A new initiative, National Racehorse Week, has been launched to celebrate the love, care and attention racehorses receive on a daily basis.
Angmering-based trainer Suzy Smith was one of the first to open up her yard to the public. A ticketed event, free to the public, was booked out fast, showing the appetite for a chance to see what happens behind the scenes.
Situated in the beautiful Angmering Park Estate, Lower Coombe Stables is a relaxed and peaceful setting for up to 22 racehorses, with a further boarding facility for broodmares, foals and youngsters.
Guests had an opportunity to get up close to these beautiful animals, a chance to meet the team and find out about the horses’ day to day care and all their different personalities and traits.
A guided tour of the stables was then given by Suzy, followed by a chance to view the mares and foals in the paddocks.
It was then off to see the ex-racehorses, all of which had been previously trained by Suzy and run at local tracks. These were all rehomed locally and were shown in excellent condition with the eldest on display being 28 years old.
Chestnut Tree House, the local children’s hospice based at the entrance to Angmering Park Estate, provided refreshments and raised over £500 through proceeds and donations.
Guests were met by cheery volunteers and sampled cakes for a worthy cause, while the volunteers enjoyed meeting the horses and raised awareness and much needed funds for the charity.
The morning finished with some extremely interesting and informative physiotherapy and farrier demonstrations, where the guests could see up close the exceptional work of Fiona Bloom and Shane Francis and the importance they play in the performance and welfare of the horses.
It proved to be a very enjoyable and popular event, which has since received a lot of positive feedback, notably on how happy and well kept the horses were, how informative it had been and the friendliness of Suzy and the team. Suzy is passionate about involving the community and attracting new people into the sport from diverse backgrounds.