Time flies by and 2018 has arrived. Looking back, 2017 was a good year with lots of fun and plenty of progress. On the horse front, all of last year’s yearlings have been sold. Overall they went well and the pinhooking ended positively – so that will keep the husband happy!
Before the sales, he announced that he had a better probability of making a profit by going to Ladbrokes for the afternoon with £100k than buying foals, keeping them alive for 10 months, praying that some of their siblings win the Derby, and then persuading someone to pay more for them than we paid for them the previous year. Luckily he doesn’t spend any time at Ladbrokes!
The star of the sales show for Culworth Grounds was Dazzle the Slade Power filly, who was the commercial two year old type that everybody is looking for these days. She is now in training with Mick Channon and I am hoping that she will be the pocket rocket that we predicted.
Our lovely Sepoy filly Elsa was sold to Sarah Lynham who is starting out her first season training this year. She was a really athletic filly and we all loved her at home.
Anna, the Bated Breath, went to Matthew White who is producing her for the breeze up sales. The reports are very positive. I did point out that I didn’t doubt she would be after her special education up the gallops with Big Arch.
Melo, the Fast Company, was sold to Ed Walker. Ed and I used to sit beside each other in equine industry lectures at The Royal Agricultural College, so I am hoping that she proves as good as some of her siblings.
As soon as the last yearling has been sold we are back out at the sales looking for the next big thing – a quick trip to Tattersalls Fairyhouse saw three colt foals on their way back to Culworth Grounds. The children were straight onto the big task of naming and we have King the Kingston Hill, Greg the Gregiorian and Dennis the Dandy Man.
Next stop, Goffs, and another three foals were purchased – we bought a grey Guitifan filly now named Snowflake, followed by another grey colt by War Command (who is aptly named Frosty) and a Night of Thunder filly. There were a couple of days deliberating and most of the school run was spent discussing what we might name her, and Cupcake became the top choice. Very hard to not to be tempted by a very nice Cupcake!
The last stop was Tattersalls UK where we purchased a Hot Streak Filly who is now named Sprinkles -no point having a good Cupcake without some Sprinkles!
It was a very competitive market and there was a lot of competition for the best foals. It felt like we spent most of the time being outbid, which can get quite demoralising. However, the team agreed that we gave every horse we liked, a good rattle in terms of bidding and didn’t feel there was anything that we would have done differently.
The latest exciting development at Culworth Grounds is the new parade ring. I am not sure how I managed to get this passed the boss but I think it will really finish off the office building (well that is my excuse!). As with most projects, it was a bigger job than expected, but when Spring arrives and grass grows, it will all be worth it.
We are also welcoming a new recruit, Amy Rimmington, to the team. Amy has worked at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand for three years and with the slowly expanding broodmare band she will be in charge of foaling down mares.
The Culworth Grounds website has had a refresh – we had great fun working with Kingdom Creative for the bloodstock section putting together a small insight into life for the horses at Culworth Grounds. Big Arch managed to get a staring role and for all of those people who wonder how I lead ‘crazy’ yearlings around, it is worth watching. Not a crazy horse in sight!
Happy New Year to you all, let’s hope that 2018 is a good one.