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23rd July 2022

Guest Blog - Peter Kerr

Unfortunately for you all I have been asked to make a contribution to Kim’s blog. When confronted with such a task it makes you realise what an excellent job Kim does on writing one each day. Yes it does have the occasional faux pas, spelling mistakes and jokes that get him in trouble with the Police! But how does he manage to think about topics each day, I’m struggling to come up with just the one!

I have always thought Kim as a frustrated journalist but these days he is not sensational enough with his wording. When listening to news on the radio or watching it on the TV everything is a crisis, there is always a dramatic increase, a huge hike, a surge or extreme number. However if things improve it is slight, small, even though the percentage decrease was the same as the increase.

As many of you know I had the full fat version of Covid when it first started, before a vaccine was available and listening to the news at the time I had no chance of surviving! So please just give me the news plainly and accurately without the hyperbole.

The last time I contributed to the blog I got Kim into trouble with the BHA, who were not happy with what I wrote regarding an owners experience at the racecourse during lockdown. So I’d better be a bit careful in what I say! I was pleased that things did improve after writing that post and the racecourses did a great job under restraint from the authorities.

It’s dark and dingy outside whilst writing at home, no idea of the temperature but it is definitely a lot cooler than walking around Norwich on Monday for my daughters Graduation, a very proud day for Mum and Dad. An excellent meal followed in The Georgian Townhouse with fellow parents and students. Driving back on Tuesday the temp gauge in the car reached 41.5c somewhere between Cambridge and Bedford.

The two other guest bloggers this week were very good and perhaps should have a regular spot? It was interesting to read David’s take on the Whip review (why is it called a whip review when it quite clearly is not a whip but a foam pad at the end of a stick?) and I agree with Mat, another waste of time, effort and money on something that is not going address the real critical issues in racing.

Is it going to convince those people who do not like racing to now watch it? Is it going to increase the numbers that go racing? Is it going to make someone to become an owner? Is it going to increase prize money, (the biggest problem in racing)? Is it going to appease those who want it and racing banned? I don’t think it will!!

I am not from a traditional racing background, none of my friends or family are remotely interested in racing, so I was intrigued to get their perspective on this review. Unsurprisingly, most of them were not aware that it was an issue but one did think it was a traditional whip that we use to beat the horses. They had no idea it was a foam pad. Once I explained that there are rules on how you can use the stick and the horses don’t have welts afterwards they said “So what is the problem, if you believe the foam pad does not do any physical harm to the horse why are you having the discussion? Have faith in your own convictions” They are right, if we believe it does no harm to the horse then why does it matter how it is used? However, if it does make a horse suffer then ban it, simple. 

As Boris said on leaving Parliament “it’s not Twitter that counts”. Frustratingly we always seem to pander to minorities whose minds will never change. We have a great sport, so let’s be proud of it and what it does to improve horse’s lives. Tell all your friends about it, bore them into submission until they come with you to the racecourse or the stables. The more people we can get to see at first hand what a special product we have to offer the more will get involved. It has worked for me with my little discussion with friends and neighbours, who now want me to organise a day at the races!

There is no better adrenaline rush than cheering on your horse in the closing stages of a race as a punter, spectator or owner. I have witnessed so many times the euphoria of syndicate members when they have a winner. All your inhibitions go out of the window jumping up and down cheering your horse home. Your legs turn to jelly, words fail to come out of your mouth in any coherent way and tears of joy run down your face. I have seen the most reserved owners completely loose the plot, screaming their horse home in the closing stages of a race. Most of you reading this blog will hopefully have experienced this, even if you have just had a bet on a horse, but you can magnify that feeling tenfold as an owner and once achieved leaves you wanting more and more. 

Syndicate horse Tantoli runs for the 99 Problems but the horse ain't one syndicate at Uttoxeter on sunday and for our thoughts on his chances click here

If you have never been involved in ownership then I urge you to give it a go, we can’t guarantee success but if you are fortunate to be involved with a winner it will be an experience you will never ever forget!