I’VE JUST HAD two incredibly interesting days following the next generation race horses (!) with Longines. From their home in Kingsclere to the race at Ascot.
Yesterday we went to Park House Stables in Kingsclere, south west England (the location where they filmed Downton Abbey!) to visit undoubtedly one of the best equipped and most beautiful private training establishments in the world for race horses. We walked around the facilities, the race tracks – which is as perfect as a golf course and large as a kingdom! We met the team and spoke to William Fox, one of the jockeys who together with the horse Montaly, ran at Ascot today. He said he normally goes for a run/jog around the track to make sure the footing is perfect and see it from the horse’s point of view before a race. Love that! He also showed us how he prepares Montaly for the race. He takes him up to the race course at home that are a bit further from the one next to the barn, to let Montaly see something new and and get some excitement out before going to the Ascot. He also gets new shoes made of aluminium because they ar lighter. They also weight Montaly before going away to make sure he stays on optimal weight. A horse should drop around 5 kg at a race like Ascot. It’s normal, but they don’t want him to loose too much – or too little (as then he’s not interested enough in his job).
Anyway, beside the absolutely five star experience it always is with Longines, visiting Kingsclere, staying at The Four Season Hampshire and a beautiful wine lunch at Ascot, I’m so happy to see the top race horse’s adorable and professional home, team and routines. Because it’s as in most sports: without the right care, routines and team you won’t perform at your best. I’m also humbled to help judge the best turned out horse at the Ascot on the criteria of overall health! (& not just who wore the prettiest clothes or had perfect plaits in their mane.)
To be honest I’ve had a quite negative view of the sport of racing, because I’ve heard the horses aren’t looked after properly. But I’m hugely relieved to be proved wrong. I guess it is as in any sport: you only get to the top if you truly LOVE it. And that goes for both the human team as well as the horse. Also love that Longines gives a price watch to the whole team. Not only to the owner. Both the owner, the jockey and the grooms gets a watch because it’s a team work. Something to consider for dressage I think!
Truly admiring what @Longines does for the equestrian sports to keep every being involved with sustainable health and top performance.
Huge thanks to Longines. Let’s do what we can to stay happy, healthy, passionate and well performing everyone <3
Photo with two of my favourites from my Longines family: Susanne Madsen, Editor at large at Dazed & Confused and The Horse Rider’s Journal, and the brilliant actor (and human being) Nicholas Pinnock.