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23 Jul 2017

Newmarket Stud

In July we had an outing to the world famous Newmarket Stud. The picture is of "Gregorian" making friends!

Twenty two members congregated at Jane and Peter De'Ath's home for tea, coffee and biscuits for the start of our run through some interesting country roads to Newmarket Stud.  The social gathering at the start helped to introduce several new members to our group.  Unfortunately, the postcode for the Stud was not well defined on several sat navs, leading to cars going to a number of alternate destinations, but eventually we all congregated at the Stud to get on a bus with our tour guide, Nigel.  We spent an hour and a half travelling around the Stud which, despite being the sport of kings, was not opened until 1967 by the current Queen.

An  wonderful event for the Stud was when the Derby winner, Mill Reef, was retired to the National Stud in 1973 and he went on to become the sire of two subsequent Derby winners.  We were taken around various of the stables and it was explained in intimate detail the breeding process and the care and attention both to ensure a successful mating and the care of a foal.  We were told that the cost of  successful mating was anything from £100,000 to £250,000, which seemed not unreasonable in view of the cost of some Porsche thoroughbreds! 

Following our trip around the Stud, we had a wet drive to our lunch venue, the Queen's Head at Hawkedon, where a table for all of us had been prepared.  Following a leisurely and convivial lunch, when Martyn thanked Jane and Peter De'Ath for their early morning hospitality, members departed in various directions. 

Overall, an interesting day, somewhat spoiled by the poor weather and unhelpful sat navs.

On the way home, we became very aware of the dangers of driving along country roads when we were flagged down by a police officer due to a pick-up truck having hit a deer, which had to be despatched by the police.  A sobering and sad end to our day out.

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