5. The Owners Lunch

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“We have a date for your diary” announced Seamus during one of our early visits to the yard – Owners Lunch Day. So a Sunday morning in early October found us driving up the A303 towards Wilsford. We had no idea what to expect other than perhaps a chance to meet other owners and see the horses. The car park was already quite full and we realised there was quite a turnout. Stepping out of the office door into the yard we found a large gathering, all with glasses in hand, mingling around the boxes and visiting their horses. All of the staff team were present, including volunteer riders and part timers, resplendent in logo’d polo shirts – clearly someone is doing a lot of vans! After visiting Moth and Shadow we were all asked to take our seats inside. The “inside” was a marquee set up within the main barn, silken lined and hung throughout with owners silks presenting a colourful picture. Round tables of 10 and plenty of wine on the table! A list of horses in the yard, presented as a race card was an interesting and clever idea but the fun was about to really begin. One by one, in listed order, the horses were paraded through  the marquee as Seamus gave a quick biography of their achievements and plans. Two large screen TVs showed their most recent wins or runs and the whole thing was an education to say the least. As the last horse went out the whole staff team were introduced to us which gave us the chance to put names to faces and this gave us the opportunity to really feel part of the set up. The final cap on the day was the excellent lunch provided by a local catering company, delicious to say the least – we did not need supper that evening. The event was an enormous success, this was an ownership experience we had not had before and it blew our socks off, something far more than “paying bills” and early mornings watching shadows in the mist. There is no doubt it took a great deal of organising and effort – from our perspective this was a terrific first few months with the Mullins team and the horses had yet to see a course! Next time we are on the gallops as Seamus and James set the pace for our young horses.