May has come around and that only means one thing here at Plumpton; the season is over. For me personally, it is the end of my first season at Plumpton. It has flown by and really has been a roller coaster of a journey, with 10 racedays in 5 months, including 2 abandonment’s, it hasn’t been plain sailing. On the other side of the coin, it has been the most enjoyable 6 months of my career so far!
I feel Plumpton has evolved in the small amount of time I have been here. The introduction of Sussex Day in April and enhancing each raceday, regardless if it is a Sunday or Monday, has meant the feedback on a whole has been positive. Sussex Day, this was my first major project, incorporating ‘all things Sussex’ into one day. Not originating from Sussex, I found this particularly challenging but I learnt as I went along, and thoroughly enjoyed the organisation that went into the day. In my opinion, for its first edition, the day was a success and should only get bigger and better each year.
As I said earlier, this is my first season and first introduction into racing. I certainly started at the deep end with the Sussex National in January, 4 days after I started, but it was perfect! I love working under pressure and there is no better way to learn than see something in action. The Sussex National was certainly a highlight of mine, my first day at the races, and to see Vinnie Lewis, the first favourite in 17 years to win the Sussex National, something I’ll never forget!
I spoke in my last blog about how I had come to appreciate the size and power of each horse, with this, I have now come to admire the whole team and what it takes to get the horse in tip-top condition to compete in every race. The jockeys, on the other hand, are some of the toughest and mentally resilient people out there. The scrutiny they are under for each race is unparalleled, especially in this day and age with social media, when every fall, decision or jump is watched by thousands. However, they get back up and go all over again for the love of the sport and their passion to win. This is something that I have complete admiration for.
Overall, I think that we have had a successful season, both on and off the track. Off the track, we have tried to build on the image already established of Plumpton, but keeping the Plumpton ‘feel’, not changing the ethos or history of the place but continually trying to improve and update the course, to become what it can be. On the track we have had the Sussex Champion Hurdle on Easter Sunday, some of the best horses and jockeys grace the track and, ultimately, we have had plenty of runners and spectators at each raceday.
All in all, a positive and very enjoyable second half of the 2017-2018 season, and we can’t wait to welcome you back for the 2018/19 season, which starts on the 23rd September with our Family Raceday!