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Little Darling Thundercloud

Darleen is the last foal out of Trustthunder who has given us so many lovely horses and notable winners, Thunderball and Thunderstruck

Sadly when Trusty foaled despite the heroic efforts of Jinks James and the team at Brookside and our dear friend Richard Payne from Rossdales sadly Trustthunder passed away following surgery after foaling. Darleen was then nicknamed as the name means dear little one

We hunted high and low to try and find a foster mare for Darleen and luckily the lovely Vicky Ward came forward to help us loaning us her coloured cob mare Shamrock Blue who had recently had a still born foal. Vicky trusted us implicitly to do what was best and we sent the pair close by to the vets to Jinks and Kate to bond.

Of course they did an amazing job and Kate particularly ensured through the night that she topped up Darleen with a bottle until the mare had a plentiful supply of milk which was enhanced with of all things cocoa along with Vicky bringing a massive supply of freshly picked grass each day.

On return to join our brood mare band it was a real change and shock for the racehorses to see a coloured gypsy cob in the paddock amongst all the thoroughbreds.

So many people popped into visit and look at the pair, I'm afraid Darleen became a little spoiled and quite up herself. Author of all time fave novels Jilly Cooper is a huge fan and writes to Darleen often.

Once they were turned away 24/7 in the summer months Blue really came into her own. She was a star and had the right kind of firmness at keeping Darleen in check and was very protective of her baby among the other mares.

Blue herself thrived in our lovely fields and became much more trusting of people. Vicky had rescued her from a roadside and she had barely been handled when she came.

It was very sad time when we had to wean Blue and Darleen, but as Vicky had spotted Blue was very likely candidate for showing classes and Vicky decided that that was where Blue's future lay in the show ring. So she returned home to Newmarket and was broken that winter.

Darleen ran with the other foals at Haygarth - and enjoyed being out all winter to grow slowly and naturally. They have access to hay 24/7 and are fed well twice a day hard feed as well as having a fresh paddock of winter grass at weaning.

Yearling time comes upon us so quickly and once spring arrives the boys and girls are separated and go into separate fields. They come in in the Autumn for breaking and riding away. Darlene it must be said was not the easiest and if the riders had a fall she would like to get her own back with a sly kick on occasions and she can really buck too ! That said though - we could see very early that she had movement to dream of, and literally floats like a cloud. The official naming was therefore very easy !

Blue took the show ring like a pro and has literally amassed countless of wins and championships in ridden classes and is a complete star herself barley ever out of the pages of horse and hound.

What a special lady and congratulations and many thanks to Vicky Ward for everything she did for us and the now very famous Shamrock Blue.

Darleen had three runs at Doncaster and was totally at ease, and was then put away for the season to strengthen up.

After the wettest winter I can recall, Scott decided that she needed a little education so we ran her at our local course Southwell to see if she would take to the fibresand. She didn't and hated it. After another break - we decided to try her over a straight turf course and Redcar was the choice. Richard Kingscote is an excellent jockey and is hard to secure but luckily he was available and in the lucky last despite being hampered on a couple of occasions Thundercloud relished the turf and the going and galloped home beautifully in first place.

Danny Bembridge and Shani Nicholson were there on course Shani leading up a winner on her first time racing for Scott.

Lucky start we hope of a long and happy relationship - welcome to the team Shani!

As for Thundercloud she loved it ! Even the on course social media tweeted how very beautiful she was. Of course she knows she is special and very important.

Thank you Redcar Racecourse for the beautiful mugs that arrived today, they are such a special prize and will be treasured.

I would like to think that her Mummy sat up in the sky watching her giving her wings to win and her brothers and sisters up there too clapped her to success.

Indeed Darlene is our dear little one.

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