Blog – Records and Rainfall: Flat Season Farewell

Records and Rainfall: Flat Season Farewell

So here endeth the 2017 Flat Season, even though they race on turf for another fortnight and this weekend could see history made with an unprecedented 26th Group One win of the year for Maestro O’Brien, who has taken this training game to new heights.

But there’s still some work to do. I sit on a couple of voting panels one of which will choose Racehorse of the Year- surely Enable after her glorious conquest of Three Oaks and the French in a never to be forgotten demolition job in the Arc at Chantilly.

And after a summer in which the Weather Gods ran as badly as some of the best backed horses, perhaps an award for the worst ‘soaking while covering racing’ of 2017.

It’s an award with a long and distuinguished short list, even though, I am happy to report, despite the gloomy forebodings from the usual suspects last Saturday when Storm Brian was due to at Ascot he appears not to have booked a ticket so it does not qualify.

But there are plenty of days that do. Ascot gets on the list for the spectacular cloudburst on King George Day in July, the night after York on a music night when ‘Wet Wet Wet’ would have felt at home.

Then there was the first day of the Ebor Festival at York. The train is admirable- 2 hours from London- but waiting for a platform outside York station that Wednesday morning the sky got darker and darker and darker. In 2 hours the rainfall count was of cricket score proportions.

But no, dear Reader, that doesn’t get the prize.

It goes to Sussex Stakes day at Goodwood. The leafy Sussex Downs are truly glorious on a fine summers day but on that memorable Wednesday it got wetter and wetter and wetter. No one would have argued if the racing had been called off because of the waterlogged state of the crowd.

It’s not all glamour in this job you know!

By Mike Vince

Anna says thanks and goodbye! – Blog

She’s Anna way to the states – Anna says thank you and goodbye to LBP

I couldn’t wait to start working for Lloyd Bell Productions this summer; I was so excited to work with all the different clients and events. Now I am leaving, I am truly sad to go as I have enjoyed every part of work over the summer!

Throughout the summer I have had the opportunity to work on loads of events from the Athletics World Championships in London to Goodwood Festival horse racing.

My personal highlight though has to be attending Burghley and Gatcombe Horse Trials. I have always dreamt of attending both events however have never been able to go, but this year it all changed as I finally went to the event but not just to watch, I managed to meet some of the top riders in British and world eventing.

I love Equestrian sport and have been lucky to work on plenty of horsey events over the summer but I have also enjoyed working on other events which I would have never experienced without Lloyd Bell Productions. Athletics events were a big feature of the summer and if I am truthful, I did not watch athletics in the past but as the summer continued I found myself watching more and more athletics and will definitely keep up with it in the future.

One day I hope to start running my own events and my time here has given me plenty of new skills, knowledge and experience which I hope to use in the future. I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer working for Lloyd Bell and while I don’t want to leave, I am also looking forward to starting my next chapter in Aspen Colorado!

So long!

 

By Anna

Mike Vince Racing UK Blog

Mike Vince Racing UK Blog 

There’s one thing that stands out about this job- variety and the need to deal with all sorts of emotions.

First there was the honour of being Racecourse Commentator as 30,000 packed Ascot for the DDF Shergar Cup, regarded as the world’s premier jockey’s challenge. Calling 12 of the world’s greatest is special enough but the fact they all wear team colours makes it a challenge. But although my rooftop eerie can be lonely, the atmosphere generated by the crowd as the race reaches its climax- hopefully lifted by a few well chosen words- is amazing. (you might understand by watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93jNbBqfo2E)

Then came 4 days of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Four magical days in Gods Own County where the horses who stole the show were Ulysses, Enable (our best of the year) and Marsha but the first day welcome was one of the most spectacular if happily short lived cloudbursts I have ever seen. York is famous for the successes of its summer music programme but it really did seem Wet Wet Wet had made an unscheduled appearance.

There have been trips to Ireland in between- notably for the first day of the Longines Irish Champions weekend, but in recent days two tasks that really made you realise why racing is more than just a sport to countless thousands.

It was back to York on Sunday for a day which featured the first running of the Tom O’Ryan Apprentice Handicap, named in memory of the man who was my Presentation colleague at York in 2016 until he was stricken in late July which claimed his life just five short weeks later.

How Tom would have loved that the race was for Apprentices. He mentored many, who sought him out as his advice was solid gold- just as his friendship was to people like me. Yorkshire was his adopted home and he would have been thrilled that a young man named Callum Rodriguez, who spoke with a sincerity and dignity of how everyone had talked about Tom that did him enormous credit, should have won the race.

Just 24 hours later I found myself interviewing jockey George Baker. A year ago he celebrated his finest hour when he rode the winner of the world’s oldest classic, the St Leger, at Doncaster on Harbour Law, the first victory in a race first run in 1776 for a woman trainer.

This weekend he will be back on Town Moor, just pleased to be there after life threatening injuries in the most horrific fall at St Moritz where horses race on ice. He talked amazingly about how watching that Leger DVD has helped so much in his recovery and in a 3 minute interview used the word positive no less than 5 times. There have been few more popular jockeys in the flat racing world in the past decade. His courage does him huge credit.

It was, of course, Bill Shankly who once said ‘Football to many is a matter of life and death- to us it is much more serious’.

What a shame no one in racing has ever encapsulated what the sport means in such memorable prose.

My Day at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – Blog

My Day at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is one of the biggest dates in the Eventing calendar, and after 15 years of wanting to see what Burghley is like, I finally got the opportunity to attend the event! I can say it definitely lived up to expectations!

I drove up on the first day of competition to watch riders who were fulfilling their dream by making their debut at Burghley while once again the event attracted the top names from all over the world.

I have been an equestrian fan since I was 5 years old when I started riding and being able to go to Burghley was a dream come true. Watching the riders warm up and see how they prepare to achieve a near flawless dressage test, is incredible.  I will definitely be hoping to use some of their tactics when I compete!

Listening to what the riders said in the interviews was one of my absolute highlights as hearing how they prepare to get to an event such as Burghley was truly interesting but also how they see Burghley as one of the biggest ‘stages’ in Eventing.

Burghley however offers far more than just top level sport with the shopping area being one of the best at an Equestrian event and I made sure I had time to have a look at some of the shops! I could not believe the variety in the trade stands from tack stalls, to jewelry, to art and finally horse lorries – there’s no doubt Burghley definitely offers something for everyone.

Anna’s Introduction

Anna’s Introduction 

Hey I am Anna, I have just joined the Lloyd bell team for the summer! I am from Pembrokeshire in South Wales.

I am a student at Bournemouth University studying events management, in November I will be off to USA for my placement year in Aspen Colorado. I will be working in a top ski resort as part of their events team!

I have been playing sport ever since I can remember, my two main sports are horse riding and Hockey though I love watching all sports. I have been riding and competing since I was 5 years old, I have competed at various competitions across the country up to Pony Club National Champs.

I have been playing hockey since I was 11, I have represented South West Wales and was a member of Wales’ Goal keeping under 18’s goal keeping coaching programme. I am currently a member of the Bournemouth University XI hockey team.

I hope to gain new and different experiences through joining the Lloyd Bell team I am really looking forward to being a member of the team and getting involved various projects with the team throughout the summer!  I am really looking forward to working on the equestrian and hockey events Lloyd Bell are involved with!