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4th May 2020

It was plus 7 and dry first thing this morning.

Monday morning and up early to check the river. It is my favourite holiday of the year. A week in Scotland fishing on the Helmsdale with my best man (twice) Jonathan Ruck Keene.

I just love fishing and I treasure my time on the Helmsdale as it is remote, exciting and peaceful.

The Helmsdale like all rivers runs through some beautiful parts of the country and although we hope to catch a few fish it is the thought of doing so, and the tranquillity of the river that makes the whole fishing experience something hugely special.

We usually stay in a remote but beautifully restored Birchwood Lodge..we wake every morning to find deer munching the grass only 10 yards away from our bedroom windows.

Sadly this year we did not make the journey as fishing, like all sports is currently closed..

Instead of fishing mid morning I joined a zoom board meeting of the RSA.

In a week when there has been much controversy about leaked emails it is interesting to see that Racing looks likely to be back on track, behind closed doors, on May 15 according to the Racing Post.

They too must have seen a few leaked goverment emails to know that, as we don't even know when lockdown is going to be relaxed.

I believe the BHA have and are doing a sterling job in promoting our sport in such difficult times and I also believe it is essential that we take on board the public perception about our sport, more so now than ever before.

We are indebted to the NHS for what they have done for racing over the years, and it is more important than ever, that whatever we do as a sport, we don’t jeopardise that relationship by coming back too soon.

Racing has received enough flack (unfairly) about the Cheltenham Festival going ahead and as a result we have lost a great amount of public support, so it is imperative that we dont add to that feeling..

Paul and Sue Baker have kindly taken up the mantle of the Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..

'We have just compiled a list of the Horses, Syndicates and Trainers we have been involved with over the last 20 or so years.

Turns out we have had shares in 20 Horses with 15 different Trainers and 10 syndicate/ Partnership operations. We haven’t added up the amount of money spent over this time!

Last year we were looking to join a National Hunt syndicate so started searching the internet. We came across KBR partnerships and after reading the information on offer we thought we recognised the name of the Partnership Manager Peter Kerr, so we emailed Peter and we were correct.

Peter was one of the Partnership Managers with Peter Harris many years ago when we first started our involvement with Racehorses, what a coincidence we thought. So we arranged with Peter to visit the yard and traveled down from North Yorkshire on a Saturday morning to view the Horse and facilities.

We were very impressed with the set up and how friendly everyone was, and that you could see your horse whenever you liked, rather than be told when you can go, like some other syndicates (not mentioning any names)!

We ended up buying a share in Design Icon, which was the name we suggested, and were very excited when it was chosen, and then we bought another share in Voyburg as he looked stunning and we just had to buy a share.

We are really looking forwards to the new season, and hope things are back to as normal as they can be by then.'

Thanks Paul and Sue for your contribution..

Sad to see that Johnny Bradburne has died aged 74.. Another virus victim.. An exceptional man who rode as an amateur until he was 49. Thoughts to his son Mark and daughter Lorna..

Happy birthday to Bob Windsor-Clive 70 today..

Todays non virus video nasty..