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15th October 2018

Plus 9 and drizzling when driving in.

Wet yesterday. But with tears after Charbel wins at Chepstow. It was an emotional win.

It was rained yesterday and more rain fell on Chepstow.. over 30mm over the two days which finally changed the ground to good to soft and soft in places.

The rain helped as it gave Charbel a chance to relax and settle in his race.

It was a highly emotional win for connections of Charbel.

David and Julie Martin were so chuffed to see their star horse finally get his head in front again. It was so deserved, especially after his fall at the Cheltenham Festival in the Champion Chase.

That fall meant that we x-rayed his back and we found several kissing spines. Painful when jumping as they touch.

Charbel had an operation to cut the ligaments between and then loads of rehab.

Simon Lawrance was brought it to take over his rehab. Simon is a top class event rider and he was on the case for making the horse bend and use his back.. 6 weeks he played with him and he sent him back looking a different horse.. far more supple.

So back in training and time to get him fit.

Lucy Jackson, another event rider who is based in Andoversford, was over most afternoons to ride him up and down our hills in an outline i.e. making him use his back with his head between his knees.. It was so important that Charbel realised that his back was not going to hurt when he jumped. 

Perth was a testing ground for yesterday, when Charbel finished 3rd a few weeks ago. It set up his confidence.

A big thanks to all for playing their part and for David Bass giving him the good ride that he did.. Yes it deserved to be an emotional win.

Where now.. we will be patient and see how he comes out of his race.. I am sure he will improve again over further, in time..

Minella Warrior was slightly disappointing when finishing 4th and I am not sure why yet. He was not the hosre we have seen on his pervious runs.. ground? Doubt it but it was an off day for him.. Don’t write him off yet.

Monday morning and a happy team after a good week..

We jumped Cresswell Legend and Cloone Lady over fences.

My travelling head girl Leigh Pollard's Blog.

A quiet week this week so chance to catch up on some behind the scenes admin. Unfortunately being travelling head girl is not all the glamour of leading up winners! The lorry has to been cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis, inside and out and I have to ensure it’s maintenance is up to date (oil/tyres etc).

I also have to make sure all the tack is maintained and I have enough equipment for the amount of runners. I have found that every year we get busier and have more runners on a day to day basis, meaning I need more equipment, as in the winter it is difficult to get things clean and dry for the next day. All equipment is cleaned every time it is used which can be a full time job when we are busy! Although this way I can be sure everything is immaculate and in perfect condition when it is used.

I also have to make sure I have colours for every horse and I that they have a brow band to match.
Finally I have to make sure the horses are tidy, their manes pulled and their tails the correct length. Fortunately I don’t clip the horses, that is a full time job in itself!

Now all that is up to date I am ready for a busy week next week, hopefully with more winners!

A few more of Charlie Dingwall's recorded comments, actually said in court..

ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.

ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?
WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.
ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?
WITNESS: Forty-five years.