THE Clarilawmuir yard of Coltherd Racing was a hive of activity on Monday, July 15, with no fewer than 13 horses patiently waiting their turn to have new shoes fitted by the father-and-son farrier partnership of Stewart and Steven Shiel (pictured left).

The farriers' visit meant that the customary summer break enjoyed by these horses since the end of April is now at an end. Over the coming weeks, trainer Stuart Coltherd and his team will start preparing the horses to return to racing, through a carefully monitored fitness schedule, schooling programme and feed regime.

"For the past couple of months or so they've been enjoying a good lay-off and recovery period out in the fields surrounding Clarilawmuir," said Stuart. "Now it's time to get the horses' shoes back on and begin getting them prepared for the racetrack."

Stuart sets great store by the service and expertise provided by Borders-based farriers S. A. Shiel Blacksmith Ltd.

"Stewart and Steven have been coming here to shoe our horses for over 15 years. They're hard workers, very reliable, and are obviously very important members of the Coltherd Racing team."

For his part, Stewart says he finds the horses at Clarilawmuir a pretty calm bunch, and therefore easy to work with.

"It can sometimes be a bit harder when horses have been freshly brought in after spending a fair bit of time outside," said Stewart. "However, we haven't encountered any problems today and don't really see any difficulties arising."

Stewart and Steven have been working in tandem for the past 22 years, and as well as serving a large number of customers in the central and eastern Borders, also have clients in Northumberland.



JOCKEY Sam Coltherd and Captain Redbeard did everyone proud in the 2019 Randox Grand National at Aintree. A brilliant jumping display allowed Sam and the 10-year-old gelding to stay in contention right up until the race's final stages, eventually finishing in 16th place out of the 40-strong field.

Back at Coltherd Racing's Clarilawmuir yard, the 20-year-old jockey said the whole day had been an 'unbelievable' experience.

"On arrival you do the course walk and next it's into the stewards room at 12 o' clock. Then, when the horses finally get out on the track, it's all over in a split second - you wouldn't think it's an eight-minute or a 10-minute race.

"I thought as long as I had a wee bit of room the whole way round, I wasn't really worried about my lad jumping," said Sam. "People falling round me was my biggest concern, but luckily we got a clear run after the first and it went to plan.

"He just never quite stayed the marathon trip, but he gave it his all and he's tried his best, so no excuses this time anyway. The support I've had has been unbelievable, and. I'd like to thank everyone for all their good wishes."

Sam's father Stuart Coltherd, who trains and owns Captain Redbeard, was quick to pay tribute to the pair's stunning achievement.

"Without a doubt he's exceeded all expectations," said Stuart. "At one time I think he was fourth or fifth jumping the Canal Turn, so at that stage it looked as though the dream was possible.

"The horse hasn't quite stayed the four miles but I'll take that any day, he's run really well, so no complaints. I'm always saying to Sam that if you've got the horse in a position to win the race and well, he was there if the horse was good enough.

"It must have been a big thrill for him as the horse has jumped great and they're both back in one piece, which is the main thing. A great day for everyone concerned."



TRAINER Stuart Coltherd maintained his run of success in February by saddling winners on consecutive days at Carlisle and Ayr. He is pictured with the two race winners - Graystown (left) and Budarri.

At Carlisle on Sunday, February 24, Stuart's son Sam piloted Budarri to victory in the Racing TV Handicap Steeplechase at odds of 11-2 - the six-year-old gelding's second victory in four weeks. It was 20-year-old Sam's 40th career win.

At Ayr the following day, Graystown - ridden by Irish jockey Brian Hughes - won the Tennents Raceday Handicap Steeplechase at odds of 7-2. It was the seven-year-old gelding's maiden win on only his fourth run over fences.

"The horses all season have been going well, knocking on the door," said Stuart. "Having two winners in two days is very pleasing, but I wouldn't say it was a surprise.

"I thought Graystown was down to a winnable handicap mark, while with Budarri it was a question of whether he could follow up his Newcastle victory and keep progressing, which he has done.

"This has certainly been a busy season for us. Our stables are currently full, and the biggest challenge is trying to keep all our horses fit and healthy. Touch wood things have been going pretty well to date, so long may it continue."



ALTHOUGH Neil Cruikshank has saddled winners in the past, until last month the Horsburgh Castle-based owner had never tasted victory with one of his own home-bred horses.

All that changed at Newcastle racecourse on Tuesday, January 29, when Budarri romped home to land the Ramside Hall Handicap Chase at odds of 11/4, beating second favourite Las Tunas by 1ΒΌ lengths.

It was fitting that both Neil and his partner Kerrie McGinn were on hand to witness the horse's success, under jockey Sam Coltherd, as both have been closely involved with each stage of Budarri's development.

"We were never really sure if he would ever be good enough to make the grade," said Neil. "At first we tried him on the flat, but he had problems with the starting stalls.

"He then had a dozen or so races over hurdles, before we decided to try him over jumps. This was only his third chase, so I'm obviously delighted with the rapid progress he's made."

Neil's mother Jean is also an important member of the Horsburgh Castle team, and the family are hoping Budarri's racing career can now go from strength to strength. Neil bought Budarri's dam, Amtaar, eight years ago, and hopes the mare can produce more race winners in the years ahead.

"I've known Stuart and Sam for a long time, and the set-up at Coltherd Racing's yard at Clarilawmuir is ideal for bringing on young horses," added Neil. "I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out with Budarri."



SARAH Robinson (pictured left with Budarri), is always a welcome visitor to Coltherd Racing's stables. Her ties to the Coltherd family stretch back to the days she helped teach Stuart's daughter Amy to ride, but in recent years her trips to the Clarilawmuir yard have been on a strictly professional footing.

After graduating from the College of Animal Physiotherapy in Aylesbury two years ago with a Diploma in Animal Physiotherapy (Distinction), Sarah decided to set up her own company - Equine Physio UK - specialising in equine physiotherapy, massage and rehabilitation.

Sarah, who originally hails from London, first came to the Borders 20 years ago and established Towerburn Stables at Hartrigge, near Jedburgh. Her recent move into equine physiotherapy has proved highly successful, with the specialist services she offers in big demand.

"It's always a pleasure dealing with Stuart's horses," says Sarah, "and we've gradually been able to establish a comprehensive maintenance programme for the yard. I check the horses' joint mobility, muscle symmetry, range of movement and muscle tone, as well as looking for any knots, spasms or general tightness.

"Clarilawmuir is a brilliant location for the stables, and I find the horses here all have different personalities and are very friendly. There's definitely a family atmosphere about the yard, and this makes my job a whole lot easier."

Trainer Stuart Coltherd considers Sarah to be an important member of the Coltherd Racing team. "She's always very thorough and invariably finds the cause of discomfort which one of our horses might have been experiencing at that particular time.

"Sarah's also very good at showing you exactly where the problem lies, and will then spend as much time as possible with the horse in question to help remedy the situation.

"At the end of each visit she'll hand me a full report of her findings, suggesting the most beneficial course of action and what exercise regime would be appropriate. Sarah has a great way with horses, and the results of her efforts are plain to see on race days."