including the Cuddy Championship at the 3 Counties and both in hand and ridden hunters plus led Connemaras at The Royal Highland.  I missed Royal Ascot due to the Showing Commitments but the Highland Show, in particular, was yet again a great experience.  It is such an amazing 4 day show and so beautifully run.  I was looked after so well and my stewards were great.  There were some lovely horses and ponies in my classes.    On the Sunday after the trip to Scotland, I judged at the Hickstead Derby meeting.  I was assigned to the Championship of the Retrained Racehorses (ROR class).  My ride judge was an ex Point to Point champion Mike Felton – who in fact rode many Point to Point winners for me in the 1980’s.  Mike did a great job riding all the horses – 28 of them all of whom had run under National Hunt rules.  Our winner and Champion was the Queen’s Barber Shop who was beautifully produced by Kate Jerram.  In the adjacent ring John Dunlop and Louise Daly sorted out another big class of ex flat race horses.  These classes have really taken off and it is great to see so many good ex racehorses going so well and enjoying another type of life.   Last Tuesday (25th June) Yogi Breisner was back at the farm to give more clinics.  He instructed 13 riders over 3 hours in hourly sessions and it was a huge success and all the riders were extremely complimentary and felt they (and their horses) had learnt a lot.   Our next visit from Yogi is on Tuesday 9th July.  There will be 2 groups under instruction with a maximum of 5 horses in each.  One will start at 12 noon and one at 1pm.  If you are interested please e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk or ring 07860 110153 – the acceptances are coming in already so don’t delay!   Finally, the racehorses who have enjoyed a good Summer at grass are beginning to come back in from the fields and by mid July all the NH horses which we prepare here for Mick Channon should once more be in proper work.  We still take in horses to re: school and prepare for other disciplines plus flat race horses to teach to jump for hurdling.     The Connemara Stud is thriving too and we have some lovely foals. Our stallion, Lecarrow King, has been well occupied with my mares and with visiting mares, a lot of whom are thoroughbreds.  [more...]

Yogi Breisner Clinic

Lovely hot sunny weather.  What a change!  We have a number of National Hunt horses turned out to grass on the farm and they look marvellous - if anything, too fat! Summer is always a quieter time at West Lockinge Farm but on Tuesday 4th June we were very busy with Yogi Breisner clinics.  There were 2 sessions of 4 and 5 riders and they lasted approximately 1 hour each.  Mostly show jumping and grid work.  The sessions were hugely successful and the next planned day is Tuesday 25th June at 3pm.  If anybody is interested please contact us on hen@westlockinge.co.uk or ring 07860 110153 - £35 per horse. We have vacancies for all sorts of young horses.  Our preference is for youngsters for educating and/or reschooling - but any type of horse or pony considered. [more...]

May update

We are now well into the Summer months and despite the atrocious weather, conditions in our fields and on our gallop are good.  We have a lot of the Winter jump horses from Mick Channons to be turned out into the paddocks for a couple of months grass but the nights have been too cold to leave them out full time.  We still have a number of horses to ride out and educate as well, including several horses off the flat who have a future over hurdles.  There are some good members of staff in the yard, with plenty of experience and we have vacancies for more horses for schooling – either young event horses or future NH types.  Of late, we’ve had several recent inmates from West Lockinge run extremely well on the tracks including Four Nations (trained by George Baker) who won at 25/1 over hurdles last week at Plumpton, and Knock House who impressively won his Bumper race at Huntingdon on April 28th.   Now that the grass is growing and the ground is settling down, we are planning some day courses for the Summer.  Yogi Breisner will be here shortly to give jumping instruction, so please contact us if you are interested in joining any of his Clinics.   Also we are contacting other well known riders to help riders with flat work and or showing techniques.  The gallop is in constant use from outsiders and is in excellent condition as are our show jumps and schooling fences.  We are also in a position to wash stable rugs (and dry them), so please watch this space for details.  We will be very competitive with our rates, and we also have a brand new tumble drier for horse wear.  Great care will be taken with your rugs!  [more...]

May roundup

Most of last Seasons jumpers, which were trained by Mick Channon, are now back here and enjoying their days in the fields in the Sunshine.  Knock House came back on Wednesday having won his bumper at Huntingdon last Sunday.  He should be a lovely hurdler next season.  Warden Hill is still in training and may have one more run in a Novice hurdle before his holidays begin.  And well done to Knox Overstreet, who was here for a couple of months in the winter, and did some jumping just for fun.  He won yesterday on the flat over 2 miles at Chepstow. Plans are afoot to see some more horses in Ireland very shortly.  If anybody wants to buy a youngster, please let us know - one that jumps well and would be ready to race next Autumn. Off to Badminton this weekend. Should be an interesting competition with 3 riders chasing the Grand Slam - William Fox Pitt, Andrew Nicholson and Michael Jung. We're getting busier here now giving lessons and people using our facilities - show jumps and gallops.  Plenty to keep us busy. [more...]

Spring?

The weather looked a lot better at the beginning of the week but is now cold and windy again with the possibility of more rain.  At least the grass is starting to grow and the paddocks look better.   Several of the horses which we’ve had in for schooling/jumping have run really well on the racecourses (jumped superbly) so that is most encouraging.   We are able to take more in at any time as we have good riders and the ground is riding really well in our schooling field.  Jumping lessons are available, from myself and Yogi Breisner when he’s here.  For further details ring my mobile 07860 110153.   Calgary Bay and Somersby are now reunited and have returned from their season at Mick Channon’s.  They both go out in the field together and are blissfully happy.   We also have Loch Ba and Viva Steve back here for summer grass.  They are 2 exciting horses for next season.  The latter will go Novice chasing in the Autumn.   Balbriggan and Warden Hill are still in training and will probably run again while the ground lasts.  Knock House, the 4 year old, is due to contest a bumper race before he is roughed off for May and June.  Being by Old Vic, he will need a test of stamina and some cut in the ground but he’s a very nice young horse. [more...]

Aintree

The weather seems to have picked up a little an it is not so cold but very dreary.  Dull and grey.  Went to Aintree last Saturday.  The Grand National is now a totally different type of race – just another handicap with 40 runners but it would be great to win it!  There is still an amazing atmosphere and huge prize money.  There were 85,000 spectators – many more than Cheltenham and world wide coverage.  The modifications have certainly ‘saved’ the race but the fences are so small and soft compared with the old days.   Loch Ba ran a respectable race to be 5th in the 3m 1f Handicap Chase.  He will be an interesting horse next season on softer ground and over further.  Sgt Reckless was very disappointing in the bumper and did not live up to the trainer’s expectations.  He must have a physical problem.   Warden Hill ran a good race at Ascot on Sunday in the Maiden hurdle.  He was beaten a “nose” but we all thought he’d won!  Still, he can stay a Novice for next Season now so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.   We have had a lot of Event horses on our gallops which are proving very popular and are rented out for £10 per horse.  We are also offering opportunities to use our schooling field for Point to Point horses and a field of show jumps.  Enquiries to Hen – 07860 110153.   When the weather properly brightens up, we will plan some courses/clinics for flat work and jumping. [more...]

April

Life has been busy at West Lockinge despite the ghastly cold weather and the bitter winds/night frosts.  We have a lot of horses in work and some interesting recruits for jumping tuition including a couple of Nicky Hendersons’ plus a lovely young Point to Point horse and several of Mick Channons who are learning to jump prior to going hurdling.   Somersby was due to run at Liverpool on Friday in a 2 and ½ mile Handicap hurdle but for some unknown reason has been raised from 143 to 156 by the handicapper even though he has not run in a hurdle race since 2009!  How can on possibly account for this rise?  The handicappers give horses no chances at all.   Loch Ba – who was denied a run at Newbury 2 weeks ago – may run in a Handicap Chase at Aintree on Grand National day and Sgt Reckless is out to atone in the Championship bumper.  Better ground and a flat course could well suit him.   Plans for courses at the end April/May are well under way – so watch this space. [more...]

Last Week - Highs and Lows

Things did not pan out particularly well at Cheltenham for my ex-jumpers at Mick Channons.  Loch Ba missed the start and then unseated Dominic Elsworth mid race.  Somersby flew over the first 2 fences in the Champion Chase only to put in a short one at the 4th fence and fire Dom over his head.  Dominic then brought the horse down as he stumbled over the prostrate jockey!  Poor Dom – he is very sore and has cracked his breast bone – oh how painful!  Sgt Reckless was a huge disappointment and folded very quickly.  A bit of a mystery as he seems fine.  Only time will tell.  Personally I think he wants better ground and a flatter course.  He will hopefully go to Aintree if it ever stops raining!   A super Point to Point result last week – Alex Embiricos won the Open Maiden at Marks Tey, East Essex on Red Burn.  (See Horse and Hound page 43).  The horse was bred by her mother and father who used to own Aldaniti.  Red Burn spent 2 months here in the Autumn to “get his jumping together” and now he is flying!  Well done Alex!! Everybody was delighted.   Calgary Bay again ran disappointingly at Cheltenham and is now being roughed off.  The plan is to bring him back in the Autumn in Point to Points and Hunter Chase him next Spring.  Things have not gone right for him this year and I think he now needs a good holiday and some nice days in the field when the sun shines again and the grass grows!   Very busy here with the All Weather gallop.  Lots of event riders and Point to Point trainers using it.  It is riding really well and is out for hire at £10 a horse for anybody wanting to use it.    More news soon.   Weather forecast dreadful!  [more...]

Cheltenham 2013!

All eyes on Cheltenham this week.  Apparently it's snowing right now - Monday 4.30pm! Let's hope all goes for the Festival.  Strange to see photos with the frost covers in place and horses gingerly walking over them.  Re; Mick Channons runners, Loch Ba runs tomorrow.  Sgt Reckless and Somersby on Wednesday and Calgary Bay on Thursday.  The bumper horse, Sgt Reckless, seems all the rage with Richard Hughes on board.  Mick thinks he's a flying machine but Cheltenham is a very testing course.  Good luck to everybody. [more...]

The Weekend Update

Calgary Bay and Warden Hill both ran at Doncaster on Saturday.  The former stopped to nothing in the home straight when travelling well - it is suspected that he may have broken a blood vessel but he is very perky and was out in the field today (Monday). Warden Hill ran very well.  He made a mistake on the far side and jumped the last few hurdles as if they were steeplechase fences but he battled on well.  He was 2nd, beaten a length.  He'll be a wonderful chaser. Somersby (Queen Mother Chase) and Sgt Reckless (Bumper) are both doing well on their warm up for Cheltenham. [more...]

Doncaster tomorrow

Calgary Bay and Warden Hill run on Saturday at Doncaster.  AP McCoy rides both of them.  Dominic is a bit under the weather having been kicked last weekend and Conor O'Farrell has cracked his wrist.  We are hoping for 2 good runs.  Fingers crossed!  Calgary has top weight but he loves Doncaster.  3miles 2f will be a new distance for him but he's in great form and schooled over fences during the week. [more...]

Still Cold!

Just a few paragraphs to update everybody on how things are going at West Lockinge Farm during this miserable freezing cold spell of weather.  Fortunately, it has not been raining and so the ground is drying up but goodness knows what some of the racecourses will be like after so much racing on the wet/heavy ground during December and January.  Presumably there will be a lot of very rough bits of turf.  The ground will take a lot of “getting back”.   Regarding ex West Lockinge Farm inmates, Ballygarvey won his 2nd race in 11 days when winning the valuable 2 mile handicap at Chepstow last Saturday.  He is a smashing little horse whom I was able to purchase relatively cheaply for his enthusiastic syndicate.  He came from our friend in Northern Ireland, Wilson Dennison, who has supplied some excellent hurdles and chasers to NH trainers both in Ireland and the UK.  Ballygarvey won a Point to Point as a 4 year old in Ireland.  He jumps like a stag and loves it.  Well done to Philip Hobbs!  Another ex Dennison inmate Ballypatrick also won 10 days ago at Fakenham.  He too is a lovely jumper and followed up his 2nd (beaten a short head) the week before.  Mick Channon trains him for Martin Broughton who has also got several very useful horses in training this season with Jonjo O’Neill and Paul Nicholls.  Martin had horses at West Lockinge for many years and we had numerous winners for him.   Somersby who was a bit disappointing at Ascot and did not stay the 2m 5f in the soft ground, has come out of his race really well.  He is to be aimed at the Champion Chase at Cheltenham though no horse is expected to beat Sprinter Sacre!   Calgary Bay runs next Saturday in the Lord Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster 3m 2f.  He seems very well.   On the eventing front, Yogi Breisner was here last Friday and gave some excellent jumping lessons.  Our resident event rider Franky Reid-Warrilow has a really smashing advanced mare of her own called Dolley Whisper.  The pair of them were amazing.    Also here is a very nice ¾ TB gelding here by Weld.  He is only 4 but is jumping well.  He is out of an advanced Event mare and will be sold in the Spring by his owner/breeder.  He is a good prospect for anybody wanting a 16.2hh 4 year old.  More details later.   Cheltenham is only just round the corner and should provide very exciting racing as always.  Let’s hope it gets warmer!   Dates for courses here in the Spring are now being sorted, so watch this space and our events page for details.  We still have some vacancies for young horses for schooling/breaking, and if anybody wants a young NH horse for next season, I’ve seen several future stars in Ireland over the past few months including a new set of youngsters at Wilson Dennisons!  Mouth watering 4 year olds.  Just ring if you want more details.  I’m sure there are several real champions out there. [more...]

Busy Busy

We are getting very busy at West Lockinge Farm.  We have a lovely bunch of young horses here including several of Mick Channon’s and also some promising event horses.  Franky Reid-Warrilow has got 4 horses here including her advanced mare Dolley Whisper on whom last week she had a most interesting dressage lesson with Charlotte Dujardin at Terry’s brother’s farm near Gloucester.  Charlotte teaches there on a regular basis and also keeps some of her young horses at the farm.  Yogi Briesner has not been here for a few weeks due to the extremes of weather but is due to return here next Friday.  If people wish to have lessons with him at Lockinge, please contact Hen on 07860 110153 or else e-mail hen@westlockinge.co.uk  We are still planning to hold some one day clinics her in April/May.  I shall personally take some of them and Annabel Scrimgeour will help out with the dressage.  It is also planned to hold an instructional day for those interested in showing native ponies in hand.  We show our own Connemara ponies and I do plenty of judging for a variety of official panels. My ex horses are continuing to do well with Mick Channon.  Ballypatrick is a model of consistency.  He followed up his 2nd at Huntingdon (beaten a short head) on February 7th, by winning at Fakenham – a beginners chase – by 8 lengths last Friday.  Viva Steve was 4th in the EBF Novice hurdle there but did not handle the sharp track.  He will make a fine chaser next season.  Somersby was disappointing in the Ascot Chase on Saturday 16th.  He was only 4th to Cue Card but the first 4 were covered by just 8 lengths.  He appeared not to stay the 2m 5f in the soft ground and will probably revert to 2 miles on, hopefully, better ground.  He may well run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham although it looks  as though Sprinter Sacre is unbeatable at the moment.  Calgary Bay was taken out of his intended race at Warwick on Saturday 9th due to the heavy ground which he hates but will be entered in the Grimthorpe chase at Doncaster on 2nd March.  Ballylifen was 2nd AGAIN in a Novice hurdle at Warwick.  He definitely has seconditis but surely his turn will come soon? [more...]

Latest runners & entries

Our ex horses continue to run well at Mick Channons.    Ballypatrick was just touched off (short head) at Huntingdon on Thursday and Warden Hill ran a lovely first race over hurdles at Doncaster (finished 4th) in a very hot Novice hurdle.  He jumped all the hurdles as though they were fences and will make a super chaser in time but well able to win some nice hurdle races first.    Viva Steve ran a cracker to be 2nd at Towcester last week (his first ever hurdle) and he too will be a smashing chaser.   Calgary Bay goes to Warwick on Saturday in a 2m 4f Handicap Chase.  I hope he runs well but the ground is still soft which does not suit him.  His aim is the Topham Trophy at Aintree 2m 6f (National fences) in April.   Somersby is very well and due to run next Saturday in the Ascot Chase over 2m 5f.  It will be interesting to see how he tackles the extra 2 furlongs there. [more...]

Ascot Sales - Moscow Red

On Tuesday 19th February 2013, Moscow Red will be for sale at the Brightwells Ascot Sales.  Please see our Horses for Sale page for more information, and do get in touch if you are interested. [more...]

Weather!

We've had a couple of drier days!  Hoorah!  But the weather forecast is dire for the weekend.  There are a number of horses in the yard which are being prepared for future training - mostly with Mick Channon - and we have several promising NH/eventing youngsters here too. We still have vacancies for horses to break in, re-school and pre train.  We have some excellent riders in our midst. Somersby - one of our ex inmates - ran an excellent race at Cheltenham on Saturday.  He was 3rd to Sprinet Sacre - the "wonder" horse - in the Victor Chandler Chase and jumped soundly after his 9 1/2 month lay off with splint trouble. [more...]

Fingers crossed for Cheltenham

We have had several really dreary weeks with snow and frost.  The sun has been conspicuous by its absence.    Nevertheless, they raced at Newbury on January 16th and Loch Ba was very impressive winning the 3 mile Harwell Chase by 8 lengths.  He now has a rise of 12lbs in the handicap.  He is a horse that Terry and I bought for Camilla Radford as a 3 year old from Tony Costello.  He took a bit of time last year to get his jumping together but did win some nice races.  He is a much more mature horse this year and is going from strength to strength.  He has won twice and been second as well.  He started with a handicap of 107 and is now rated 137.  One day he could be a Grand National horse.  Dominic Elsworth has done a great job teaching him both at home and on the track.   His next race will probably be the 3 mile Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.  Sgt Reckless has been pencilled in for the Festival bumper.   We very much hope that Somersby gets to run at Cheltenham on Saturday.  The Victor Chandler Chase has been rescheduled to go there.  Calgary Bay was to run in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster but that meeting is off.  He too could go to Cheltenham but he is useless on soft ground and nobody knows how the ground at Cheltenham will ride once the covers are removed.   I went to Northern Ireland on Tuesday for the day and saw a selection of gorgeous 4 year olds all about to run in Point to Points.  They were priced highly but a couple look like real future champs.  If anybody is interested in details please ring me on 01235 833535.  They would be Cheltenham horses for the future. [more...]

Running Well

Horses from West Lockinge have been running well on the tracks whenever they've run, but the ground has been atrocious in many places.  Ballygarvey (now with Philip Hobbs) won a Handicap Chase at Lingfield last Friday - very easily, and Sgt Reckless (Mick Channon) was victorious in the bumper at Lingfield on the same day.  He looks an exciting prospect and will probaby now be aimed at the Festival bumper in March before starting his hurdling career next Autumn.  Calgary Bay is pencilled in for the Skybet Chase at Doncaster on 26th January, and Somersby is due to run in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on 19th January.  Viva Steve will run shortly over hurdles - the deeper the ground the better, and Loch Ba is bursting for a run. [more...]

New Year's Update

Thank goodness Christmas and New Year Celebrations are now behind us!  Not my favourite time of year.  The weather is thankfully a little drier since Monday. Sgt Reckless runs tomorrow at from Mick Channon's yard.  He thinks the world of him.  It will be his last bumper as hopefully he will progress to hurdles after tomorrow.  Somersby had a good 2 mile gallop at Kempton Park on the All Weather surface this morning.  He had a good healthy blow and looks fantastic.  He is set to run at Ascot on January 19th in the Victor Chandler but will have a lot on his plate with Sprinter Sacre in the field.  Calgary Bay is being aimed at the Skybet Chase at Doncaster on January 26th.  Provided it dries up by then. [more...]

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to everybody! Not much news to report.  My ex horses, now stabled at Mick Channons, will not be doing much over Christmas due to the very heavy wet ground.  One of the horses whic I trained last season, Milansbr, won last week at Folkestone @ 25/1 in a Novice hurdle. He was always a lovely horse in the making and a great jumper.  We schooled him a lot over fences as well as hurdles.  He will make a proper chaser in years to come. Watch out for Sgt Reckless in the New Year and Viva Steve when he goes over hurdles mid January. [more...]

Fog!

We’re keeping busy at West Lockinge Farm but the weather has been extremely difficult for the past 2 weeks culminating in frost and fog on Monday and Tuesday with more to follow.  The gallop however is perfect.    Calgary Bay went to Aintree on Saturday but simply cannot gallop on soft ground.  He made several uncharacteristic jumping errors due to being over cautious but at least he finished the race (4th).  He will be aimed at the 2m 5f handicap at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day – the race he won last year.    Mick Channon’s hurdlers have been running with credit.  The gorgeous Fork Handles was 3rd in her first ever hurdle race at Fakenham on Monday.  She jumped brilliantly and should definitely win races over hurdles.  Inffiraaj was 4th at Sandown on Friday – a very promising first effort.  Another ex West Lockinge Farm inmate, Captain Cardington was the winner!  The enigmatic Spanish Fork was 4th on Tuesday at Fontwell over 2m 2f.  He needs further but is obviously suited to a sharp track as the rest of the field don’t get away from him and leave him disappointed.   Balbriggan and Loch Ba are due to run around Christmas time and Somersby is shaping well in his home work here at Lockinge.  His annoying ‘splint’ is settling down at last.  He is being aimed at the Victor Chandler Chase in January at Ascot – the race he won last year – but it will be tough going against the likes of Sprinter Sacre.  It is most irritating to see that there is a horse running of a very similar name called Somerby.  How can Weatherbys allow 2 such similar names?  Watch this space for more news. [more...]

Bumper Winner

Well done Warden Hill!  One of our youngsters who went to Mick Channon 5 weeks ago won first time out at Kempton yesterday in the 1st bumper race of the day ridden by Dominic Elsworth.  He is a lovely 5 year old by Presenting and is a half brother to The Vicar who we used to train for Trevor Hemmings.  Like most of Tim Radford's horses he came from Tom Costello and could be anything!  His next race will probably be a NH hurdle.  Watch this space! [more...]

Sandbags?

The ground on the racecourses is very soft/heavy at the moment and, as everybody knows, the country is in a bad way with all the floods.  Some shocking stories. Mick Channon's horses which came from here are continuing to do well.  Balbriggan was 3rd in the Novice Chase at Ascot on Saturday and Loch Ba was 2nd on the Friday in a 3 mile Handicap Chase.  They both jumped really well with Dominic Elsworth on board.  The ground was not ideal for either of them as they are such good movers but everybody was pleased and they are 2 lovely genuine horses.  Knock House, by Old Vic aged 3 years and bred as a 3 mile Chaser, was 6th at Lingfield on Tuesday in a 1m 5f Juvenile Bumper on the All Weather surface.  He ran a most encouraging race and stayed on well.  Tycoon's Reflection runs at Newbury on Friday in a 2m 6f Handicap Hurdle and Ballypatrick runs in a Novice Handicap Chase on Saturday. [more...]

Channon Jump Runners Update

The horses with Mick Channon are running really well.  Results this week - Plumpton on Monday, Ballypatrick 3rd Novice Chase, Ballylifen 2nd Novice Hurdle and Viva Steve 2nd NH Flat Race.  Today, Friday, at Ascot - Loch Ba was 2nd in a Handicap Chase.  They all ran super races! Terry and I went to Northern Ireland on Thursday to Wilson Dennison's (famous for his "Bally" horses). He has som outstanding unnamed 3 coming 4 year olds virtually ready to run.  We hope to get some over shortly.  They all jumped so well under their riders in his indoor school.  Real beauties!! Watch this space. We have sold Good of Luck, and he will be trained by Mick.  A lovely juvenile. Balbriggan runs at Ascot on Saturday in a competitive Novice Handicap Chase and Knock House is due to run in a juvenile bumper at Lingfield next Wednesday.  The latter is an unraced Old Vic 3 year old with a flat race pedigree.  He is very nice but will probably not come into his own until he is jumping. [more...]

The Paddy Power - Cheltenham

The horses at Mick Channon’s are still doing well and there was a lovely article on Mick in today’s Times.  Calgary Bay runs tomorrow at Cheltenham in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase.  He will probably be out speeded by younger swifter opponents but he is in great form and badly needs a race!  Ballypatrick, Ballylifen and Viva Steve run at Plumpton on Monday.   Two of my ex French horses ran well today at Cheltenham today – The Countryside Alliance day.  Swing Bill, whom I picked up for David Johnson in Chantilly some 6 years ago, won the 3 mile Amateur Rider’s Chase for the second year running in great style, and Silver Roque was 3rd in the 2 mile Hcap Chase.   We are off to pick out some more horses in Northern Ireland next week – all with form and all for sale. Watch this space. [more...]

GOOD OF LUCK

We currently have the horse GOOD OF LUCK for sale.  Please look at our Horses for Sale page for more details and photo. [more...]

Success for Knight and Channon

A very good day at Kempton on Monday.  Loch Ba won the 3 mile chase under Dominic Elsworth, in convincing style.  We have always held the horse in high esteem but he had major problems at the end of last year with pulled hamstring muscles.  Simon Thomas has done a great job on him with his muscle damage treatment, and Annabel Scrimgeour has worked hard on the horse to get him to ‘use’ himself from behind.  All said, Mick Channon had the horse in great shape for his first race of the season and he looked fantastic.  I expect the handicapper will raise him quite a bit but he’s a big strong individual so hopefully he will be able to carry weight.   Horses from West Ilsley Stables (Mick’s yard) – are running great.  Long may it last!  We have several horses for sale “off the flat” if anybody is interested in buying one or in joining a small syndicate.  See “Horses For Sale”.   One of Mick’s ex flat horses, McVicar, whom we schooled here and I highly recommended has already won 2 Juvenile hurdles for Alan King in convincing fashion.  He looks good.    Airdrie goes to Ascot Sales on Thursday to dissolve a partnership.  He won’t make much money but could be a real bargain for 2013 Point to Points/Novice Chases.    Horses schooled at West Lockinge did really well last week., and there were 3 good winners – Balbriggan, McVicar and Benny the Swinger.  All jumped superbly.   Watch this space for the next Channon runners that have been schooled at West Lockinge Farm.  Also see our new page Knight/Channon – where you can click on the names of the horses trained by both Hen and Mick and see entries and form. [more...]

Brilliant Start for Mick Channon

What a brilliant start for Mick Channon since taking over some of our horses!  Ballylifen was an excellent 2nd at Wincanton on Sunday - he jumped superbly in a 2m 6f Novice hurdle but came up against a hot one of David Pipe's.  Then Balbriggan was a STAR today (Monday) and was his first chase winner with one of our ex horses,  first time out at Bangor with Dominic Elsworth.  He was fantastic and looks very promising.  In 1989 I had my 1st chase winner with at Bangor with The Grey Gunner and then Mick did it today with the grey - Balbriggan.  What a coincidence! [more...]

Winter Arriving

Getting quite Wintery here now and the horses all growing thicker coats.  The yard is very busy with preparing horses to go into training and for various Sales in October/November.  Mick Channon should soon have more NH runners has he has taken back a number of horses from here who are virtually ready to run.  It will be exciting to watch them race. Mick already has a good strike rate with his juvenile hurdlers this season. Over the past months we have had several horses here for jumping schooling and general education.  The lovely stallion Langaller Starring Role was prepared from here for the Sporthorse (GB) Stallion grading at Bury Farm on 26th September.  He was awarded top marks and is a fine animal with a wonderful temperament and a great jump.  Yogi Breisner has been coming to West Lockinge Farm on a weekly basis and has been instructing all our riders as well as helping to improve the jumping of the young horses.  He plans to continue to come here throughout the Winter months.  If anybody wants to send a horse or horses here to further their jumping training, just give us a call.  We would love to have them.  Also the gallops and schooling facilities will be let out to people wanting to use them for Point to Point horses/eventers etc.  Watch this space re ex West Lockinge Farm "Horses to run".  It seems that the racecourses have had more than enough rain now! [more...]

The Jump Season Ahead

The horses are great.  Somersby is better than ever and goes to the Haldon Gold Cup on 6th November at Exeter.  Calgary fabulous too and will either go to Charlie Hall on 3rd November or Paddy Power on 17th November.  They will join Mick Channon in about 3 weeks time.  We have some lovely youngsters here too and room for liveries.  We have some very good riders on the payroll!! [more...]

SEPTEMBER UPDATE

Unfortunately due to Terry having been back in hospital with kidney failure, we sadly had to cancel our educational/instructional courses in September, but I still hope to re; stage these at a later date.   Meanwhile, I would be delighted to arrange individual lessons here and we have some very experienced riders/instructors in our midst – viz Lucy Loughton – British Young Rider Champion 2011 and Annabel Scrimgeour – the well known dressage judge and teacher.  Also we have excellent facilities e.g. loose jumping school, small xc fences and a range of show jumps – and we have the added bonus of Yogi Breisner, the well know GB Team event trainer coming here one morning each week.   If anybody is interested in further details please ring 01235 833535 or e-mail us on hen@westlockinge.co.uk.  Very reasonable terms.  Everybody most welcome. [more...]

Terry Update

Having been rushed to hospital on Sunday by ambulance, with a malfunctioning kidney (he only has one as he lost one in a fall off a racehorse), Terry is now surprising the doctors by his fighting spirit.  The kidney function is improving and the toxins are coming out of his body.  His temper is not great especially with me and the nurses, but he is watching some of the Paralympics on TV, which is a good sign.  Hope to have him home within a week provided he is sensible.  Many thanks for so many enquiries and good wishes.  The messages cheer him up. Hen x [more...]

Currently at West Lockinge Farm

We have over 20 horses in work and youngsters in to break and school. Enquiries welcome.  Yogi Breisner is visiting us next week to advise with the jumping of the young horses.  [more...]

September Courses

Sept 23rd.  Please book your place ASAP [more...]

Busy at West Lockinge Farm

  We are getting very busy again at West Lockinge Farm.  There are 17 horses back in work now and despite the dreadfully wet months of May and June they look well.    [more...]

Horses Back into Work & Courses Available

The racehorses are just coming in from grass.  We should have quite a lot of horses to pre train and get ready for Mick Channon in October/November.  We will also take in any other horses for other trainers if required.  Vacancies also available for re: schooling horses and breaking/loose jumping/as well as sales preparation.  Excellent facilities. We have got some excellent new members of staff - very experienced riders.   Having taught extensively before I started training full time, I will be utilising my eventing and showing knowledge and will be holding a variety of clinics at West Lockinge Farm, for riders and horses of all abilities.  Please keep  a look out on the events page for more details.  If you would like any individual tuition or help with your horse, please e-mail me with your details - hen@westlockinge.co.uk  [more...]

The New Venture

As well as the racehorses, we will take in other horses for pre-training or jumping tuition.  Our facilities are excellent and there has always been a great emphasis on jumping with West Lockinge Farm inmates.   [more...]

Jump winner for Mick Channon!

Great result for Mick Channon.  Foster's Road schooled extensivelys at West Lockinge won by 8 lengths 1st time out at Uttoxeter on 14th June.  Hopefully plenty more jumps winners to follow. [more...]

Update on Yard

Most of the racehorses which are staying at West Lockinge for pre training are now out in the paddocks having their Summer break.  Due to the shocking weather, some of them continue to come in at nights.  Their holiday time will end in July when they will re: start a fittening programme for the Autumn/Winter months.  Extra staff will be required for this new system – as there will be young horses to school and educate.  The advert for staff can be seen on this website under situations vacant.   Plans are afoot for a big semi-dispersal Sale of Tack and Racing equipment.  This will be run by Pilgrim Bond of Lambourn, and is scheduled for August 1st 2012.  [more...]

Summer (?!) Holidays

Most of the horses are now in the fields having their Summer holidays - if you can call it Summer with the wind and lashing rain! We sold 5 horses at Ascot Sales on Thursday. Plans are afoot for courses to be held here later this Summer/Autumn - jumping and flatwork, racehorses & pre Hunting etc. Watch this space! Had a great day yesterday at windswept South of England Show.  Judged the Mountain & Moorland Championship. Some lovely ponies.  Terry came too and flew round on a mobility scooter!  [more...]

ASCOT SALES - THURSDAY 7th JUNE

We have several lovely horses being sold at Brightwells Ascot Sales on Thursday 7th June 2012.  They are Lot 156 - SEVENTH HUSSAR, Lot 157 - MY FRIEND RIQUET, Lot 158 - CRAIGNURE, Lot 160 - GINGER'S REFLECTION, and Lot 161 - Unnamed filly by KAYF TARA out of PRINCESS HOTPOT.  If you would like any further information please contact me. The full catalogue is available online at Brightwells. [more...]

Thank you all!

Now that the dust is beginning to settle, I would like to say a big thank you to everybody who has sent me e-mails/letters/cards/facebook messages etc!  I have been overwhelmed by the response to my “retirement” or should I say “change of direction”.  I can hardly see myself retiring from my involvement in the horse world and we plan to keep very busy at West Lockinge Farm.  Details of what we’ll be doing plus “courses” to be held here will be posted on this website in due course.  Watch this space!  Plenty to follow.  Terry and I have been so touched by our supporters.  You are GREAT! [more...]

The End of an Era & New Beginnings

After much deliberation, and largely due to my husband Terry Biddlecombe’s continued ill health, I have decided to hand in my Trainer’s License.  I have been incredibly lucky to have experienced some wonderful moments since I first began training in 1989.  I am hugely grateful for the backing that I have received over the past years from my family, my loyal owners, my dedicated staff and from numerous top jockeys.  Likewise the Press and media have always been tremendously supportive.  I would like to thank everybody who has helped me enjoy so many happy days.  However, despite the above mentioned decision, I still intend to retain links with the racing world.  My neighbour and close friend, Mick Channon, has agreed to continue to train the majority of the horses which are currently in my care.  He too enjoys the National Hunt scene and is already making his presence felt in that sphere with recent good winners from only a handful of NH runners.  I hope that this change will mark the beginning of a new era and I am looking forward to continuing to handle the horses until they move to West Ilsley for their races.  My gallop, schooling fences and loose jumping school will have plenty of use and other new projects are already in the pipeline.  There are exciting days ahead.  More details in today’s Horse and Hound. [more...]

May news

Most of the horses are currently roughed off and enjoying their holidays in the fields. We just have a handful left to run.  Been to Ireland to see some more lovely youngsters.  All for sale of course. [more...]

End of the season

We are rapidly winding down from last season.  Have a few horses to run in May but most of the others are on Summer hols!  The fields are wet and muddy but they love going out daily and rolling.  They come back in encased in mud! Typical horses!  [more...]

Somersby update

Somersby has taken his race really well.  We were very pleased with his Sandown run.  Admittedly Sanctuaire was too good for his opponents and slipped his field but Somersby was good too.  He jumped well and stayed on in the soft rain soaked ground.  He was a clear second and will now be rested until next Autumn/Winter when he will be kept at 2 miles on courses like Ascot, Sandown and Kempton. He is extremely consistent and very honest. [more...]

Somersby

Everything very well at West Lockinge Farm and the horses which are running are in great form.  Somersby is due to run in the Celebration Chase at Sandown on Saturday. [more...]

Calgary Bay Update

We were very pleased with Calgary Bay in the National.  We didn't have any luck, but he jumped beautifully to finish 14th.  He is now home safe and sound and has had a lovely day rolling in the field! [more...]

CALGARY OFF TO AINTREE

All set for Aintree on Saturday 14th!  Calgary Bay is extremely well and has done plenty of work.  We are just praying for good ground and a clear round. [more...]

Lack of rain again

The horses are well but we have had very few runners due to the drought like conditions and the firm ground.  Courses water around the country but some find this easier than others and are more efficient at doing it.  Also, with hose pipe bans and water shortages rife, it is not always easy to get a license to extract water from bore holes and rivers.  Courses with reservoirs are the more fortunate ones.   It is tempting to run horses, especially when they are fit and healthy but it is risky at the moment and many trainers have found that horses they’ve run have sustained leg injuries in their races.   Calgary Bay is still on course for the Grand National on April 14th.  He goes well on good ground and looks superb.  Dominic Elsworth will ride him. [more...]

Cheltenham Festival underway

Cheltenham is now in full swing!  Unfortunately Glens Boy has been balloted out for the 4 mile National Hunt Chase on Wednesday so will go for a Novice Handicap at Uttoxeter on Saturday instead.  Somersby goes for the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham on Thursday – a stiff task and 14 declared.  We’re number 13, not my favourite number.   Ballylifen ran well on Monday at Plumpton.  He was beaten ½ length in the Novice hurdle and jumped superbly.  He’ll make a great chaser.  He’s now had 4 seconds in a row! [more...]

Cheltenham Build up

Things are ticking away nicely at West Lockinge Farm in the run up to Cheltenham.  Somersby is in great form and very fresh. We plan to run him in the Ryanair Chase on the Thursday.  Glens Boy is also Cheltenham bound and will probably run in the National Hunt Chase over 4 miles on the Wednesday.  He could be a little out of his depth but will love the course and the distance.  It would be great if he could spring a surprise against his higher rated opponents.  Calgary Bay is being kept for the Grand National and it is unlikely that he will go for a race at Cheltenham since the 2 meetings come too close. [more...]

Thaw at last and Aintree weights

It’s been a quiet time of late with the frost and snow.  No racing of note and none on turf for several weeks but at last the thaw has arrived and the end of this week promises to be extremely informative with many Cheltenham horses trying out for the rescheduled Newbury raceday on Friday.  It is good that racecourses are able to reschedule lost days of special importance for jumping enthusiasts.  West Lockinge does not have any runners at Newbury but we may have Loch Ba and High Kite at Sandown on the same day and hopefully there will be more horses appearing next week.  They all seem fresh and well.   The lunch hosted by Aintree Racecourse and John Smith to announce the 2012 Grand National weights at the Savoy Hotel in London on Tuesday 14th February was a most interesting and enjoyable occasion.  Calgary Bay has been allocated 11st 6lbs in the race which is a high weight – no horse carrying above 11st 5lbs has won the race since Red Rum in 1977 when he carried 11st 8lbs.  Nevertheless, Calgary is a big strong horse and carried top weight to win the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster last month.  Don’t Push It carried 11st 5lbs in the National in 2010.  The intention at this stage is definitely to run unless the ground too soft/heavy but he will have several other entries - one in the Festival Chase at Cheltenham and one in the Bowl Chase at Aintree.   Somersby remains on course for Cheltenham – either the Champion Chase or the Ryanair Chase.  He seems to be in good form. [more...]

Frozen Lockinge!

Since Calgary’s win in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster on January 28th, racing seems to have come to a virtual standstill in England.  The cold weather has really got a grip on the country and the prospects for an immediate return to normal look bleak.   As far as the horses at West Lockinge Farm are concerned it is just a matter of quiet hacking on the roads around the villages plus cantering on our “all weather” gallops which are not well named as they need plenty of care and attention to keep them workable.    Despite what the experts and manufacturers say re: these surfaces, we nevertheless scatter salt on the gallops with a fertiliser spreader and then keep using the power harrow. We have currently got a lovely tilth and the horses are moving well.  It just gets a trifle monotonous but the horses look happy and contented.  They are eating well too.  They are creatures of habit and seem relaxed with the new regime.   The Wildlife at the farm is also thriving in the cold.  I hate the hundreds of rooks and crows who eat as much grain as they can and steal it from the ducks, geese and chickens but I love seeing the pewits and partridges on the fields surrounding the gallops.  We also seem to have attracted a huge number of seagulls though it beats me what they find to feed upon.  Hares, deer and muntjaks are also frequent visitors plus about 200 Mallard that fly onto the pond in the middle of the yard.  David Attenborough would be amazed by our version of the Frozen Planet around West Lockinge.   If the thaw ever gets here, we will step up the work with the horses and hope to get rolling again on the racecourses.  We could take a couple to Kempton on Friday for some of the newly added NH flat races on the all weather track.  At least it would give my staff more to do and an interest.  The races could well benefit some of the inmates too.  WATCH THIS SPACE! [more...]

Brilliant Calgary

Calgary Bay sealed our week with a fantastic win in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster last Saturday – 28th January.  It was a stunning performance with top weight.  He will now be rested and is unlikely to run again until the Grand National in April.  Altogether an excellent 5 days at the races.  All the horses have run well and all of them have been placed.  Now we face up to a big freeze. Temperatures due to fall dramatically this week.  As long as the snow keeps away. Horrible stuff! [more...]

Somersby - Grade 1 win

A great Saturday! Somersby and Dominic Elsworth had a wonderful win in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot. It was very exciting and richly deserved. We now plan to run in the Ryanair or Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival, but decisions as to which one, will not be made until nearer the time. The horses are in great form at the moment and January has provided us with some good winners. This weekend Calgary Bay is due to run in either the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster or in a handicap chase at Cheltenham. [more...]

Last weekend and next

We had a disappointing day at Kempton on Saturday 14th January.  Harvest Song (owned by the Queen) was running a lovely race in the 3 mile Novice Handicap Chase when he capsized 4 out and then Soixante faded and broke a blood vessel in the 2m 4f Handicap Chase.  It seems he has an infection in his sinuses and we all know how painful blocked sinuses can be.  He will go on antibiotics for a week but is very perky. Harvest Song is also very well despite hitting the deck.  He is bouncing and totally sound.  He is surprisingly tough.   Hopefully, weather permitting, we’ll have a better week this time round. Glen’s Boy runs at Newbury on Wednesday in a 3 mile Handicap and Somersby is due to run in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on Saturday.  He was 2nd in this race last year, beaten a head by Master Minded.  It looks another hot contest with the likes of Al Ferof, Finians Rainbow, Kauto Stone and Gauvian.  It will be a fascinating race.  Calgary Bay is very well and either goes to the Great Yorkshire Chase on Saturday week or the 2m 5f Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on the same day.  It all depends on the weather.  He must have good or good/soft. [more...]

3 Winners and Spring like weather

After an excellent week, 31st December to 8th January which yielded 3 winners and 2 seconds, we have had no runners this week due to unsuitable races although we hope to have some horses out on Saturday at Kempton Park.  We could do with more rain – the ground is rapidly drying up - but it is very pleasant not having any frosts.  The mild temperatures are unbelievable for the time of year and the flowers which are out everywhere plus the bulbs that are sprouting are completely unseasonable. [more...]

Happy New Year!

A Happy New Year to you all.  It has been an eventful weekend!  Glens Boy was robbed of victory at Warwick on Saturday 31st December.  Timmy Murphy had given him a peach of a ride and he’d jumped for fun only to be confronted by a riderless horse head on just before the winning post.  Not surprisingly he put the brakes on to avoid it and lost the race by a head in a photo finish.  Cruel luck!  However, on New Year’s Day, Calgary Bay was superb and captured the feature Chase at Cheltenham, the Victor Chandler Handicap Chase Grade 3.  He jumped really well with Dominic Elsworth and won with his ears pricked.  It was very exciting and a welcome tonic after a long string of seconds.  The horses are happy and well at the moment.  We have quite a few to run during the week.  Somersby has come out of the King George VI Chase in great shape.  He will probably be aimed at the Ryanair Chase at the Festival in March but will have a break now.  He and Calgary deserve a week or two on the easy list and some time out in the paddock. P.S. And today Silver Roque has won too! [more...]

Another second!

Yesterday we had yet another 2nd placing! Isleofhopendreams ran a nice race to be 2nd at Plumpton.  That's our 10th second this season! [more...]

Seconditis and Benny off to Ascot Sales

So many 2nds but better than ALSO RANS!    2nd with Somersby in the Peterborough Chase 8th December, 2nd with Loch Ba at Sandown on 2nd December, 2nd with Ballylifen at Plumpton 5th December, 2nd with Harvest Song at Leicester 7th December and 2nd today, 14th December with Ballygarvey at 150/1!  The horses are running well but we need winners.   BENNY THE SWINGER  is going to Ascot Sales next Tuesday 20th December.  He is obviously not a racehorse but would make a hunter/team chaser or event horse.  He is sound, a good mover and an excellent jumper.  About 16.2hh and 6 years old.  He would also be ideal for the Retrained Racehorse Classes at the big shows and has done plenty of flat work.  DON’T MISS A BARGAIN! Can be seen/tried/ridden here prior to sale. [more...]

THE WEEK AHEAD

The horses are running well but we need a winner!  Loch Ba ran a really good race at Sandown last Friday only to obliterate the second last and lose his momentum.  He was still only beaten a neck by a 7 year old and he is only 5 years old – a big raw baby.  He is a good horse and 3 miles will suit him even better than the 2m 4f that he’s been running over.  He’s an exciting horse for the future.   Ballylifen ran really well in his bumper race at Plumpton on Monday.  He is NOT a bumper horse because he jumps and stays but he has shown 2 excellent runs in bumper races to date – 3rd at Ludlow as well as 2nd at Plumpton.  He is still for SALE.  Owner Wilson Dennison sells all his horses and has had some top horses through his hands.  If anyone buys Ballylifen they will have so much fun.  He is a future Chaser but should have no trouble winning his hurdle races on the way.  He is such a lovely horse to deal with – so enthusiastic and straightforward and he is still only 4 years old.   We plan to run Somersby on Thursday in the Peterborough Chase.  A pity it’s not over 3 miles but nothing is ever perfect and the horse is well.  Calgary Bay is doubly entered at the weekend – Doncaster and Cheltenham. It all depends on the weather.  Watch this space. [more...]

Rain at last?

The horses are still running satisfactorily.  Silver Roque was 3rd at Newbury in a Novice chase – he jumped hesitantly to start with and probably needs further.  The rain is on its way so we are told, and it’s certainly raining here today at West Lockinge.  We have a good few entries this week.  Somersby in great form and on course for the King George on Boxing Day. [more...]

BERTENBAR WINS

Somersby ran very well at Ascot in the Amlin Chase last Saturday.  He made a serious mistake at the 3rd last – almost breasted the fence – and that knocked a lot of stuffing out of him.  After that he lost the lead to Master Minded and could not make up the ground again.  Yet he was only beaten 2 ½ lengths at the finish and was staying on.  We are LONGING  for him to run over 3 miles but the King George on Boxing Day against Long Run and possibly Kauto Star is quite a tough assignment.  High Kite also ran a nice race at Ascot and was 4th beaten a head in a photograph with the favourite from Nicky Henderson’s yard.  He has been given a fair handicap of 101 and should be able to win a hurdle race off that mark.  He has a lovely temperament and enjoys his racing.  His hurdling was slick and accurate on Saturday.   Bertenbar was a star on Sunday and won the 2m 3 ½ f Handicap Chase under Dominic Elsworth.  Tragic prize money – only £2,000 but a lovely win and his connections were thrilled.  Something is seriously wrong with the system.   On Monday, Ginger’s Reflection stayed on nicely to be 4th in his first hurdle race at Kempton.  He is still green and immature but learnt a lot and will be a nice chaser in time.  He jumps well and is a very nice type.  Craignure blew his brains and took off right from the start.  This strong pulling performance did nothing to help his cause and when he stopped quickly on the far side, Sam Thomas pulled him up as he thought something was wrong.  Fortunately all is well but he’d just burnt himself out.  Next time he’ll hopefully be firmly anchored close to the back, with a stronger bit and a cross noseband!  Obviously the run in the bumper at Sandown had wound him up too much and he ran too free at Kempton.   We have quite a few horses entered for later in the week but a lot depends on ground.  Silver Roque is due to run in another Novice chase – somewhere.  He’s a horse we like a lot. [more...]

JOIN A SYNDICATE!

Ballyculla  - we have only had a couple of interested parties in this lovely 4 year old by Westerner – a stallion who is currently getting plenty of winners.  Therefore, his current owner Wilson Dennison said that he would like the horse to have some runs to maybe kindle greater interest.  He had a run in a bumper on good/firm ground at Huntingdon on Sunday 31st October and finished 8th.  He is not a bumper horse and will next run in a 2m ½ mile Novice hurdle.  Sam Thomas who rode him was most complimentary about the horse but endorsed our views that he needs obstacles.   He is still for sale and the shares are £5,000 each for a 1/8th share, plus the keep for the year would be £2,700. Please take this horse seriously and come and see him schooling (super jumper).  If he runs well over hurdles Wilson may well withdraw him from being syndicated and send him to a Brightwells Sale at Cheltenham.   My Friend Riquet is also available for syndication.  He too has not yet filled.  A 1/8th share is £4,000 plus the keep fees for the year of £2,700.   He is a lovely horse and about 2 weeks of a run.  Please hurry if you are interested.  You will not be disappointed! [more...]

SOMERSBY PLANS

Delighted with the performances of Loch Ba and Somersby on Monday at Kempton.  We are now looking at the King George on Boxing Day for Somersby but would like to give him another run before then and have pencilled in the Amlin Chase 2m 3 ½ f at Ascot on November 19th.  Thank you all for your lovely messages re: Terry. He’s progressing slowly.  It was very moving when, on the Racecourse tannoy, he was wished a speedy recovery at Kempton last Monday.   May run a couple of youngsters at Sandown on Saturday.  Craignure a nice future chaser and will line up in the bumper.  We plan to send Bertenbar to Market Rasen on Sunday. [more...]

A WELCOME DOUBLE!

At last, things went right!  Monday was a good day and both Somersby and Loch Ba won their races at Kempton in good style.  They are 2 lovely horses and it was most pleasing to see them both in the winner’s enclosure on their first outings of the Season.  Somersby jumped fluently for Dominic Elsworth and brought back memories of the day he won a Novice Hurdle on him at the same track 23 months ago.  The horse could well take his place in the line up for the King George on Boxing Day.  We’ve always thought he needed further than 2 miles.  Loch Ba is a big raw 5 year old and often a somewhat wayward horse at home but he buckled down well to his job over fences and could also have a big future.  He too needs further than 2 ½ miles.  High Kite too ran a promising race.  He was 4th in the Novice hurdle.  He’s a sweet horse and will be a lovely chaser in time.   Terry is improving even though it is slowly.  He takes a great interest in the horses and the racing but finds moving difficult as his balance is not great, nor is his arthritis.  Monday’s double was a big tonic to him.   We have plenty more horses ready to run but are still wanting rain. It appears that Oxfordshire is a dry oasis and the ground remains firm.   There are some lovely youngsters to come out.  We just hope that the mild dry weather does not rapidly change to frost and snow! [more...]

WE NEED RAIN!

I’m still watching the weather.  Oh dear, when will it ever rain in the South?  We’ll probably get a freeze up before it rains.  If safe, we will run Harvest Song and Silver Roque at Haydock on Wednesday.  Terry is progressing and taking short walks.  He has lost a lot of weight and looks very weak but his mind is still sharp and he’s watching all the racing on the TV Channels and is busy telling me what to do!  He is delighted to hear that his very best friend Josh Gifford is making significant progress and is able to talk and eat again though he too is very weak.  Terry and Josh were such great warriors and such special friends.  I’m so looking forward to them having a reunion once Josh comes out of hospital.  It’s a privileged to know the pair of them! Two special people. [more...]

Thursday update from WLF

Terry doing well and progressing daily.  He’s a bit lazy with his speech though and may need a therapist to give him a shove!   We are both shattered by the loss of my Golden Retriever, Tiger.  He was only 7 years old.  He collapsed yesterday and despite being taken straight away to the vets they were unable to save him.  They do not know why he died.  He was extremely anaemic.  We may learn more today.  He was the most wonderful dog.  He went everywhere around the place with me and everybody knew him.  The house is empty without him.  Why do we get so attached to our animals?   The horses look fantastic.  We hope to run our new recruit Isleofhopendreams at Aintree on Sunday.  It should be softer ground up there.  It is still like concrete down here.  It is a beautiful crisp sunny day but not a cloud in the sky and no rain.  We can’t risk the horses on firm ground and withdrew our 3 from Fontwell yesterday as it was good to firm.  Surely things will change? Somersby is due to run at Kempton on Monday 31st.  We are praying for a let up in the weather before then. [more...]

West Lockinge update

Terry is making a little progress but is still a long way off being his normal self.  He is very quiet and obedient!  His speech is improving.    Just had to take my wonderful 7 year old Golden Retriever ‘Tiger’ to the vets as he collapsed this morning and the surgery is very worried about him.  It could be an internal haemorrhage as he is very anaemic.  We can’t run the horses today either as the Fontwell ground has changed overnight to Good to Firm.  Just hoping for better luck to come our way very soon.     P.S. The weather is really crazy.  Our good friend Wilson Dennison who lives in Northern Ireland and from whom we buy a number of horses reports that he has never seen so much rain in County Antrim and that the whole county is flooded and under water.  They are the worst conditions ever known. [more...]

Latest update on Terry

Terry is making progress but everything is slow.  We know that recovery takes time but the messages and cards have given him a huge boost.  He stays in bed all morning and then comes downstairs it the afternoon and watches the racing on the television.  His mind remains sharp and he shed a tea when Frankel won at Ascot.  What a fantastic horse! [more...]

TERRY IS HOME!

Terry is home!  Came back from hospital last night.  He is shaky and frail and has lost a lot of weight – could soon ride at 10 stone! – but he is sitting up in bed and has had a few small walks, and his voice is improving.  I’m sure he will be watching racing at Cheltenham and Ascot at the weekend. He is following the whip debate, and is disappointed that Richard Hughes has handed in his licence. [more...]

TERRY'S SENSE OF HUMOUR!

Yes, he certainly is a fighter!  He surprises the nurses by his determination.  The hospital will release him shortly but I’ll need a chain and padlock to keep him quiet at home.  Have already been in touch with Oaksey House in Lambourn – the wonderful Injured Jockeys Fund Rehab centre.  They sound brilliant and most helpful.  He had to do a sentence for his attractive female speech therapist yesterday and he said “I’d like to take you home”.  Not lost his sense of humour!  Thanks for all your WONDERFUL messages – I’ve read them out to him.  He is so touched – what an amazing fanclub he has. [more...]

TERRY

Terry making some progress.  He is resigned to his week in hospital and talking a little better.  He is starting to eat and likes soups.  He has walked a short way but is very shaky.  It will take time.  He thanks everyone for all the wonderful messages – so uplifting for him.  He is however very upset to hear that Josh Gifford is in hospital too.  Josh and Terry are the best of friends and go back a long way from their Race riding days.  He hopes Josh makes a full recovery ASAP. [more...]

ENTRIES FOR WEEKEND

Have entered Calgary for the 0-150 2m 4 ½ Handicap Chase @ Cheltenham on Saturday.  Would love to run him as he is very fit but worried about the ground “firm in chute” – He’s a big horse and although he loves good ground I’d hate to injure him especially just for the sake of an early race on uncertain ground.  Reports on Cheltenham (from outsiders) are that the ground is very quick.   Have also entered a few nice horses at Kempton on Sunday but the same re ground applies.  Please can we have some RAIN! [more...]

UPDATE ON TERRY

Everything is more upbeat today.  He has had a good 24 hours and is able to manage to say a few sentences.   He is not very fluent and gets lost for words but it is a lot more encouraging and he has an excellent speech therapist.  A good few swear words come out!  He will stay in hospital for a while but is overwhelmed by all the messages he has had from well wishers.  Thank you all so much. [more...]

DROUGHT AND TERRY UNWELL

The horses are very well and a lot are ready to run but we are still suffering from drought conditions here at Lockinge and the ground is extremely FIRM.  We have been unable to school any horses in our schooling field for a fear of injuring them on the ground.  Fortunately, we do have our loose jumping school which is on a good all weather surface.  The north of the country seems to have had plenty of rain and in Ireland I see it is soft and even heavy in places.  Today, Monday, it is very windy and very mild with us.   NOT a good weekend either as Terry suffered a stroke on Saturday and I have spent a lot of my time in the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.  He is in the Stroke Ward – Ward 5B Room 6 and looks like remaining there for a while until he can swallow and speak properly.  Currently he is being fed by a drip and by a tube directly into his stomach.  It looks very uncomfortable but he seems fairly peaceful.  I will know more about the prognosis when I see the Doctor this afternoon.  Weekends are never any good at hospitals – it was difficult to get much sense out of anybody on Sunday. [more...]

SOME RAIN PLEASE?

This weather is so frustrating.  It seems we should be in Scotland or Ireland.  Absolutely no rain here in Oxfordshire and the ground is going back to concrete.  The horses are raring to go.  A lot of them are ready to run but we dare not risk them and the next forecast is SNOW! [more...]

Today's Open Day

We had a fantastic Open Day today.  The sun shone and the horses looked great.  We had an excellent turnout.  The dog agility and the para showjumper rider’s  - Susi Rogers-Hartley - display were also hugely popular.  There are still some syndicates to fill but the horses should soon have workable numbers.  They are lovely individuals and raring to go! More pictures will be posted shortly especially jumping ones. [more...]

OPEN DAY THIS SUNDAY - 25TH SEP!

The Autumn has definitely arrived – it is much colder and very blustery but we still need more rain.  We get heavy showers but the wind then evaporates all the moisture and the ground stays firm.  However, despite starting to get Winter coats, our horses look great and are progressing well with their fitness.  We hope to have some runners in about 2/3 weeks time.   At the moment we are busy organising our Open Day for SUNDAY.  The parade of horses is at 12 noon.  We have ample car parking space and there will be coffee etc plus Bacon Butties and sausages from the outside caterers from 10am onwards but the YARD will not be open until after the parade.  PLEASE NOTE THIS.  Dogs welcome on leads and plenty of big grass fields to walk them in.   At 2pm we have a Para Showjumping Demonstration by Susi Rogers-Hartley and her horse Seamus, and there will also be a dog agility display at 2.30pm.   LOOKING FORWARD to seeing as many of you as possible.   Entrance Fee £10 per person, Children under 16 free.  Profits to Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. [more...]

TWO WEEKS TO OPEN DAY

I’m really pleased with the way in which the horses are shaping up.  They look great and we should have some runners in early October provided the ground is OK.  Somersby looks superb and may go for the 2 ½ mile Graduation Chase at Kempton on October 31st.  Calgary Bay will hopefully run before that at Cheltenham in October.  He looks awesome!  So big but such a gentle horse.  The younger ones are great too and we are thrilled with the new animals from Ireland whom we are syndicating.  They have settled in really well and one of them, Ballyculla by Westerner, could race in a fortnight.  He is very fit!  Obviously he needs to have owners first!    We are preparing for our small select  Open Day on 25th September.  The horses will parade at 12 noon and the yard will then be open till 3.30pm.  It will cost £10 per person (Children under 16 free).  Do come along and support us.  The profits will go to the Chiltern & Thames Air Ambulance.  There will be a dog agility display in the afternoon plus excellent raffles and tombola.  You can bring your own dogs too for walk round the farm!  We are just praying that it does not rain! [more...]

WEST LOCKINGE FARM SYNDICATES

WEST LOCKINGE FARM SYNDICATES   Friendly syndicates with weekly updates and monthly newsletters.  Frequent visits to yard to see the horses in their stables and the gallops and to meet the staff plus Hen and Terry.   Special coffee mornings plus opportunity to watch schooling sessions to be arranged throughout the season.  Excellent communication and advice given.  Fun for the future!  Including taking boxes at certain race meetings, owner participation in the preliminaries – paddock/saddling up boxes/stables etc.   ENJOY YOUR RACING AT VERY REASONABLE PRICES! PLEASE SEE OUR HORSES FOR SALE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. [more...]

3 NEW SYNDICATES & AN OPEN DAY

It is all getting exciting now as the horses are much fitter and doing plenty of cantering.  Hopefully, not too long before we will get some of them back onto a racecourse.  There are some cracking youngsters in the yard and I really think we have a great team for the Autumn/Winter.    I have just spent a day in Northern Ireland at Wilson Dennison in Co. Antrim.  Wow!  What lovely horses everywhere – probably close on 200 ranging from yearlings to 5 year olds and he says it’s only his hobby!  Wilson’s main business is in Volvo Trucks – “Dennison  Commercials Ltd” but his property is magnificent and every year he buys top foals and yearlings privately or from the sales.  They have really good pedigrees and are super types.  He likes to get them broken in and then run them in Point to Points before he sells them on but some are far better than Point to Pointers!   For example, Bindaree won the Grand National and Burton Port was 2nd in last year’s Hennessey Gold Cup.  Plus he sold many other top horses and Festival winners too.  A lot of them are “Bally….something” as all the place names in Northern Ireland seem to start with Bally!  I have hand picked 3 horses to be syndicated for this Season.  They are about to be vetted and then I hope they will soon be at West Lockinge Farm.  They will all be ready to run in October/November.  Three super types and great jumpers.  I watched them all working and jumping at Loughanmore – Wilson’s home.  Details of the 3 will appear shortly on this website and anybody is welcome to come and see them.  Do join a syndicate – a lot of fun for the winter!   All 3 horses are sensibly priced and have had plenty of ground work done – indeed they have all had educational Point to Point runs as well.  WATCH THIS SPACE!   Terry and I had our annual holiday in Connemara in August.  We always go to the big Connemara Breed Show in Clifden on the 3rd Thursday of the month.  It is one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions and the town is buzzing.  A sight to behold!  I also caught a salmon on the Owenmore River by Ballynahinch Castle.  Only 4lbs but a big thrill!  Maybe I’ll take up fishing?   We are now busy preparing for our Open Day on Sunday 25th September.  Do come along! [more...]

GETTING FITTER

All going well with the horses.  Their fitness is improving and they look good.  We have a lovely bunch and some very promising individuals.  We are busy making plans for our Open Day on 25th September. Hope you can pay us a visit. [more...]

August Update

The horses are coming along really well after their Summer break and a number of them are back cantering.  We have a lovely bunch of youngsters plus some older ones and all looks good for the Season ahead.  We don’t expect any runners though until end September/early October. [more...]

ACTION AGAIN!

At last! Action again!  After a quiet Summer with the horses resting in the fields plus some of the older ones sold and new ones bought, we are off on the trail for Winners in the Autumn/Winter months.   There are a lot of new names in the yard both equine and human and everybody is looking forward to starting afresh.   To date we have about 20 horses in from grass and they are doing steady build up work – walking and trotting – on the roads and downland tracks.  They will not start cantering until later in July/August.    Watch this space for horses for sale and new syndicates.  It is all very exciting! [more...]

Summer Hols For Horses

The racehorses continue to enjoy their Summer holidays but several will be coming back into work at the end of the month.  The lack of rain has not helped the grass to grow but the horses have done well.  They always tend to thrive in dry weather.  It is the cold and the rain that causes them to lose condition and huddle into corners.  It is great to see them grazing happily in the fields.  Four of them were sold last week (June 1st) at the Brightwell Ascot Derby Sales.    Gortenbuie - £32,000 Iona Days - £23,000 Teddy’s Reflection - £15,000 Drumlang - £8,500   They have all gone to suitable homes and should win plenty of races for their new connections.  We were sorry to part with them but the owners sold them to make room for more young ones which are coming on so we look forward to training and racing the new ones.  We have several horses in the yard to syndicate for next season.  Details will appear on here in a couple of weeks time. [more...]

May update

We are now on our holidays at West Lockinge Farm – that is to say we are not racing anymore until the Autumn as we are not Summer Jump racing fans and don’t like risking the horses on the firmer ground.  Sometimes, May is a wet month and we race on into June but this year – 2011 – there has been such a shortage of rain that the racing surfaces are, in places, like roads.  Firm and rough.   It is very worrying for the farmers and horticulturists. The serious lack of rain means that the grass is not growing and the prospects of making any quantity of silage/haylage and hay for the coming winter are slim.  It has always been said the “Rain in May is worth a load of hay”.  Let’s pray that we get rain before the month is out.    A large number of our horses are now out to grass and enjoying their own Summer holiday in the fields.  The yard is having a huge ‘spring clean’ and all the boxes are being steam cleaned, disinfected and painted.  The staff are very busy.   We have some exciting new horses for next Autumn/Winter.  Rock of Allen, a lovely 4 year old winning Point to Point horse was bought at the Cheltenham Sales on 13.04.11 and Isleofhopendreams was purchased at the same place on 11.05.11.  He was 2nd in his one and only Point to Point.  Two horses have come over from Northern Ireland.  Balbriggan and Ballylifen.  They too have had pleasing Point to Point experiences and we like them very much. The former, a lovely grey by King’s Theatre, already has an owner and was 4th on his only run.  Ballylifen by Brian Boru will be syndicated at a later date and we really like him too.  He has been 2nd in a Point to Point and is a super type with a very strong pedigree.   On June 1st, we are selling 6 horses at the Ascot Derby Sales.  We may buy back a couple of them and re; syndicate them as there are some horses with decent form being sold notably, Iona Days, Gortenbuie and Teddy’s Reflection and although their owners are wanting to pass them on, we believe that they will win plenty more races.  Watch this space – photographs will be shown here next week. [more...]

OPEN DAY SUNDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2011

We are planning to hold a big Open day here on Sunday 25th September 2011. We will parade the horses, show off the yard, have various extra attractions, trade stands, dog agility etc etc.  Please put the date in your diary. [more...]

Early Summer

A number of our horses are now happily out in the fields and enjoying their Summer break.  The ground is so firm to jump and race on at the moment.  We are looking to buy some new recruits for the coming Autumn/Winter Season and some of our present inmates are going to Ascot Sales on June 1st either to go Point to Pointing next year or else looking for a change of scenery.  We are about to start a new syndicate with an Irish Point to Point horse.  Watch this space! [more...]

HAPPY EASTER

The ground on the racecourses is a big cause for concern.  No rain and very dry everywhere.  Calgary and Somersby are both very happy and out in the field all day.  They will not run again until next Autumn when hopefully Somersby will be stepped up to 3 miles and Calgary will race in some decent Handicap Chases.  Hopefully Aintree again for the Becher Chase.  We have a lovely new horse in the yard, Rock of Allen, he won a Point to Point in Ireland in March and is a gorgeous individual.  Sadly, Job One, broke down at Stratford on Saturday despite the Racing Post saying he looked ungenuine and needed headgear.  It is so distressing when the “Analysis” of races is so inaccurate.  He will be retired and will have a home for life with a friend of the owner’s.  We hope to have runners over Easter but so much depends on the weather and the ground. [more...]

CALGARY BAY IS FINE

Calgary Bay is fine after his fall in the National on Saturday, and we would like to thank everyone for all the messages we have received asking about him. [more...]

AINTREE

With all the beautiful sunshine and higher temperatures, the ground is rapidly drying out but the going at Aintree promises to be good.  We are taking Somersby for the Melling Chase (2m 4f) on Friday and Calgary Bay for the Grand National on Saturday.  Robert (Choc) Thornton rides the former, and Hadden Frost gets the leg up for his first experience of the big fences on the next day.   Both horses are fit and well.  The racing is sure to be very competitive and there will be some of the best English and Irish horses taking part.  Terry is looking forward to sizing up the Liverpool talent on “Ladies Day” on Friday.  There are always some amazing sights!   Next week we plan to have even more runners – weather permitting, and I will be attending the Brightwells Sales at Cheltenham on Wednesday 13th.  This is a sale largely comprising ex Point to Point horses for Ireland and it has a great record.  Cheltenian who won the Festival bumper in 2011 was sold at it in 2010, and other good winners include Line Freedom, Wayward Prince, Realth Dubh, Minella Class and Peddlers Cross [more...]

POST CHELTENHAM

After a busy Cheltenham week, we are pleased to say that Somersby has come out of his race – the Queen Mother Champion Chase – in which he was 5th – very well.  Had he not made a bad mistake at the 3rd last he would probably have been placed.  He will now be campaigned for longer distance races and will probably be entered in the Melling Chase at Aintree over 2m 4f before stepping up to 3 miles next Season.  He is still very young and was the youngest horse in the Champion Chase.    Calgary is progressing well towards his run in the Grand National on 9th April. He looks fantastic.  Next week will be a quiet week, with only a few runners from West Lockinge Farm but April promises to be very busy.  Terry and Hen are off to Lismore Point to Point on Sunday in Co Waterford to try and spot some new talent.  It was at this Point to Point that they found Best Mate!   All shares in Ballygarvey are now virtually sold.  There is possibly one still left.  He will be ready to run in 2 weeks and works really well. [more...]

CHELTENHAM NEWS

Everybody is excited and looking forward to Cheltenham next week. We hope to have a few runners from West Lockinge Farm but as far as handicaps are concerned a lot depends on the ballots.  Somersby is set to contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Wednesday and Robert (Choc) Thornton will be riding him.  It was felt that Festival experience is all important when it comes to the best races, and he knows the horse having been 2nd on him in the Arkle in 2010.  Minella Theatre is set to run in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase on Thursday and we are fortunate to have secured the services of Richard Burton who last week surpassed Julian Pritchard’s record in the Point to Point world by notching up his 385th winner.  Racing Demon could run in the Pertemps Handicap but he is currently a way down the list.  If he does get in and horses come out, Hadden Frost will ride him.  Calgary Bay’s preparation for the Grand National is going well and he looks magnificent.  He has had plenty of long steady gallops which will hopefully improve his stamina.  We are hoping for good ground at Aintree as he does not appreciate underfoot conditions that are too soft.   Our current horse for sale/syndication in the yard is filling up well with new owners, but there are still a few shares left.  He will be advertised in the Racing Post on Saturday and again next Wednesday.  The sooner he is sold, the better as he is ready to run and working very well at home.  For further details please see our Horses for Sale page. [more...]

MARCH

The yard is a lot more upbeat now that the ground is drying up and we’ve had less rain.  Our horses are not heavy ground types as was illustrated on Thursday by two good runs at Ludlow on the better ground.  Gortenbuie at 25/1 ran a very nice race to be 2nd in his first handicap hurdle – he is a real future chaser in the making, and Seventh Hussar ran on well to be 5th in the bumper, a promising run.   Somersby is doing well in his preparation for the Champion Chase at Cheltenham and Calgary Bay is doing a steady build up for the Grand National.  We are pleased with both of them.  This weekend we run 3 on Sunday at Huntingdon.  Two novices in the 2 ½ mile Novice hurdle.  Airdrie and Loch Ba who will be having their “third” hurdle runs and should get handicapped afterwards, plus Bertenbar in a fairly competitive 2 ½ mile handicap chase.   Not many runners next week, until the weekend, but we are pleased with the horses and the way they are going.  Most of next weeks racing is up North! [more...]

ASCOT

We have been very pleased with the enquiries regarding Ballygarvey who is to be syndicated, and we have already sold some shares.  He has settled in very well and is filling out nicely.  If any of you are at all interested in getting involved in him, please do get in touch.  We have 2 runners at Ascot tomorrow - Racing Demon reverts to fences for the first time in 14 months, in the Ascot Chase, and Teddy’s Reflection runs in the Reynoldstown Novice Chase. [more...]

BALLYGARVEY

Ballygarvey has arrived and takes everything in his stride.  He is a really nice “person” and very friendly in the stable.  He had a good journey from Ireland overnight on Thursday, and arrived with us Friday morning at 6.30am.   On Saturday he was out on the gallops and we like what we see!  He just needs some shareholders.  He should be ready for a race in about 3 weeks time provided all the paperwork is up to date.  Please seriously consider a share in this really promising 5 year old!    Fortunately we had no horses to run at Newbury on Saturday.  What a freak tragedy they experienced there.  It all looked so unreal on the television.  One could not believe what one was seeing.    We did not run Soixante at Kempton on Friday as developed a tooth abscess and his face and mouth were noticeably swollen when he got to the races.  Horses seem to dream up a lot of excuses not to run!  Fortunately it has responded to antibiotics and it is already much better. [more...]

WYATT FAMILY WINNER

We were delighted with Bertenbar’s run at Fontwell on Sunday.  He won the 2m 2f Handicap Chase in emphatic style and jumped superbly.  His owner/breeders were all there – the Wyatt family – and it was great lift for them to see yet another homebred win on the track.   Airdrie and Seventh Hussar ran satisfactory in their Novice Hurdle and Bumper, but Airdrie needs further and fences and Seventh Hussar needs better ground.   Ballygarvey is arriving this week, probably on Friday, now that the gales have subsided. [more...]

WINDY WEEKEND

Ballygarvey is due to come over from Northern Ireland next week once the gales subside.  We are longing to get him over.  Please see details and photos of him on our Horses for Sale page.  He is very reasonably priced because he was previously sold in the Summer.  Unfortunately, the purchaser died so Wilson Dennison was not paid, and took him back!  As a rule, all Wilson’s 5 year olds are sold by now but this is an exceptional case and I’ve persuaded him to sell him much cheaper than he priced him at in June!  No runners on Saturday.  We were balloted out of Sandown with Silver Roque, so he’ll now go to Market Rasen on Tuesday.  We have 3 runners at Fontwell on Sunday.  Airdrie in the EBF Novice Hurdle, Bertenbar in the Handicap Chase and Seventh Hussar in the Bumper.  We hope also to run Mew Gull at Lingfield in the Bumper on Monday. [more...]

RE:ROUTE - DONCASTER TO CHELTENHAM!

With Doncaster abandoned last Saturday, Calgary Bay who was ¾ of the way there, was re: routed to Cheltenham – his 2nd preference.  After 5 hours in the horsebox he ran a super race to finish 2nd to Wishful Thinking in the 2m 5f Murphy Group Chase.  He will now have a rest and be prepared for the Grand National in April.  Somersby is extremely well and fresh.  We have decided that his most likely race at Cheltenham will be the Champion Chase on the Wednesday.  That is our aim. [more...]

THIS WEEK

The weather is a bit of concern again now with the threat of overnight frosts but we plan to run Calgary Bay in the Skybet Chase at Doncaster on Saturday, and The Vicar at Uttoxeter.  Somersby has come out of his Ascot race really well but we are still undecided as to which race to run him in at Cheltenham in March.  Hen and Terry have been to Northern Ireland during the week and have seen some lovely horses with Wilson Dennison.  The horse Hen loved in Spring/Summer “Ballytober” from Wilson’s won his bumper most impressively at Ffos Las on Thursday.  Other horses to have won from the yard this season include Hit the Headlines, Mossley and Camden as well as Burton Port who was 2nd in the Hennessey.  They are always a lovely bunch of youngsters with plenty of talent.  We plan to get a couple over to England again shortly to either sell as wholes or else syndicate them.  Watch this space! [more...]

ASCOT THRILLER

Somersby ran a fabulous race last Saturday at Ascot when he lost to Master Minded in the Victor Chandler Chase by a rapidly diminishing short head.  It was very exciting and his career best performance. He was well ridden by Hadden Frost who is now getting to know the horse and they are cementing a good partnership.  The burning question now is do we run him in the Queen Mother Champion Chase (2 miles) or the Ryanair Chase 2m 5f.  Watch this space.  Meanwhile Calgary Bay goes for next Saturday’s Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster and if all goes well he will then contest the Grand National. [more...]

THE NEW YEAR

The weather is stranger than ever. From the bitter winds, frosts and snow in December, we are now experiencing a lot of rain and above average temperatures. It is always difficult to know what rugs to put on the horses at night because if they have too few and the weather changes they could be too cold and if it stays mild then 2 rugs are too many and the horses are sweating in the morning – rather like us humans and our bedclothes! We have been running a few horses in January but the ground on the racecourses is mostly very soft or even heavy and the horses struggle to move on it. Those with good action simply cannot gallop at all and go up and down on the spot. However, Teddy’s Reflection ran well at Leicester on Tuesday 11th January, and finished 2nd , beaten only ˝ length. The Chase course up there is totally different to the hurdles one which gets watered in the Summer for the flat racing. It was really quite unacceptable ground! Teddy was unlucky to come up against a mare of Nicky Henderson’s who carried almost a stone less weight. Iona Days ran a nice first race over fences and jumped beautifully. He needs even better ground and probably further than 2 miles. Somersby is very well. He could run in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot next weekend, Saturday 22nd January, or else he may wait for the 2 ˝ mile Graduation Chase at Kempton on February 11th. Calgary Bay is going to run in the Grand National if all goes according to plan but could first contest the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster on Saturday 29th January. [more...]

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!

I’m afraid the prospects of racing look bleak but the horses are well and are kept cantering at home.  Keeping everything crossed for a thaw as we are fed up with breaking ice and carting round buckets of water.  It is hard work but a good way to get rid of too much turkey and mince pies! [more...]

Cold snap back again!

We are once again under the grip of the icy cold weather and threats of snow but we were fortunate to get a lovely days racing at Cheltenham on Saturday 11th December.  We ran 2 horses and they performed with credit.  Somersby was 3rd in the Tingle Creek Chase to Master Minded (only beaten half a length for 2nd place and running well up the hill), whilst Calgary Bay was 4th in the A.P. McCoy Gold Cup.  We were very pleased with both of them.   Not much more news for now until racing resumes again – hopefully the Boxing Day programmes will be saved. [more...]

Teddy's Reflection

The horses continue to run pleasingly as we go into the third week of November.  The younger ones are learning their game and several are getting placed though not yet ready to win.  Teddy’s Reflection won at Ascot on 20th November under a positive ride from Hadden Frost.  He appreciated the trip up to 3 miles and jumped soundly.  We should have quite a few runners this week at Newbury but the weather forecast is bad with heavy frosts.  Let’s hope the met men are wrong again! [more...]

Season is underway

The horses are running well and a number of them are being placed.  The ground has softened up a lot due to all the rain so there are no excuses for not running because of the firm!  Somersby ran a good race on November 2nd to be 3rd in the Haldon Gold Cup to Twist Magic and he is being aimed at the Tingle Creek on December 4th.  Loch Ba ran well to be 3rd at Sandown in his bumper – his first ever race – last weekend.  He is a lovely big horse and every inch a chaser.  We have virtually filled our syndicates with the exception of Havego.  We do not have runners at Cheltenham this weekend but we have entries at Uttoxeter, Fontwell and Market Rasen.  A winner anywhere would be welcome! [more...]

A Good Weekend!

Now the weather is changing and ditto the ground we hope to have more runners.  We had a good weekend on 23rd & 24th October.  Minella Theatre won a nice 2m 5f Handicap Chase at Stratford on the Saturday and Racing Demon was 2nd in a competitive 3 mile Handicap Hurdle at Aintree on the Sunday – both were well ridden by Hadden Frost.  It was a big relief to see Minella return to form after 3 pull ups last season.  He is not easy to train and lost his way last Winter/Spring.  He also tended to break blood vessels, probably due to stress as he gets very anxious.  However, he is now spending a lot of his time in the paddocks and is much more relaxed.  Racing Demon really enjoyed himself at Aintree and jumped superbly.  He does not jump right over hurdles.  He may stick to hurdles for the time being or else he could have another crack at the Peterborough Chase in December – a race he’s twice won before.  He did not shine in the race in 2009 but was returning from a lengthy lay off and was very ring rusty.  He is much sharper this season. [more...]

Autumn Arrives

At last it looks as though we may get some rain and we plan to run a lot of horses in the next few weeks – weather permitting.  The horses are extremely well.  They have done plenty of work and are raring to go. Calgary Bay ran a nice race at Cheltenham on Friday 15th October.  He does not truly stay 3 miles on a course with a hill, but the outing should have brought him on and he has come out of his race well.  He is not an easy horse to place as he must go left handed, and there are only limited races for horses rated 150. Miller's Dawn ran yet another disappointing race at Exeter on Wednesday 19th October.  He never produces on a racecourse what he shows us at home.  He is a frustrating horse.  Maybe he needs further?  We will try him over fences at longer distances.  We have sold 2 of the horses advertised on our website in September. There are just 2 shares left in Airdrie and a few in Haveago.  Please look on our Horses for Sale page for further details. [more...]

OPEN DAY REPORT

We had an excellent turnout of owners, guests & members of the public. The weather was fine although unfortunately rather dull and cold but the horses looked great and showed themselves off well in the parade.  There were lots of compliments flying around on their condition and general well being.  Many people said that they thought they were the finest bunch of young horses we had had on show for some years.  Let’s hope we now get plenty of winners!  We too think they are a fantastic lot.   If anybody is interested in joining the West Lockinge Team we have several shares available in syndicates.  Please read our HORSES FOR SALE section for details.  We sold a number of shares at the Open Day so please don’t delay if you would like to join us! [more...]

Horses for Sale

Please see our Horses for Sale section for information on 2 lovely unraced 4 year olds for syndication. [more...]

BIG TACK SALE - TUESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER 2010

There will be a Big Tack Sale on Tuesday 21st September 2010 at West Lockinge, comprising  over 300 lots.  Catalogues are being printed shortly and will be available from Pilgrim Bond  - see www.pilgrimbond.co.uk for more information, or to request a catalogue please e-mail lambourn@pilgrimbond.co.uk or telephone 01488 72911 [more...]

OPEN DAY - SUNDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER 2010

Hen and Terry are hosting an Open Day on Sunday 19th September 2010 at West Lockinge Farm near Wantage.  The yard will be open to the public from 10.30am until 2.30pm with a Parade of Racehorses at 11.30am.  Entry will be £10 for adults, and children under 12 free.  Refreshments will be available onsite.   This is the first public Open Day since the days of 3 times Gold Cup winning Best Mate, and a wonderful opportunity for people to come and meet our current stars for the coming 2010/2011 National Hunt Season.   Directions to West Lockinge Farm, West Lockinge, Wantage, OX12 8QF   From M4 Travelling East: Leave at Junction 14 and take the A338 North to Wantage. In Wantage take the A417 East towards Didcot. West Lockinge is situated on the right just off the A417. *   From M4 Travelling West: Leave at Junction 13 and take the A34 North towards Didcot. Pick up the A4185 and then the A417 West towards Wantage. West Lockinge is situated on the left just off the A417, there are two turnings into West Lockinge, please take the second turn. *   From Oxford: Take the A34 South. After approx 5 miles pick up the A338 towards Wantage. In Wantage take the A417 East towards Didcot. West Lockinge is situated on the right just off the A417. *   From Newbury: Take the A34 North towards Didcot. . Pick up the A4185 and then the A417 West towards Wantage. West Lockinge is situated on the left just off the A417, there are two turnings into West Lockinge, please take the second turn. *   * Drive carefully down the lane, round a sharp left-hand bend then a sharp right-hand bend (past the schooling fences on the left). As you continue along the road you will see a wooden gateway with a track straight ahead. Turn off the road onto this track and follow the parking signs from within the gateway. [more...]

Hadden Frost

Current National Hunt Season  Jockey Arrangements for Autumn/Winter 2010/2011   As from September 2010 Hadden Frost will ride as stable jockey to Henrietta Knight.   After his successful career on the flat – rode 50 winners for Richard Hannon - and his good National Hunt Season 2009/10 when, as a conditional jockey in David Pipe’s yard he rode 12 winners which included winning the Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival, Hadden is delighted to team up with Hen where it is expected that he will ride the majority of the horses in the yard.  He will still ride out for David Pipe each week and hopes to have further rides for Pond House.  At the moment he has a total of 72 winners which means he has 3 wins left before he loses his claim.   As well as N.H. racing, Hadden has had a successful time show jumping and pony racing.  He should suit the West Lockinge Farm yard where he will do plenty of the schooling/jump work with the young horses.  In addition to Hadden, Hen will continue to seek the services of other top jockeys notably A.P. McCoy, Dominic Elsworth, Sam Thomas, Andrew Thornton and Will Kennedy, all of whom have ridden winners for the yard in the past and have been extremely loyal and helpful. Hadden has his first winner for Hen at Stratford on 30th June, when he partnered Job One, owned by Tim Watts from Pertemps Group Ltd, to win the Beginners chase at 16/1.  It was a very pleasing win. [more...]

Summer

It is a quiet time of year at West Lockinge Farm, with only a handful of horses in full training.  The dry weather has made it particularly difficult for the racecourses, and the groundsmen have struggled to provide safe going.  There are plenty of courses with watering systems but as fast as the water is applied it evaporates.  Horses who are resting are doing well out in the paddocks and enjoying the sunshine on their backs.  They will start to come back into work in July. [more...]

A Royal Winner

We are now well into May and at last the sun is shining and we have got some warmer weather.  As usual, the farmers are very worried about the lack of rain and fear that with the light grass crops, 2010 will be a very poor year for hay.  So horse owners be prepared!  It looks like another expensive Winter.  As far as our Racehorses are concerned, most of them are doing very well on their Summer holidays and are happily grazing in the fields.  We do have a few horses which are continuing to run and we had a lovely surprise winner at 40-1 last week at Fontwell when Harvest Song won a Maiden Hurdle for The Queen.  He is a very nice horse but had been extremely backward before last week and had not covered himself in glory when twice running on the flat as a 2 year old and 3 year old.  He loves jumping and seems to stay well.  He remains a Novice for the whole season so will hopefully improve further on his winning run. [more...]

Firm!

It is now mid April and the ground is drying up very quickly with the cold North East wind and no rain.  It is making it very difficult to run any horses as the racecourses are giving their going as good/firm in many places.  The courses are also very rough in many places after being over used during the wet Winter months.  Somersby ran at Aintree on April 8th.  He was 2nd in the 2m 4f Novice Chase but nothing went right in the race and he got kicked at the start.  Calgary Bay was 4th in the Betfair Aintree Bowl.  He ran a nice race and jumped well, but yet again 3 miles 1 furlong proved too far.  We are hoping to race a few of our young horses very shortly in bumper races but are watching the weather. We will not risk them on dodgy ground. [more...]

Rain back again!

After my last report when the sun was shining and the days were getting warmer, it is now bitterly cold again and we seem to have had more rain than in any other week this Winter.  Our fields are saturated.  However, the horses are well and we are looking forward to plenty of runners in April.  Somersby is due to run at Aintree next Thursday (April 8th) in a 2m 4f Novice Chase and Calgary Bay may contest a race, also at Aintree, on the same day.  Not much action over Easter as there are not that many fixtures and several have already been abandoned due to waterlogging!  Everybody is hoping for a change back to Spring weather and better conditions. [more...]

Cheltenham Review

It is lovely to see the sun shining at long last and get some warmer days.  The grass is now beginning to grow and everything looks much greener after the shocking winter.  Spirits are high on our yard and the horses are getting their Summer coats through which signals the beginning of Spring.   We were pleased with out 3 Cheltenham runners.  Somersby ran a fantastic race for a young horse, to be 2nd in the Arkle Chase and only beaten ¾ length by Sizing Europe.  He looks to have a bright future as a chaser and will obviously appreciate a step up in trip next Season.   Calgary Bay was 6th in the Gold Cup and again ran a most creditable race for a 7 year old – the youngest in the race.  He did not stay the last 2 furlongs and will revert to 3 miles or 2m 6f in his next run.  The Ryanair Chase looks a more likely race for him in 2011 but that might also be Somersby’s goal as well!   Racing Demon who is now 10 years old was 8th in the Coral Cup.   He thoroughly enjoyed himself and gets on very well with young Haddon Frost.  Had a horse not fallen in front of him at the 2nd last he might well have been 4th or 5th.  He will have one more run over hurdles before reverting to fences again next Season.   We have a lot of young horses queuing up for runs now that the weather has improved and April promises to be a busy month. [more...]

Hen and Terry update

Although the severe weather conditions have now passed, it is still extremely cold and the biting East Wind continues to hinder the growth of grass and dry up the land.  At this stage, we badly need some light rain and warmth. [more...]

Back on track after severe weather

Having endured extreme weather conditions for the greater part of January, the snow and ice have now largely left us and we are looking forward to a good spring!  We have not had many runners lately as many of our horses prefer better ground or else are still too backward/young to race.  However, there are some exciting prospects for March and April and the Cheltenham Festival is only a month away. [more...]

Winter Season Winners

We are now well into the Winter NH Season, but everybody has been suffering from the recent frost and snow. Training has not been easy with frozen gallops and icey roads. However, we have had plenty of runners and some nice winners over the past months and the horses are going well. [more...]

Horses for Sale

We have several nice horses for sale in the yard and one for syndication.  [more...]

Yard Visits

Our last yard visit was in October and we all enjoyed meeting everyone who came to see the yard and horses. If you are interested in coming along to one of these small, informal visits to see the horses working and jumping then please email us for further details and we can send you more information when we have another date. [more...]