DML Racing takes SPILLERS behind the scenes of their yard in Staffordshire to give us a rundown of what a day in the life of one of their 45 thoroughbreds in training looks like. With 31 winners so far this season, we take a look at what it takes for these horses to be the very best that they can be.
First job of the day…
Breakfast for the horses! The yard is very calm for the morning feed, giving the horses the chance to eat their breakfast before the day starts. Any feed that is left from the evening before is removed and reported just in case this is an indicator of ill health and the subsequent work load.
When the staff arrive, the first hour is spent mucking out the stables. Windows are opened, rugs are removed/changed and water buckets are cleaned and replenished to ensure plenty of fresh water is available at all times.
Staff are assigned their own horses to care for in the morning and evenings to ensure that they can build up a bond with the horses and get to know their personalities.
Time to ride
The nine work riders ride out five horses every morning. The exercise program is dependent on the day of the week and at what stage of fitness the horses are at. There is a six furlong uphill gallop, along with grass walks and quiet country lanes for mornings when the horses are having an 'easy' day and simply require a walk to stretch their legs! Wolverhampton Racecourse is used to give them a good, fast piece of work and an education away from the yard prior to actually racing.
Other activities that take place during the mornings include schooling horses over hurdles and fences, and teaching young, flat horses to come out of starting stalls.
From September to December, yearlings will be introduced to bridles and saddle, and they learn to carry weight on their backs. It typically takes 6-8 weeks to break-in a race horse. At the end of this period these horses will be going up the gallops alongside another horse. These younger horses, however, won’t see a racecourse until the following March at the earliest.
Post work out wash
The horses are washed down after exercise and go onto the horse walkers to dry off before they are returned to their stables. They’re also turned out into the paddocks on rotation, so they all get time to have a leap, buck, and some grazing time!
The horses are fed again just before the staff go for their 2 hour lunch break.
The afternoons are spent mainly grooming the horses and cleaning the stables again. Attention is given to horses requiring any special medical needs.
One of the last jobs of the evening is to feed the horses their main hard feed of the day - which includes nuts, fibre, mixes and any required supplements – these are all specific to each horse.
Every horse also receives a fresh steamed haylage net, rugs back on and windows shut up – ready for a great night rest!