This Interview is part of our series with people Inside Racing and the effect that the Covid19 pandemic has had on their personal circumstance and the affect on them personally & within the racing industry.
Todays Interview is with David Redvers, who runs Tweenhills Farm & Stud and is the Racing Manager for Qatar Racing. David tells us about the impact on the farm at foaling time, staffing issues and his thoughts about a return to racing….
Firstly, how are you keeping during the Lockdown?
Fine thank you. Life on a farm is good at this time of the year. we have lots of foals and calves!
What was your first thought when Boris announced the Lockdown?
The man is doing what has to be done in extraordinary circumstances.
Has the restrictions had an impact on the staffing levels at the farm & how are the employees coping with the Social Distancing & other measures?
Initially we lost all the casual staff from Hartpury College but then we were inundated with applications from those that needed work having been let off early by the National Hunt yards.
With regards to the Breeding side, how has the virus & restrictions impacted on the foaling?
Not at all. Thank God.
Has this impacted the Mares’/Foals welfare?
No as most of the staff here live in so it’s business as usual.
Has their been implications for the movement of Mares’ & Stallions?
We are all adhering to strict protocols so no.
And has this had any major impact on the season?
A few borderline bookings were scratched but mostly things have carried on as before.
With no racing, this also means no Yearling sales, how does this put pressure on the industry & has any of the Governments business help offers been of any use to the industry?
At the moment the plans are a resumption of racing in mid May and yearling sales as normal in the autumn. If that changes the pressure will be horrendous. The Governaments help offers haven’t been required so far but that may all change.
With your racing hat on…..
What are your thoughts on the way the Cheltenham Festival was bashed in the media & How the BHA have handled the situation?
2020 hindsight vision is an affliction that Plenty suffer from. At the time the Jockey Club has absolutely no choice and made the correct decision to kick on. A clear explanation would help.
How do you think the Government has handled the virus situation?
I’m no expert but so far they seem to be doing an admirable job.
How has the virus impacted on your horses in training & their trainers?
Everyone worries that owners will pull the plug if their horses are denied opportunities to run. If the exodus takes place then it will take years to reverse.
When racing does return, what measures would you like to see put in place?
Critical that the 2yo races, classics and pattern take priority.
Would you be happy to race behind Closed Doors?
Absolutely. No choice.
We would like to thank David for his time and send David, his family and all the staff our best wishes for the future.
Interview by Rich Williams
Photos – File