As each year passes we try to improve the facilities here at Mowbray House. Sadly the gallop used by Grandad for many years finally came to the end of it's time. During the dry weather it still rode very well but unfortunately it had become difficult to use during the wet times of which we have a lot in Yorkshire! The serious floods we had on Boxing Day 2015 were the catalyst to plan our next upgrade.
The work was carried out by my husband Roger who has constructed gallops for Paul Midgely, David O'Meara (Atherington Barn) and Tim Fitzgerald's Norton Gallop which is used by a lot of the Malton trainers. Visit http://www.rgcarr.com/ to learn more about Roger's business.
Follow our progress of the gallop construction here!
7th August 2016
The site still had a standing crop of oilseed rape, showing a view of the beautiful village of Crayke in the background.
Trees were cleared which would overhang the path of the gallop.Aggregates were delivered ready for the base of the gallop. Ditches were dug and cleaned to improve the drainage. Drainage materials were stock piled in preparation
9th August 2016
Well we had a fair size field for the new gallop. No racing today, so I got stuck in to help Roger with some work.
All the woodsides you can see had to be cut back of over-hanging branches. Its a good job for efficient machinery!
Masses of wood and brack had to be cleared up and burnt. Mowbray can be seen trhough the clearing.
16th August 2016
Roger worked the ground which was so rough in places he had to disc, drag and roll to break up the surface before it was suitable for the horses to work on.
Dad's teamchasers were willing guinea pigs and Richard and I trial ride on the open space to work out the best turns and safest route for the all weather track. It is very important to get this right - the bends can't be too sharp.
There was one last ditch to be dug here along the woodside. In the floods on Boxing Day the bottom of the field was standing in water.
Total drainage around the field will ensure this shouldn't happen again.
We are very pleased with the test ride, but needed a couple more riding days on the track with the opinions of the rest of the team, Jimmy, Tory and Ryan before we could start and peg out the track.
18th August 2016
A new culvert was installed for the water course, to link the existing walk way to the new gallop.
The last ditch was dug, and last drains and pipes laid which was all necessary preparation before we could start on the foundation work of the actual track.
A final gallop in the dust to plan the route - and now over to Roger to start pegging it out.
19th August 2016
Roger used a purpose built 3m wide bucket to remove the top layer of soil, and was followed by his brother, Phil, who installed a drain up the middle of the gallop.
23rd August 2016
The gallop branches off right to join up with the existing walk way. Phil digs out a trench in the track for the drainage.
The membrane was laid, and the drainage piping inserted into the trench, before the stone was finally laid and levelled onto the track. The drainage links into the newly dug ditches running along side the gallop. It took a good few days to complete this stage of the work.
8th September 2016
At last all the stone was laid and carefully levelled out, and the sides of the track were banked up with soil.
Now the membrane could be unrolled and laid down before the all-weather surface was lorried in and levelled out on top.
The membrane will ensure that the stones do not penetrate through but allow any excess water to drain through. It looked
rather fluffy and dusty at this stage, but soon bedded down. We couldn't wait to get the horses galloping on it!
12th September 2016
We continued to lay the all weather surface which was brought in delivered in bales, broken up and then levelled out. Forever impatient, I had to confess on having a sneaky little canter around a small part of the finished surface to try it out on Arnie!
And so far so good, the weeks of hard work were paying off!
20th September 2016
The gallop was harrowed and rolled. It was a little bit dusty but should soon settle down when it gets some rain and hooves on it!
30th September 2016
Yes - the gallop is open for use! Its great to finally get the horses on the new surface to see how it performs.
30th November 2016
The frosty weather tests the gallops, and the all weather surface is found to be all it is meant to be be.
10th April 2017
Perfect going in the Spring too.
22nd February 2018
Emily, Lucy and Julie work out on the gallops when everywhere else stands in water.
27th February 2018
A real test on the "All Weather"!
7th March 2018
Jimmy and Emily work out on Magical Effect and Cupid's Arrow