My First Taste of Lambing + Stock Judging


Two weekends ago, I went to my Aunt’s friend’s farm to get a taste of lambing for the first time. My biggest goal at the moment is to pass my GCSEs which I am sitting this May (aaaaagh!), get good A-Levels and get into vet school, a bit of a big ask I know but that's what I’ve decided to do with the next 7 years of my life. However, if I am going to stand any chance of getting a place doing Vet Medicine, I need work experience and lots of it.

I have identified the main areas in which I need to acquire experience, and lambing is one of them. I don’t come from farming stock, but I have good connections enabling me to get the experience I need. This link came from my Aunty.
I went to stay with her for a couple of days, to help out with the horses, sort out my goats and do some lambing. The farmer who was letting me come and have a go had already done a lot of his lambing but there was still plenty going on and a lot left to lamb.
We went and checked out the situation and he told us that he would ring if it looked like anything was going to happen as we were only 5 minutes down the road. We went back up to the yard to carry on with our jobs and sure enough, we got the call that one was lambing just after we had watched the Grand National. We jumped in the car and quickly got to the farm, one ewe had just had twins and was pushing another out as we got there. It was born in the sac and couldn‘t breathe. The farmer was behind me, down the field a few metres and wasn't close enough so I got to break open the sac before he got there to clear the lamb's lungs. The little lamb survived and it was a great sight to see it doing well.
This is the little lamb, I realise it looks quite dead but it is alive and well. 
I got to help with moving some lambs and ewes, carrying them and getting the ewe to follow. I loved the hands on experience and it has really helped so that when I do more in the future (next year) I will have more of a clue of what is going on.

We went back the next day to see the lambs again, and we got there for morning feeding. So I got to give a few of the lambs who weren’t feeding so well a bottle. I really loved the experience and can't wait to have another go next year.

Also on the topic of sheep, I had a stock judging practice last week as I am judging breeding ewes in the county junior stock judging competition next weekend for my young farmers club. It will be my first experience of stock judging so I am excited (and nervous!) but  I have my white coat ready and I am looking forward to it.  

Point to Point - Andoversford (Subaru)


On Sunday, we went to a Point to Point event in Andoversford sponsored by Subaru. I was given a pass to go by the lovely people at Subaru and we thought it would be a great way to end the half term. We went to our local hunt’s Point to Point for the first time in a couple of years last weekend and we had a great time so we were keen to go again!

It was a very cold and quite windy day, but we soldiered on with our picnic and race cards. There were less of us this weekend so it was a smaller picnic but we had lots of nice cheeses, vegetables, and dips. We arrived in time for the first race and placed a couple of bets. Unlike the previous weekend's point to point we were not so successful with our choice of winners. Both bets placed came second!

We had a great time watching the races and looking around the different stalls. They had some lovely coats and hats, just what you need with the cold weather!
The venue had a good view of the track, you could see quite a few jumps at a time from certain spots and there was a good vantage point for most of the race. The ground was quite good considering the poorer weather we had had this week and it stayed dry while we were there. That being said, we were definitely grateful for the vendors selling hot chocolate while we stood by the track- it gave us something to warm our hands up with!

One of the highlights of the day had to be seeing The Last Samurai, the horse who had placed second just a day before in the grand national, parade around the ring.

We had a great day and I just want to say a big thank you to Subaru for putting on such a great event…
If you want to go to one of their events you can look on their website to find one near to you!

Point to Point - Upton-On-Severn


On Saturday, we went to my local hunt’s Point to Point event. We haven’t been in a few years but this year we were determined to get out to some races. The event was in Upton-On-Severn on a fairly big farm. In the morning there was a little bit of rain, so we went prepared with coats just in case, but the rain cleared up and the weather was lovely for the whole time we were there. 

We got there for the first pony race and stayed all day until the very last race. It was lovely to watch the pony racing and to see the little jockeys (some as young as 10!) really going for it. They were brilliant riders, especially for their age. The amateur races were equally as exciting with some particularly thrilling maiden races, quite a few jockeys were unseated... Hopefully, all horses and riders were okay. 

We took a lovely picnic with us, my aunt made some sandwiches: ham and coleslaw,brie and grape, egg salad and salmon; and we made a tabbouleh salad and a Caprese salad. I'm sure no one had quite as good a picnic as us! However, there was a great turnout and apparently they ran out of beer and cider at the bar!
We all had bets on the races, just a couple of pounds, to give you something to cheer for in the race. 

Because I’m not old enough to make bets, I helped my Dad to pick the horses and I think it's fair to say I am now trusted to make these decisions after our successes. I picked the horses in a slightly more logical way than my sister, who picked the horse whose name „sounded the funniest“,  and it seemed to pay off as on one £5 bet we managed to get back £30.

Overall it was a great day, we had great weather for it (which always helps!) and we all had a lovely time. I am now really looking forward to this coming weekend as we will be attending another Point to Point which I have been generously given free entrance to by Subaru, so stay tuned for another post! 

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