Following the end of the sales season many stud farms enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace before the start of the next breeding season. This year Abbey Thoroughbreds used this time to upgrade some of our key infrastructure.
The major project was completion of new shade shelters in each of our large spelling paddocks. As with all aspects of the Abbey Thoroughbreds facility, the safety of our horses is the number one priority so the shelters were designed to avoid potential problems. This included anchoring all RHS posts well below the ground and filling post holes with concrete. The design also features a large roof height and the use of thick rubber conveyor belting to protect against horses being able to kick walls and uprights.
In order to maximise the shade, new trees have also been planted behind each shelter. We hope these Claret Ash trees can grow as quickly as some of our yearlings in future years.
Thanks to the invaluable assistance of Troy (Ory), Red (Craig) and Scott, we think the finished product looks fantastic, and the horses do too judging by the amount of time the horse spend in their shelters in all conditions.
The second major project was to build a new mare crush near our day yards. Safety and practicality were the main design criteria. The key to a functional mare crush is the height of the back gate, and it is essential you don’t make the back gate too high or your vet may not be on speaking terms with you for much longer. Once again we used strong RHS and made sure uprights were firmly concreted into the ground. Thick rubber belting was also used, and although it is never easy to handle and install, rubber belting is a must to reduce the risk of injury especially in a confined space such as a crush. Latches and bolts were welded to the gates and all sharp edges were rounded off.
Thanks to some great welding work from Red (Craig), this crush is extremely sturdy but safe and practical.
The final project over winter was a top up of all of the day yards with high quality river sand. Fantastic shade trees now cover all of these day yards, and horses love spending time in them. They are used mainly for horses in the racing stables that are in work, or for horses being broken in, but they are also used as holding yards for horses requiring rehabilitation, vet work or younger horses when they are being handled and educated. The addition of a thick covering of river sand under these super shady trees now makes it horse heaven.