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1st July 2016

Plus 14 and damp when driving in. More rain overnight.

June.. 106 mm of rain and 21 days of it..

37 degrees at Heathrow this day last year..Dream on..

100 years ago today our world changed. The Battle of the Somme started and a generation of soldiers died for us.

100 years later we must wonder why. One week on from the most extraordinary day in British political history more chapters were opened by the fact that those who led us now don't.. is history repeating itself in a very different way?

This week has been stable staff week.

Racing Welfare announced that Betfair are sponsoring the inaugural Stable Staff Week..takes place from Monday 27th June to Saturday 2nd July.

This week trainers have been praising their staff for all the hard work they do.. on twitter...

Being involved in racing is a wonderful job. You work outside and you work with animals. You work as a team and you work to produce happy faces and winners.

There are not many jobs that can give so much satisfaction to so many people. Yes I know it is hard work but it is also so rewarding.

Gone are the days of that feudal system where stable staff were almost locked in to their yards for 3 years with hardly any pay and working conditions were tough.

In those days a stable lad (most were) looked after 2 horses and racing yards were run like being in the military. Once in a yard you probably stayed there for life. Many married and were housed in married accommodation and their families the carried on what their parents were doing. It was a way of life and again a rewarding one.

Unfortunately now you don't find many married staff stay in racing. Working hours have changed as has the social structure of modern life. Free time is part of what we are all used to and expect, therefore spending weekends working is not the norm, unless you work in the entertainment business or catering.. Racing of course is the former.

Racing is short of staff, but this not just problem for our industry but a generational problem; it seems that many young people just don't want to get their hands dirty or work anti social hours. Racing is not alone in this.. try the catering business.. how many English people do you find in hotels and pubs?

Not many 17 year old can appear in a job and be trained for 9 weeks free on how to look after horses, ride them and be taught the fundamental facts in life by attending one the two Racing Schools ( BRS and NRC ) that are based in this country.

When they have finished their 9 week course they are guaranteed a job which they are well rewarded compared to many other industries. Working hours are different although most work a 40 hour week.

I am lucky to employ great staff.. lets face it you are only as good as the people you employ. Our team have good working conditions and wonderful accommodation, 5 miles from Cheltenham and all the nightlife they can find. They also have lovely horses to look after and yes, we are a team.

We should be positive about our industry as it is a great way of life. Click here to watch a video of working here at Thorndale Farm.

I am offering a prize to our staff..

At the end of the season any member of our staff who has been here for the duration is qualified..

There will be a point system from the 1st October 2016 for the number of winners (10 points for each winner) they look after and the number of best turned out prizes (5 points) they also win. Pride in their horses rewarded.. Yes and a great prize. A session wing walking at our local airfield.. the winner of course can say no...but if the prize is shared then it sounds like a tandem walk..

By The Boardwalk returned to the yard last night. BTBW is being aimed at Perth late September to try and retail the trophy he won there last year.

I am heading to Herefordshire at lunch time to see Ascotdeux Nellerie and Laval Noir who are turned out with Andrew Bengough.

Tonight Clare and I are going to an open day at Redbarn Stud