Here at London Law Collective, we thought we’d surprise a colleague and help them fulfil a lifelong ambition… this is Johanna Biscardine Stacy’s story.
It’s not every day that you get to tell everyone that your boss, David Farquharson, and the firm you work for, London Law Collective, has enabled you to fulfil a lifelong bucket list dream experience of riding around a racetrack.
My recent experience involved David Farquharson and I being shown around Kingwood Stud in Lambourn Woodlands, Hungerford by our fantastic host Melanie Austin. It was there that we met some stunning horses in an immaculate yard with seriously impressive equestrian facilities. It was also there that I got to ride a horse named ‘Tilly’ around their training racecourse, alongside a professional jockey, Bradley Clarke, as my chaperone, who was riding one of their young mares.
I was told that Tilly, due to her experience and calm nature, is used to helping train the younger horses who are starting out in their racing careers. She does this by showing them how to behave. But she also clearly knows how to spot a racing novice (me), because part way up the track, just as I started to gain in confidence as a ‘jockey,’ she decided to show me that over confidence can sometimes be a little bit premature, and I fell off! (I should point out this was purely Tilly’s choice and not mine and me, being me, I just went with it rather than attempting to pull her up).
Granted, I practically bounced given the amazing racecourse surface, however that didn’t help my embarrassment in managing to fall off the calmest horse in the yard in front of a pro-jockey! To add to my embarrassment, instead of bolting off, Tilly just stood there looking at me as if to ask, “what on earth are you doing down there!?”
Needless to say, I got back on after a leg up from my chaperone and we carried on cantering up the track. It was all such an amazing experience, and quite beautiful to hold the reins of such a strong and capable horse. I felt quite emotional afterwards.
I can’t express my thanks enough to Dave, LLC, Melanie, Bradley and Tilly at Kingwood Stud for making it happen. I will remember it forever… What a start to 2024!