Tim Vaughan's team battling on as snow hits racing yards

Fri 2 Mar 2018

While the racing calendar has been decimated this week, trainers are still faced with the prospect of dealing with a working yard.

Social media has been awash with pictures of stable staff trying their hardest to clear snow and keep the horses on the move, but plenty had to admit defeat on Friday.

One of those was Tim Vaughan, based in the Vale of Glamorgan, who posted a picture on Twitter showing nearly waist-high snow on his drive.

"It's been hard work. The frost had been in for two or three days, but we'd avoided the worst of it. This is the first day we've had a real downpour of snow and this morning it came fast," said Vaughan.

"The gallops are probably three feet under, but we have snow drifts on the drive where it is up to about four feet of snow, so we just can't get the horses out. We've had two machines trying to move it all, we've had a snow plough in, but we just can't get out.

"To make it worse, we go through a wood to get out of our yard and a big tree has come down, just through weight of snow I imagine.

"We've kept the horses going all the way until today so what we'll do is treat today as a Sunday, their day off and a bit of a rest, then we'll just ride them out Sunday.

"We said to a lot of staff to not bother coming and the ones on site are just mucking out and feeding. Hopefully we'll get them out tomorrow, even if not on the gallops, on the field for a stretch to keep them going.

"I've been here 10 years and I've never seen it as bad as this. We've done what we can with grit and machines, but it doesn't half focus your mind.

"It's part and parcel of life, you just get on with it - it's all sent to test us so we just truck on.

"The way they are talking with the weather, we are due a drop of rain on Sunday which should help shift it. By hook or by crook, we'll keep going.

"It might be a day off for the horses but the staff are working twice as hard, they just aren't riding horses."

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