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December 21 Newsletter

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November was a pretty good month all round. Up and down at times, but altogether pretty sweet.

First and foremost, all the yards we attend seem to be having a fruitful, fun patch. I don’t wanna jinx it, but it’s nice to see we are all doing well.

Emily and myself went for a much deserved week of holiday in St Lucia. I don’t generally do well on holiday as I just keep thinking about work and I get bored within 48 hours but in this particular case I just slept most of the week on a sun bed. Weather was great, rainy in the morning till 9am every day, then scorchio the rest of the day. We stayed in a lovely resort on the west coast of the island, did a couple excursions, ate and drank plenty and got our batteries fully charged.

Shauna and Axelle were exceptionally busy at home and with Emma and Tash’s help, they kept everything under control.

With the jump season in full swing we are all flat out and clocking them miles. It’s crazy to think we are only a month away from Xmas and pretty soon we will have to write 2022 when signing a sales receipt at Goffs. The last two years were perhaps a bit bizarre, 2020 for sure, and it feels to me like 2021 has just flown by.

It’s already that time of the year when Emily relentlessly asks me to go buy a Xmas tree so in order to maintain peace in our household I got no option apart abide.

We are gearing up for a busy 2022 breeding season. Shauna has got all of her bits and bobs sorted in the lab and by the looks of it she will have a fairly busy spring with her repro caseload. We have acquired more equipment to look after mares and foals so let us know if we can be of any help; obviously no one really wants to see the vet that much but we are a cheap date really as we just live on coffee and biscuits (possibly milk chocolate digestives).

Axelle is leaving us mid December - it’s sad to see her going as she’s been with me for 2 and half years but that’s life and people come and go. All of you now are well aware that Axelle loves doing those things that involve chopping bits off horses: her new job is mainly hospital based, involving chopping bits off horses, so we are sure this will work out great for her.

We look forward to Dave starting with us in the beginning of January. He comes from Coolmore and has spent plenty of time in Fethard where I was about 12 years ago, which feels like ages if I think about it.

He was strongly recommended to myself by my good friend Tom O Brien (the one with a hand on his head on the pic below) who is now one of the main surgeons for Ballydoyle. It is a small world as me and Tom lived in the same dive of a house when we were students / interns in Kentucky: he was an intern, I was a shy Italian student with limited spoken English, even less than now! Him and another Irish intern called Howard Kenny (the one on the right of the pic) looked after myself whilst there and we became good friends, in fact if I think about it now, they probably were part of the reasons why I got employed at Hagyards Kentucky back in the days!

Anyway Dave came for an interview literally out of the blue: Tom texted me saying he was “worth hiring”. Then I get a phone call saying (to be read with a strong Irish accent) “hey I’m in England anyway in a weeks time, should I come have a look around?” to which I replied “sure why not, meet me 6am at the office”.

Dave was actually on time, and proceeded to chat away about horses and rugby for the following 2h until we made it to Cheshire; we then found out he’s got a virtually identical twin (from a different mother and a different father) working in the UK at McCain’s. Anyway Tom was right, he was worth hiring so we hired him! He’ll become a familiar face to all of you fairly quickly I’m sure. He will be based in the Cotswold of course but will surely spend some time near Cardiff as his girlfriend lives there so perhaps this would be a good opportunity to develop a patch of clients in that direction.

We are still looking for one more vet to come and join us. Vet market has really changed since corporatisation became widespread. Brexit had an impact too - I used to get Euro applicants all time, whilst now the number has dropped significantly probably due to immigration restrictions/visas etc.

Being an immigrant/human myself really and highly valuing the importance of having an international team, where everyone brings in a different way to skin a cat, it’s a shame to now have such limitations impacting not only the vet market, but may other trades. Furthermore I don’t want to be the only one with a funny accent anymore, “me good speaks Englis”.


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