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Kicking Off 2022 With Natalya

Happy New Year everyone! Since my last blog, not much race riding has happened. However, I did really enjoy the Christmas period and even managed to get back home to Yorkshire for a couple of days to see the family which was nice.

At the beginning of December, I rode Argot for Claire Hart at Charing. We were travelling well and jumping nicely until unfortunately we hit the 10th fence rather hard and Argot fell, which lead to me face planting the ground….Not the ideal way to fall!! The report from the stewards claimed I was not unconscious just extremely dazed- I don’t have much recollection of events happening afterwards until I was in the car on the way home. Due to this, I was stood down from riding until I had completed a concussion test.

I spent the next week taking things easy and I attended Oaksey House for physio. Work has pretty much been the usual schooling, galloping and taking horses racing until I was cleared to race ride on 20th December. I cannot thank the on course stewards and medical team, Injured Jockeys Fund, Oaksey House and the BHA for all their help and support from the moment of the fall to getting me back on the track so quickly.

I had my first race ride back in the saddle at Horseheath on Sunday where I got to ride Bawnmore on his seasonal debut for boss Tom Ellis. He jumped and travelled great until his fitness got the better of him 2 out and we finished second to the Nick Pearce trained Mr Love. It was Bawnmore’s first run after a wind op and we knew he would need the run so hopefully he should be there or thereabouts next time! The next race saw Gina Andrews become the all-time leading lady point-to-point rider on the one and only Fumet D’Oadairies. There was plenty of celebrating afterwards and it was a great way to end an unforgettable 2021 for many reasons!

I now head to Ampton next weekend for two rides. Firstly, I ride my parents horse Blazing Tom in the Ladies. He’s been doing everything right at home and feels his usual chirpy self. It will be interesting to see how well he runs on the softer ground! I also ride Fox Valley in the Novice Riders for the Signy and Marriage families. She is a quirky mare that needs things to go her way. She likes the track and if she puts her best foot forward she will run a nice race.

I don’t have any rides planned after Ampton at the moment but I will be spending plenty of time in the gym burning off the Christmas weight gain!

That’s it from me and I’ll give you an update next month on hopefully a much busier January! All the best for 2022!

Images kindly provided by Neale Blackburn Photography & Jeff Welch Photogaphy

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