The Christmas routine in many industries is the same. Office workers close down their computers and activate their out of office message, even supermarkets are declining to open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year. But, for the world of horseracing, nearly normal life continues!
Whilst in many training yards across the country, Christmas time can be a busy period, with yearlings coming in to be ridden, jump racing in peak season and all staff wanting a little bit of time off. At the British Racing School, although we do not have yearlings nor horses still racing, we do still have a yard full of former racehorses who need care, attention and exercise throughout this period.
This year, course 375 have just completed their stay at the School and have headed off for a break before starting work in their new jobs, but courses 376 and 377 are going strong and are on site to care for the equine inmates. It can often be a tricky time for our young people, many of whom will be spending their first Christmas away from home, but the staff at the School try their best to ensure everyone is happy and looked after, and enjoys the festive period.
In 2022, the courses who were onsite over Christmas were woken with Muffins and Hot Chocolate at 7am, it was a Sunday, so they practiced a Sunday routine, with no riding taking place. The yard work was completed before a full english breakfast, with each student getting a selection box of goodies. The traditional Christmas lunch was served with all the trimmings, and presents from Santa, then evening stables followed at 3.30pm. No parents are permitted to visit on Christmas day itself, but there was a party in the hostel for all the students in the evening – thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Boxing Day and the 27th December see time for visitors, as well as regular yard work, and a normal regime returns from the 28th December. Although timetables may alter slightly for this year, a similar pattern will take place. Whilst it can be a daunting time (for parents and carers as well as students!), rest assured that everyone who is onsite at the British Racing School over the festive period has a fabulous time – staff as well as students!