A Virtual Naming Day

25th March 2021

The past year has presented many challenges. Keeping owners up-to-date and involved with their horses has been one of them, with our latest efforts concentrated on our virtual naming day.

Naming the horses at the stables is always great fun as owners get together to see their youngsters being put through training paces ahead of heading off to an excellent local pub for lunch and the result of their horses naming vote.

Aside our comprehensive written updates for owners we’ve been updating owners via videos and phone calls throughout the winter months to hopefully ensure owners are as well informed as possible about their horses ahead of the new season.

Saturday’s virtual naming day brought much of what we’ve been doing together for owners of our two-year-olds as they joined on a series of Zoom calls for each of our Flat yards.

Within the calls the Hambleton team were able to introduce themselves to those owners we’ve yet to meet and say hello to many familiar friends.

It’s fair to say we’re never going to make it in the television world but we’re always game for a challenge and the feedback from owners suggests Saturday was an enjoyable experience for all.

Our head racing manager Cosmo welcomed owners to the virtual naming day before director of racing Simon took owners through all of the horses Hambleton have in training at each yard in some depth.

Once Simon had covered all the older horses in training he also went on to showcase some fascinating videos, showing owners a little more about ridden wind assessments, Kevin Ryan’s water treadmill and David O’Meara’s journey at Willow Farm.

After these videos attention turned to a series of videos for the young horses, which really showcased the huge potential we have with the youngsters this year. Simon expanded further upon trainer comments, covering potential long-term targets before Helen introduced our virtual landlord for the day, Cosmo.

Complete with a town crier-style hat and bell – a nod to the old tradition of the landlord ringing a bell when we named horses in the Hambleton Inn – Cosmo got into the spirit of things and had some good fun whilst announcing the names for each of this year’s two-year-olds.

Owners, who’d received champagne from us ahead of the morning, joined Cosmo in toasting each of the winning names which left most of us in terrific form at Saturday lunch time!

Our virtual naming day was a very different experience to normal but also very enjoyable to connect with so many existing friends and to briefly say hello to many new faces.

With owners all set to return the racecourse next week and stable visits back on the agenda there is a real feeling of optimism around as we look forward to seeing these exciting young horses take to the track in the coming weeks and months.

We’d like to thank each and every one of our owners who joined us on Saturday to make our virtual naming day such a success. We look forward to seeing you for real in the very near future!

A brief video with a few highlights from Saturday appears below.

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