On Saturday 25th January we held our Annual General Meeting and treated our members to an Open Day at Middle Bouts Farm, home of Tom Gretton Racing.
We ventured through the mud and endured the bitter temperatures to watch the horses train on the gallops – swiftly followed by a bacon buttie (or 3) and a cup of tea to recover!
Once thawed out, we got down to business. Up for discussion was the following:
- Re-homing of ex-club horses
- Acquisition of Thats Ben
- Racing plans
- Further Acquisitions
- Regional Club Get Together(s)
- Election of Officers
Re-homing ex-racehorses is always a difficult area – as you are all aware, Group 1 Racing has raised awareness on this topic, as well as actively participating in raising funds to help support retired racehorses. Group 1 Racing goes to great lengths to ensure their horses find the right home after their careers in racing have finished. Gouranga has recently been re-homed as an eventer, and Pips Assertive Way as a companion. Both are happy, and their new owners have contact with the club if anyone wants updates on how they are getting on.
Since the last AGM, a promising 8 year old novice chaser Thats Ben (IRE) has been acquired as a partnership horse for the club. 10% shares sell at £750 + £50 per month keep – 30% remains available. He is now fully racing fit, well handicapped and ready to win when conditions suit.
Lordship (IRE) is currently in Bristol with Shanie Payne, recovering from a slight injury. He will be in work again this coming summer and Jake Payne will be available to prepare him. (You may recognise this name – Jake & Lordship have won together on 3 different occasions!) Our record breaking steeple chaser – Kinkeel, is currently enjoying the hunt scene and is likely to carry on his racing career to break the world record after this hunting season ends in the Summer of 2014! Swing State and Thats Ben (IRE) are in training with Tom Gretton and will race throughout this National Hunt Season.
As usual the Racing Club is likely to buy a new partnership horse in Autumn 2014 to add the current Club string. Several horses have been successfully acquired, either privately or from the Doncaster or Newmarket sales in recent and past times, including Lordship (winner of 5 races); Limpac West (winner of Group & conditions races); King William (winner of 11 races); and Kinkeel (winner of over £50,000 in prize money).
Onto the social side of things! As a group we try to get together once a year for the AGM – other than that we frequently meet up at the various race meetings across the country. We are aware that sometimes these meetings can get cancelled at short notice due to weather conditions and events out of our control – this doesn’t help the fact that a lot of your have already booked the time off work etc to go to races. As we all have the time available, and clearly have lots of shared interests it has been suggested that we still meet up and take advantage of our free time! We will start forums in the members area – creating an easy platform for you all to communicate with each other to arrange plans! This could also help arrangement with shared travel if some of you are starting from similar locations. It has also been mentioned that club members would like to meet up before and after race meetings – maybe a pub lunch near by, or a dinner together after the races have finished to reflect on the day and compare our betting tactics! Again – all of this can be discussed within the forum – more details on this to follow!
And finally – the election of officers! Dr. Stephen Foster was confirmed as Chairman, Dave Hadley was newly elected as Vice-Chairman. Laura Gretton kindly offered to fill the role of Communications Officer and will provide periodic updates on the partnership horses and how their training is going. Andrea Ford and Sue Morris will continue to share secretarial/administrative functions. Stephen Foster undertook the role of booking owners badges for club members at the racecourse until someone becomes available to fulfil this post. Kate Foster remains Company Secretary/Treasurer.
Socionics Ltd, with the XML London logo, continue as the club sponsors for a second year.