Following an insightful visit to the training base of Andrew Balding at Park House Stables (read the full story) WiR members and guests enjoyed an afternoon of engaging racing at Newbury Racecourse.
With a win first time out in the first race on the card for the Balding team with VICTORIA POLLARD to a display of Derby-winning potential with a post-racing gallop from ELM PARK a better day’s racing you couldn’t wish for.
|Picture courtesy of a WiR
member. And yes, she really
was that close.
And Her Majesty the Queen was in attendance as well. It has become an annual tradition for the Queen to attend the opening fixture of Newbury’s season and it was a bonus to find her making her way to the paddock along with everyone else. Although this year her pre-birthday treat ended with two near misses. CAPEL PATH, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, finished third but it was the Queen’s Hannon-trained two-year-old RING OF TRUTH who looked the one who got away finishing second only touched off by a short head.
But WiR had notable guests of its own in Michelle McCullagh and Peter Wilson – a well-connected couple. Michelle is a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) as well as being a patron for HEROS (Homing Ex-Racehorses Organisation Scheme). She has been commissioned by Dubai Duty Free to do a watercolour of Sheik Mohammed and the Queen at Newbury Racecourse. She was able to use the WiR event as part of her preparation. Alongside was her Olympian boyfriend Peter, well known for winning Team GB’s first Gold medal of the London Olympics in 2012 in the Double Trap. Now retired from sport shooting Peter is still the current world record holder for the event, having scored 198 out of 200 at a World Cup event in Arizona during 2012. He now concentrates on training the next generation of competitors.
Also in the group were Michelle’s colleague and fellow SEA member sculptor Debbie Burt and retired director of Market Rasen racecourse Jean Lucas together with her daughter-in-law Sue Lucas.
“We have been treated to two amazing racing experiences thanks to Women in Racing recently,” Sue commented. “A wonderful event at the Crabbie’s Grand National fixture with the Grand Women’s Summit on ladies day, which included a course walk of the awe-inspiring Grand National fences with some amazing jockeys, and now a behind the scenes experience at Andrew Balding’s yard and racing at Newbury.”
Sue joined WiR to find out more about the world of racing and pursue an avenue to potentially follow in her mother-in-law’s footsteps and was very pleased with what she had learned: “There has been a lot of travelling, but jockeys, trainers, stable staff, the horses and their connections do this every day in racing. It has been well worth the effort.”