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Schooling a Newcomer

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  • #12325
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3329

    How long would you expect a trainer to spend schooling a newcomer to hurdles before he’s capable enough, and safe enough, to run him in a race.

    I ask the question as Tim Vaughan has two horses that he bought last Wednesday at Doncaster Sales – Gulf President and Wahan – both 3-y-old colts off the flat, and both are entered for a novice selling hurdle at Stratford on Thursday.

    I’m a little surprised by that as I would have anticipated it would need at least a couple of weeks, and probably longer, to educate a horse sufficiently to make him safe for his rider and for the others in the race.

    I should add that both horses might well be taken out at the final declaration stage if the trainer isn’t happy with their jumping and I’m not specifically having a dig at Tim Vaughan. I’m just interested in how long others might feel is needed to school a newcomer?

    AP

    #243130
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    I suppose it’s possible that they were popped over a hurdle or two at their previous yard and that Tim is already aware that they can get from A to B.

    But you would expect them to have a week or two’s schooling before being let loose on the track.

    The way some horses deal with the obstacles it is doubtful if some yards have even got practice hurdles.

    Colin

    #243168
    guskennedy
    Member
    • Total Posts 759

    At least as interesting to me is the fact that it’s a seller. He’s very quickly formed an opinion on their level of ability.

    #243170
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3329

    Gus,

    It almost looks as if they were bought with this race in mind. Tim Vaughan picked up ten horses over the two days of the Doncaster sale, six of which cost £5,000 or less. It does seem a little odd that such an up and coming yard would want so many apparently poor horses.

    I considered the possibility they already had jumping experience, but it does seem unlikely given one came from Clive Brittain and the other from Mick Channon, neither of whom are noted for their novice hurdlers.

    AP

    #243171
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    The way some horses deal with the obstacles it is doubtful if some yards have even got practice hurdles.

    Colin

    Colin

    Licensed Trainers and Permit holders are required to have at least one plain fence and one open ditch on their training ground. They must also have at least two flights of hurdles plus access to nursery facilities consisting of poles, logs, tyres or similar.

    The relevant conditions are available of the BHA website in the Licensing section.

    Rob

    #243174
    graysonscolumn
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6964

    Would it be too mischievous to suggest there is a difference between

    having

    the schooling obstacles and

    using

    them?

    I do agree that Tim Vaughan’s evident purchasing of these animals only to risk losing them in sellers days later seems a tad odd. Finding the right race for a moderate horse is one thing, but knowing these would be the right horses for the Stratford race almost as soon as he’d got them home?

    gc

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    #243179
    Gerald
    Member
    • Total Posts 4293

    I’ve never had involvement with horses or working at a racing stable either. Surely there must be quite a few members who can answer this question?

    I’ve always assumed, or at least got the impression, that horses are only schooled 2 or 3 times over flights or jumps before being let loose on the racetrack.

    #243182
    Venusian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1665

    That may often be the case in the UK, but in France the schooling is much more thorough. There, horses are given a proper grounding, being loose schooled frequently, and from a much earlier age than is the case here.

    That’s why they tend to be, in the main, more reliable jumpers of obstacles (and also, perhaps, why UK and Irish jockeys are better at presenting a horse at an obstacle – they have to be to make up for the deficiencies of the trainers!).

    #243183
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    "Would it be too mischievous to suggest there is a difference between having the schooling obstacles and using them? "

    That was going to be my reply, Jeremy.

    Colin

    #243184
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    "I considered the possibility they already had jumping experience, but it does seem unlikely given one came from Clive Brittain and the other from Mick Channon, neither of whom are noted for their novice hurdlers"

    Fair enough,Alan, but I do have a misty memory of Mick having a few hurdlers, seem to remember them being ridden by a young lady (a girlfriend, perhaps?).

    Colin

    #243185
    moehat
    Participant
    • Total Posts 8393

    This is purely from memory [and not a very good one at that] but didn’t something happen years ago concerning a horse called Tir Na Nog that had had very little schooling before racing which resulted in a jockey being killed?

    #243187
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3329

    Colin,

    That was Lorna Vincent – and I have very happy memories of one winner they combined to produce, as Va Utu was the final leg of a winning Jackpot ticket at Lingfield in March 1993.

    But Mick wasn’t at West Ilsley then and I don’t think he’s had any runners over hurdles since he moved.

    AP

    #243190
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    I’m pleased I helped recall a golden moment for you, Alan.

    A rather belated, congratulations, m’boy.

    Colin

    #243192
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    That may often be the case in the UK, but in France the schooling is much more thorough. There, horses are given a proper grounding, being loose schooled frequently, and from a much earlier age than is the case here.

    Anyone who has watched the charges of up-and-coming Borders trainer James Ewart will know the help that a grounding in France can give. All his jumpers know their job when they appear on the track and he clearly benefitted from his spell with Guillaume Macaire.

    Rob

    #243198
    Grey Desire
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1922

    Mick Channon still has the occasional runner over hurdles,generally tend to be the lesser horses that he has ran in his own colours from the flat

    #243201
    robnorth
    Participant
    • Total Posts 6226

    Would it be too mischievous to suggest there is a difference between

    having

    the schooling obstacles and

    using

    them?

    gc

    gc

    Whether trainers school their horses properly is up to them. But if I was an owner I’d expect my jumpers to be schooled properly.

    Over a period of time I like to think I get an idea of those who train their jumpers properly and those who just go in with a ‘try it and see what happens’ approach.

    Rob

    #243237
    rory
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2685

    This is purely from memory [and not a very good one at that] but didn’t something happen years ago concerning a horse called Tir Na Nog that had had very little schooling before racing which resulted in a jockey being killed?

    Not quite.

    Richard Davis died after a fall from a horse called Mr Sox, trained by Laura Shally. After the even it was rumoured variously that the horse had never been schooled and/or that he had a cracked pelvis at the time of the race. Neither of these claims was substantiated in any way. Despite that, someone had the brilliant idea of deliberately poisoning all of Ms Shally’s horses which led to three of them dying excruciatingly painful deaths. One of those was Tir N Nog, who was a three time winner.

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