Monday, 8 December 2008

a dog called Joey

Fearghal Davies came to school some of the horses over fences this morning, most particulary Skipping Chapel who had to prove himself if he was to be declared for Sedgefield tomorrow; he did the job well and I hope he will make a good steeplechaser, essentially everything he has done so far has simply been in preparation for tomorrow's test. Fearghal also jumped Amulree over the smaller fences in preparation for her debut over obstacles next Monday at Ayr, two of the pointers - Commercial Express & Seeking Power were also very good which was a huge relief, I find schooling stressful as it is so easy for things to go wrong.

Fearghal stayed on Sunday night and I was interested to hear how he had ended up working as a jump jockey for Nicky Richards at Greystoke; he comes from a town in Co Tipperary. Mad about horses and racing he had managed to pick up a few rides in point-to-points, when he was 18 and still at school he had a "real bad fall" which left him unconscious for 3 days and knocked all his front teeth out, he had such bad concussion that he was unable to take his leaving certificate and was faced with either repeating his last year at school or going off to work in racing; he chose the latter and went to work for Charlie Swan, he then managed to get a job at Greystoke and his first public ride there was on a horse owned by some of us called Seeking Shelter at Ayr, she was swinging off the bridle turning for home when her pelvis fractured causing her to crash through the wing of the third last hurdle, it was the best part of a year before he had his next ride, he kept grafting though and has now established himself as a good jockey in the North, still only 22 he is tremendously hard-working and I suspect his story is typical of many of the Irish lads in racing, what impresses me most is his incessant optimism - let's pray he's lucky and gets the success he deserves. If not though he already has his second careeer lined up as he swears he would be a shoe-in for the X Factor, we didn't get to hear him singing....

Mrs A has just taken delivery of her Xmas present, a very inquisitive Jack Russell called....... Joey... hmmm

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