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No Stopping Natalya

Updated: Feb 7

Despite not riding myself, this month has been rather hectic with regular rehab visits to Jack Berry House and Blazing Tom running twice.

At the beginning of the month we headed to Hexham for the Heart of all England. To say I was nervous was quite an understatement; I definitely did plenty of box walking! Tommy faced a strong field of six runners and was never travelling, giving Joe quite the leg workout. To be honest he looked beaten until jumping the last having been given a peach by Joe to win by a couple of lengths going away. I have never felt such a big relief after so much bad luck of late! Absolutely delighted for Joe to gain his second Heart and to give Sandra her long-time dream of winning one of the biggest races in the north!

We didn’t really have any plans for Tommy after Hexham but when we turned him out the following morning, he was very fresh, bucking and squealing so we went back to the drawing board and saw the race at Stratford. A massive gamble with it being such a high class race but with him only being a novice for the rest of the season and feeling well we made a plan to head there.

My nerves were definitely worse this time, having sleepless nights wondering if we had bitten off more than we could chew but as always Tommy didn’t disappoint. He jumped and travelled so much better than Hexham and when jumping the last he looked the winner. Unfortunately out of nowhere the Irish horse of Dave Christie found an extra gear and went on to win. Tommy was only beaten two and a quarter lengths into third. It wasn’t the perfect ten wins but what a legend this horse has been. Rated 75 going into Hexham and to run like that against top class horses...we couldn’t be happier. Definitely made the 12 hour round trip worthwhile! Massive thank you to Joe for giving him two great rides also Jess and Sandra for keeping the show on the road.

Within all the excitement I have had my final check-up and been signed off by the hospital, however I’m still not allowed back on a horse until July. However, the Jack Berry House team have been keeping me busy; I am in there at least three times a week concentrating on getting back riding out and on the racecourse. I am loving my time there and getting to work with such a great team. 8 weeks down the line and I guess I could say things are nearly back to normal thanks to the great support I have got around me.

This next month will see me really concentrating on my fitness to get back in the saddle and I will also be taking my first trip to Royal Ascot as well as enjoying the Queen's Jubilee!

Images kindly provided by Chasdog Photography

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