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Wednesday 2 December 2020

Saddle Up for some Horse Jokes

Where do horses go when they’re sick? The horsepital.

How do you make a small fortune out of horses?
Start with a large fortune

Q. What does it mean if you find a horseshoe?
A. Some poor horse is walking around in his socks.

A: I put £10 on a horse yesterday who was running against applesB: 
What happened?
A: I lost, he got pipped at the post
What do you call a horse that can’t lose a race? Sherbet.

What’s black and white and eats like a horse? A zebra.

Which side of a horse has more hair?
The outside

"Bob, I can't understand how Bill can have so much luck at cards and be so unlucky with horses."
"That's easy," said Bob. "You can't shuffle the horses." 

A man has a racehorse who never won a race. In disgust the man says, ” Horse, you win today or you will be pulling a milk wagon tomorrow morning.”
The starting gate opens, the horses take-off, they move the gate away and there lays his horse asleep on the track.
He kicks the horse and asks, “Why on earth are you sleeping?”, The horse, half asleep says, “I have to get up at three in the morning.”

A Kentucky horse breeder had a filly that won every race in which she was entered. But as she got older she became very temperamental. He soon found that when he raced her in the evening, she would win handily, but when she raced during the day she would come in dead last. He consulted the top veterinarians and horse psychologists but to no avail. He finally had to give up because it had become ... a real night mare.

Thursday 5 November 2020

What is Equine Flu Anyway?

Equine influenza, or equine flu, is a severe, respiratory disease, regularly found in British horses. Indeed, small outbreaks of the disease occur throughout the country every year, but the last major outbreak came in the spring of 2003, when horse racing stables in Newmarket were particularly badly affected.

The disease is caused by strains of the influenza virus type A, which is akin, but not identical, to the human influenza virus. The good news is that equine influenza cannot be transmitted to humans, but the bad news is that it is highly contagious – in fact, one of the most contagious diseases affecting the British horse population – and can be physically carried by human skin, hair and clothing, as well as by equipment and vehicles.

The equine influenza virus infects the thin, membranous tissue of the upper respiratory tract, causing them to become inflamed and ulcerated. Aside from an abnormally high body temperature, the main clinical signs of equine influenza are a harsh, dry cough – which is the main means by which the disease spreads – and a profuse, watery nasal discharge. The damage areas in the lining of the airways may be penetrated by bacteria, causing secondary infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.

The treatment of uncomplicated cases of equine influenza consists of strict rest, usually for a week or two, to allow the disease to run its course, but secondary bacterial infections require antibiotic treatment, delaying the recovery period. Clearly, equine influenza has major economic implications for owners, trainers and anyone else involved in horse racing in Britain, so despite complaints from some quarters – not least trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies, who described the measures to contain the disease put in place by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) as a ‘massive overreaction’, the regulator has every right to be nervous. With the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National just around the corner let me hope that the situation improves over the coming days.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Kempton Park Racecourse

As one of the most revered courses in the modern racing circuit, Kempton Park Racecourse has a fantastic reputation. With plenty of entertainment going on here, from the BetBright Chase to the more classical King George XI Chase, this fantastic racecourse offers a great selection of races to come and watch. With over 200 acres of land and a fantastic woodland area that surrounds it, Kempton Park Racecourse has a wonderfully private feel to it.

With an entrance right next to Kempton Park Railway Station, getting in and out is as easy as it should be. With two inner and outer courses joined together for both flat and fenced racing, this allows the course to be as versatile as possible with the races that run here. From January to December, this holds the likes of the Lanzarote Hurdle right through to the famous Desert Orchid Chase to finish the year off.

Outside of racing, you get many antique markets held here as well as wedding fairs. As such, it’s a location with plenty of commercial activity, with regular bookings at the host of restaurants around the place making a fantastic venue to come and visit.

If you want, you can even rent out part of the racecourse for a family function. It makes a fine place for events to be held, making sure that you can have all the fun that you like at the racecourse, then maybe take in one of the numerous excellent races held here!

Wednesday 12 August 2020

15 Funny and Meaningful Horse Quotes

If your horse says "no", you either asked the wrong question, or asked the question wrong - Pat Parelli

Any money I put on a horse is a sort of insurance policy to prevent it from winning - Frank Richardson

A dog may be man's best friend...but the horse wrote history - Author Unknown

A great horse will change your life. The truly special ones define it… – Author Unknown
I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted - Author Unknown

A man on a horse is spiritually as well as physically bigger than a man on foot.  – John Steinbeck

What the colt learns in youth he continues in old age – French Proverb

A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle - Ian Fleming

A horse doesn't know whether the rider on his back wears a dress or pants away from the track -
Diane Crump

God forbid that I should go to any Heaven in which there are no horses  – R.B. Cunninghame Graham

Whenever I was upset by something in the papers, Jack always told me to be more tolerant, like a horse flicking away flies in the summer - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother -  Ted Walsh - Horse Racing Commentator

That was the first time I saw a horse start from a kneeling position! - Henny Youngman

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries - Will Rogers

A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character. - Federico Tesio

Thursday 18 June 2020

Dummies Guide!

Smeone needs to hand out some 'Dummies Guides' to horse racing here. What an absolutely strange affair from beginning to end!

Friday 15 May 2020


Beaten just twice, under mitigating circumstances, in his eight-race career, Shergar owes his place among the racing greats primarily to his 10-length win in the 1981 Derby, still the widest winning margin in the 233-year history of the race. Indeed, winning jockey Walter Swinburn always insisted that Shergar had so much in reserve that he could have won by twice as far, had he so desired.

A striking bay colt, with a white blaze and four white socks, Shergar made his debut for Michael Stoute in a maiden race, the Kris Plate, over a mile at Newbury in September 1980. Sent off the 11/8 favourite, Shergar won by 2½ lengths under Lester Piggott, setting a course record in the process. Stepped up in class for the William Hill Futurity (nowadays the Racing Post Trophy) at Doncaster the following month, Shergar finished second, beaten 2½ lengths, behind Beldale Flutter.

However, it was 1981, his three-year-old season, that was to prove the “annus mirabilis” for the son of Great Nephew. He reappeared in the Guardian Classic Trial at Sandown in April, which he won by 10 lengths, and hacked up by 12 lengths in the Chester Vase in May, with Swinburn sitting motionless. His dramatic progress from two to three years saw him promoted to 11/10 favourite for the Derby the following month, in the absence of the injured Beldale Flutter.

In the Derby, Shergar took the lead rounding Tattenham Corner and displayed a breathtaking turn of foot, drawing away to win by 10 lengths, eased down. Radio commentator Peter Bromley summed up the scene on Epsom Downs when he said, “You need a telescope to see the rest.”

Three weeks later, Shergar travelled to the Curragh for the Irish Derby where, in the absence of the suspended Swinburn, he was partnered once again by Lester Piggott. Shergar was never out of a canter to win by 4 lengths and, reunited with Swinburn and taking on older horses for the first time, won the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot by an identical margin the following month.

Instead of heading straight for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October, a change of plan saw him line up for the St. Leger at Doncaster, for which he started 6/4 favourite. However, the writing was on the wall a long way from home and Shergar weakened to finish only fourth, beaten 9 lengths, behind Cut Above, trained by Major Dick Hern and ridden by Joe Mercer. Following that defeat, Shergar wasn’t entered in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and had run his last race. Nevertheless, he had amassed £295,000 in prize money during 1981 and was voted European Racehorse of the Year.

At the end of his racing career, Shergar retired to the Ballymany Stud, County Kildare, and was syndicated for £10 million by his breeder and owner, the Aga Khan, who hoped that the colt would enhance his breeding operation. In his first season at stud, Shergar put 42 of the first 44 mares he covered in foal, but shortly before the start of his second season disaster struck.

Shergar was kidnapped from the Ballymany Stud by an armed gang on Wednesday, February 3, 1983. He apparently met a gruesome end when shot dead by his kidnappers in a stable in County Leitrim shortly afterwards, but his body has never been found. Over 30 years later, the file on the disappearance of Shergar remains open, but as Walter Swinburn put it, “I always say that the ending can never spoil the great memories.”

Saturday 21 March 2020

Australian Racing

Here at we appreciate that, although UK focused, it certainly doesn't hurt to cast a wide net at times and take a more worldwide approach. We've cast our gaze over US racing in the past and so it's high time we also did the same with Australian racing.

It was actually a rather sweet / funny story that led me to take a closer took at Australian racing over recent weeks. It was due to the story that went viral concerning a horse named Horsey McHorseFace. The horse was named after, or rather an acknowledgement of, the comedic name given to the UK research vessel now named RRS Sir David Attenborough. At the time the decision was made to ask the public via voting on the internet, what they thought the ship should be called. As you'd expect, these things never work out well and the name winning by a country mile was Boaty McBoatFace. The argument over whether to stick with this name comically went all of the way to government panels. In the end a compromise was made and a submersible on the ship kept the boaty name, which the ship itself was named after Attenborough.

In any case as stated, as a 'tip of the hat' to this, an Aussie horse was, to the amusement of many, named Horsey McHorseface. As it happened it's abilities were anything but comical, and when the three year old gained his first win in a 7f maiden race with Keagan Latham riding, the story made national and international news. He's only had one run since that time, which sadly wasn't a win, but we have high hopes for horsey. In fact I can't quite believe he doesn't yet have his own wikipedia page!

What else is going on in Australian racing you may ask? Well, let's not forget that the Melbourne Cup is fast approaching. Due to take place in Novembver, this jewel in the crown of Australian jump race events is bound to once again be one to watch. The best of the best will go head to head over a 3,200m course on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. With total prize money equal or above an impressive $6,200,000 (AU) the race is bound to be a competitive affair.

Attendance at the course is expected to be around 100,000 with millions more watching at home and around the world too. Last year's winner was Almandin ridden by Kerrin Mcvoy. It's a bit too early for us to start making 2017 Melbourne Cup predictions, but we'll soon no doubt have a clearer idea of one's to watch!

Wednesday 12 February 2020

When It's Just Not Your Day

I was skeptical of the 'this will make you give up punting' title to be honest, but to be honest if I'd been on this, I'd have felt cursed! File under 'It's not your day, mate!'

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Cheltenham Festival Infographic

Something of a trip down memory lane here, with this Cheltenham themed infographic from 2015. The 2018 festival is just around the corner now and with that in mind I thought I'd highlight one or two past years previous to its start date on March 13th. The infographic takes a quirky and informative view of Cheltenham as a whole, with an emphasis on horse racing thrown in. £150 million + is bet on the festival each year. It's certainly one of the jewels in the crown of British horse racing.