Friday 28 August 2015

Newmarket Open Weekend

Saintly  connection for Newmarket’s newest training yard

A heathen saint associated with healing of horses will be invoked at Newmarket’s Open Day with the official launch of the town’s newest yard.
Saint Wendred's on Hamilton Road has been named after the little known woman saint by trainers Ilka Gansera  Leveque and husband Stephane.
It’s an appropriate association for Ilka, who is also a qualified vet and practices natural horsemanship after time spent with Monty Roberts.

The yard opening on Sunday 20 September will feature displays from sculptress Deborah Burt  and artist Michelle McCullagh, both members of the Society of Equestrian Artists.

Deborah will be displaying her acclaimed ‘Equus I’ horse’s head, inspired by the Horse of Selene from the Parthenon frieze and the Arabian racehorse Hidalgo. In advance of her solo exhibition in London in November, Michelle is donating a sketch for a raffle which also includes tickets to the following weekend's racing.

Ilka will conduct tours of the yard, with demonstrations by a farrier and a physiotherapist.
There will be the opportunity to join a racing syndicate.
Visitors  also have the chance to see one of the UK's top racing Arabian stallions, Storm Troupour, trained by Stephane.
Recently shipped from America, Storm Troupour is being aimed at the Shadwell Arabian Derby in Newmarket  on Friday 25 September,  part of the DIAR (Dubai International Arabian Races) programme. The UK Arabian Derby  is sponsored by Shadwell Stud and supported by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.  The UK Arabian Derby is the final race of our UK Arabian race season.
Newly-named Saint Wendred's is part of the yard previously owned and built by Bill O'Gorman, whose Seven Springs yard name also harked back to the healing springs nearby.
Local history has it that one particular well was an ancient heathen water source which became Christianised into St. Wendred's well because of the healing power of the water used for walking horses into. 
It was also in the holy water of this well that Etheldreda, foundress of E!y Cathedral, was believed to have been baptised after her birth in nearby Exning.  St Wendreda’s Church in March, allegedly home to the saint’s relics, is the only church in the UK to ears her name
Exning itself traces its history back to the Celtic Iceni tribe headquartered in Exning. They were noted for the export of horses,  the perfect forerunner for Newmarket’s modern role as the global HQ  of flat racingp
Saint Wendred’s can be found on the lower part of Hamilton Road, around the bend on the right hand side.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Mission complete

It's been a while since the last post due to "the move"; but in normal Gansera-Leveque fashion the wheels have been in motion. 
All of the horses settled in nicely from day one, and now finally all of the moving-boxes (human living quarters) are unpacked as well. Hooray!  Pictures are starting to go up on the walls too and it's as if we have always been here. Well, ... kind of.
What a great honour to be neighbours with the living legend Bill O'Gorman. I can not recommend his book enough, have a look online and order it , you will not regret it. 

We hope the first Saint Wendred's winner hits the track soon and the sales season can commence. Bring it on! We are chomping at the bit and rearing to go!

Saint Wendred's will have a little opening do during the Newmarket Open Weekend for all owners, supporters and friends near and far, so please make sure to drop in if you are about/ in town that weekend .

On my to do list: find a suitable boulder for the Saint Wendred's sign to be placed next to the entrance on Hamilton Road.  Suggestions anyone? I know: it never gets boring…… 
Oh yeah, and more about the name Saint Wendred's in future blogs. So stayed tuned!