One of the main reasons for the long deliberation was that Lolamotion and David’s Duchess both needed speedy stallions with plenty of strength about them, which when you narrow it down there are not that many standing in the UK especially at a reasonable stud fee.
Lolamotion is out of Ocean View who was multiple G1 placed. She is a winner and a half-sister to two black type horses. David’s Duchess is a well rated winner who was fourth in the Weatherby’s super sprint and is also a half-sister to a black type horse in Strange Magic so both have some good attributes which they can hopefully pass on. These two mares are going to Havana Gold who stands at Tweenhills. Having unsuccessfully tried to buy some of his foals in previous years breeding one seemed like the next best thing. He had some great looking strong, athletic foals and yearlings and has made a great start to 2017 by having his first winner on the track and having the fastest breezing two year olds at both Ascot and Doncaster selling for prices over £100,000. Let’s hope the mares produce one of those!!
My other filly Last Echo is also a multiple winner by Whipper who is proving to be a good broodmare sire and the cross with Kodiac has produced several black type horses. With Kodiac being slightly out of budget I went for his very good looking son Adday who is a new first season sire standing at Whitsbury Manor Stud.
The yearlings are proving testing at the moment and are on suicide watch. As the sun starts to shine and the spring grass comes through they seem to be on a mission to self-harm. I give them a daily pep talk but it doesn’t seem to be working and as much as I love watching them gallop around the field sometimes I wish they would just slow down a little!
The power of Twitter came to the fore when my half bred mare Blossom lost her foal in February. Within a couple of hours a foal in need was found and Blossom was on her way up to Yorton Farm in Shropshire. It is the first time that I have experienced losing a foal and I’m sure it won’t be the last but I can say that I spent a couple of days with a very heavy heart. It was a reminder that nature can sometimes be cruel and that life is not all about value.
On a more positive note, Lolamotion, had a lovely colt foal by Casamento. After much debate amongst the children he is now called Bruno! She had a really easy birth and she is taking to motherhood very well. There is something really special about having a foal around, they are the perfect timewaster. Hanella is due at the beginning of May to Hot Streak so hopefully all will go well. She will probably be rested this year unless she decides to pop the foal out a couple of weeks early and then I really might be making a very last minute stallion decision!
There are also lots of non-equestrian projects on the go. A new gate lodge is going up behind the old one and hopefully it will be a huge improvement. Not far from the farm we have several development projects. The most fun one being a modern agricultural steel framed barn which we are converting into a house. My participation in these projects is mainly at the beginning and the end much to the relief of the builders who said I am like the person on DIY SOS who constantly goes round asking, how long until you are finished? They love me really!
On the farm it is all go as Culworth Grounds is getting bigger. We recently purchased a nearby farm. There is plenty of work to do but hopefully it will be another great spot for yearlings and mares of the future. #ExcitingTimes