A TYPICAL DAY AT
JACK BARBER RACING
I get to the yard for 6.15 am where the first job is to check the horses with the head girl- Jackie Smith. Jackie feeds at 06.00 am meaning the horses have a good chance to digest their food before exercise. Then it’s time for a cup of coffee and I organize the lots board and the training routine for the horses. This allows me to tailor the work according to the needs of each individual horse. Variety is important to keep the horses interested in their daily work and I plan a schedule for each horse with this objective in mind.
The rest of the team start at 7 am when they muck out their horses (generally 4 each) and first lot pulls out at 7.45 am. After legging up and giving instructions, I drive to the top of the gallops to watch the horses work. On many occasions, I am accompanied by my owners which I enjoy. As an owner, there’s nothing better than seeing things with your own eyes and this also gives me a chance to discuss race planning.
Horses are paired to work together according to their ability. When the horses are working on the gallops I observe the pace that the horse travels up the gallop, listening to their breathing as they go by and then when they have completed their work I ask each rider for their feedback on the horse’s performance.
When a horse is close to running they will do at least one fast piece of work per week, which will help me to judge how near they are to being ready to run.
After first lot, the staff have their breakfast whilst I make the declarations and entries in the office. Once breakfast is finished the team then ride second and third lot. The Mucking out continues and putting horses on the walker is part of the daily routine this is completed by a dedicated yard person whilst the rest of the team are riding out. By lunchtime the stables are finished, the hay is prepared for evening stables and the horses are fed their lunch.
At lunch time the staff go home, Jade and I get the opportunity to compare notes from the morning. For the next two hours, it’s paperwork in front of the racing on the TV or back in the office talking to owners and race planning. Of course, when the season starts we will be off to the races when we have runners.
The staff start work again at 3.15 pm when their responsibilities include grooming, putting horses on the walker giving them a chance to stretch their muscles after the morning exercise and then bedding up and a final feed. During this time Jackie and I will check over each individual horses legs. Work finishes at 5.30 pm.