Bloodstock Blogger: Part Sixteen

Regular blog writing seems to have gone out the window. What to write is always the question! Something topical is usually a good bet to get people to read it but quite honestly I am happy when things at Culworth Grounds are not topical. It is amazing what can become an issue in life. Currently our Forge Coffee venture in the village of Culworth is growing and a new shop being opened in the village of Evenley. Apparently the colour of the shop window is causing some controversy which just shows that topical can sometimes be very uninteresting!!

The last few months on the farm have been busy. We expanded our foaling this year from four to sixteen foals which were all safely delivered, by our now well settled in foaling manager Kate Leatherbarrow. There have been no disasters and they are all still alive and well which is always a bonus.

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The first of the yearlings are starting prep and we also have a new yearling manager on the team. Katina Nason has worked many seasons prepping yearlings with top vendors around the world. I am delighted to have her on board and look forward learning from her experiences to make our yearlings even better than before. Also coming back to the team is Lucy Steel. Lucy went and did a yearling prep season at Widden Stud in Australia. I did wonder whether she would come back but luckily for us she has. Lucy will be working in the office and also with the yearlings. Hopefully you will see her in action at the sales honing her new Aussie skills!

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I am really pleased with my bunch of yearlings this year. I try not be too blind to their faults because they are mine but I just hope some trainers and bloodstock agents have the same taste as me! I am not saying they are all book 1 sale toppers but they are nice horses that have their place in the market. This time of year is exciting as there is nothing better than getting all the yearlings in and putting them to work. You get to learn more about them and how they tick. Most of the  hard work is already done and a well fed Winter in the field means they are all looking in good nick so it is just the muscling up and fine tuning to try and give them that stars in your eyes moment.

To help us with this ‘Stars in your Eyes’ moment, we are very pleased to be working with NAF. NAF have a great range of nutritional formulas, supplements, topical applications and care products which we will use to help give our yearlings the best, both inside and out. They are the official sponsor to the British Equestrian Team which shows the high regard in which they are held within the UK. I have used NAF products on my show horses and having the NAF team on board for the yearlings will mean they will work with us to provide the best support for each individual.

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The big excitement of the month was breeding our first winner. Everybody has to start somewhere and for Culworth Grounds that start was the purchase of Hanella. Hanella is by the super daddy Galileo and was purchased for £5000 from Tattersalls December Sales in foal to Orientor who stands at Sidehouse Stud in Scotland. The Orientor filly she produced was never going to be a sale topper mainly due to fashion but she was a solid, correct, good walking individual and statistically Orientor rates well in terms of getting you a winner. Thankfully he obliged and “Sparkles” as she was known here, won in Italy. Naples may not be Newmarket but a win is a win and a good start for the homebreds. Long may it last!