tornade head_shotgimpedAlan and I have been very fortunate to have been the very proud owners of some super horses in Training which we have enjoyed immensely.
We favour the National Hunt Racing scene which allowed us to summer horses at home and gave me the time to prepare them before they went off to training.
However since my injury in November 2010 I was told to give up riding on medical grounds and I was forced to find homes for my horses and down size from the farm.
This was a major blow and change of lifestyle however the ownership bug was still nibbling and the desire over took us once more.
Lot 117 at the Doncaster Spring Sales on the 29th May this year took Alan's eye and along with some sound advice from various racing personalities decided this was the one!
 I was very busy working in the Veterinary yard, however I stole a few minutes to have a quick look at her then I had to leave them to it!
She was a rangy, brown 5 year old mare who on the day of the sale looked very poor and unfurnished, her coat was dull and her large eyes were sad, however we felt sure that she had room for improvement and just needed a change of scenery and routine.
We had asked Mrs Sarah Humphrey to train our new horse and they were thrilled when Tornade D'Estruval (FR) was knocked down to us. 
 She went to her new home in Suffolk and Sarah and her team began working with her understanding her likes and dislikes various characteristics and to try a set a plan out.

tornade gimped
Alan and I went down to see her in that first week and although we were pleased to see her so comfortable and settled it was evident that she still needed to furnish her frame which as Sarah pointed out Tawny was doing her best as she never stopped eating! 

This picture was taken on that day.
 She continued to flourish and was enjoying the individual attention she was receiving; her jumping became more settled and organised and she was gaining weight; Sarah's reports were encouraging.

Three weeks after our first visit, Alan travelled down to the Newmarket Links one morning to watch her school over the fences with stable jockey Jack Doyle on board.

Alan was absolutely delighted with her performance and how well she looked; he couldn't believe it was the same horse!  He immediately called me to give me the wonderful news that she was well conditioned, bright in her coat, very
happy and sooooo relaxed; 

We were really excited when we were then told that ‚Äö√Ñ√∫Tawny‚Äö√Ñ√π was to be entered in a 2 mile handicap steeplechase at Uttoxeter racecourse in Staffordshire, on the 1st July We would all learn so much more from this run and hopefully have a clearer idea as to where to go from there. 
The day was truly memorable, which we shared with close friends; TAWNY looked magnificent, unrecognisable from the day at the sales. As she swanked around the parade ring. our pride and excitement was soon replaced with anxiety; would she be safe, would she enjoy it, was the ground too soft, would she settle, all these irrational thoughts bounce around in your head as the race time gets ever closer.

As it happened we need not of worried, she had a ball; she jumped off in front of the field of 10 runners, attacked the fences with exuberance and spring heeled every one, finishing the race where she started, in front with her huge ears pricked all the way and just loving it.
She was a star. We were so proud and thrilled she had done it in such a pleasing manner.
She recovered well after the race, showing her well being and fitness. As always she never left a crumb of food in her manger that night or the following morning, after which she was turned out to relax and duly pranced, kicked, rolled and squealed;
fabulous, she knew she had done well!
We did plan to run this week however with this awful weather the ground would become too soft and testing for her. She may have a short holiday until this current weather pattern breaks. 
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Image courtesyof Alan Wright: www.officialphotographers.gbr.cc