The American Doll was on its way to Monasterevin (stable) , Bay of Freedom was relaxing in a field and I would be in the US until March so I was looking forward to a relaxing time; and then I got an email from Ber
I hope this email finds you well! I would like to advise you that JP Finegan from the Irish Field has approached me for your contact details as he would like to do a piece on you in the Irish Field this week. He usually covers a different owner each week and this week he has selected you!!!
It turns out that Joe has been writing this article, which is essentially a Q&A with an owner, for over 18 months. It would also appear that there is a disconcerting lack of owners in Ireland if he has resorted to profiling me! Anyway, I was very excited about this and called Joe straight away. He told me that he would fire the questions over to me and that he would then conduct a 20 minute call for the article which would likely be in either January 3rd or 10th edition.
I looked through previous features and got a good sense of what he was looking for. I wanted to be honest and forthright without being controversial for the sake of it and I also wanted to inject a bit of personality into it. I decided to jot down some thoughts on paper before our interview the next morning and, before I knew it, had answered every question. Amazingly it came at about 760 words: amazing because Joe had told me the article would be 700-800 words long and I hadn’t been counting. I sent it off to Joe to see if I was on the right track. When we spoke the next morning he said it was “perfect” and we should be finished in a few minutes....words I am sure he regretted 50 minutes later!
Kim hasn’t seen our phone bill yet but I realised, too late, that I was calling Joe on his cell phone; the start of much unanticipated but ‘fun’ expense (if there is such a thing). I had mentioned to Joe that I was planning to start a blog and that would be the motivation I needed if he was prepared to include a link in the article; my only concern was if I would have it up and running in time. Joe, very kindly, agreed to aim for the 10th January issue which would give me until 5th January (latest) to have a blog set up and in good order.
The website you are now on was the result of this conversation and my inability to stop when I should. I have learned a lot in two short weeks and have domains, Twitter, Instagram, Email and Facebook accounts for Bay of Freedom and Cheltenhamdream. Whatever happens now I really can keep a record of the ups and downs as we go towards March.
When the article is published I will provide a link. I have no idea what it will say now that Joe has got about 1500 words but he is the editor (well..the initial one at any rate)
I think the most stressful part for me was speaking to Peter a few hours before my interview with Joe. I didn’t want to look a complete idiot talking about Cheltenham and setting up a domain subtly titled Cheltenhamdream if Peter, in the cold light of day and me being 3000 miles away, had decided that the whole idea was ridiculous. I had avoided asking him the direct question for almost two months but now I had little choice. So Peter: “ are you still thinking Cheltenham is our target?”
The answer was yes. He is going to train Bay of Freedom as if we are going to Cheltenham. If we decide he has not progressed or is not good enough then we will change plans but, as of now, the dream is on. In fact, Peter again said that nothing will finish as well as him up the Cheltenham hill – I just hope he’s good enough to be in shouting distance when they turn to go up the hill. (this is one for the racing fan: I imagine it to be like Anzum flying up the hill to win the 1999 Bonusprint Hurdle)
I probably won’t speak to Peter again until when the entries are made in February; a no news is good news policy. That’s a lie. I need to know to know if he’s going to have a sleepover in Wolverhamption. Actually I want to know everything that’s going on but I just don’t want to ask ..just in case. I’m even worried if Peter and Ber will be embarrassed about this website. I hope not – I hope they get a kick out. Most particularly I hope they get around to sending me some half decent photos of themselves because I am pretty sure the one of Ber in the paddock at Listowel is not one of her all time favourites.
I just hope it’s not a ‘selfie’ because that would not be good given the photographic and videography skills of the Fahey’s. Ber sent me some photos recently which, to be honest, are not half bad but, having decided to frame one to send over, she proceeded to drop the frame on her way to the Post Office; watching as it smashed into a 1000 pieces.
The horse will be back in the stables in a few days. When I have plucked up the courage to speak to Peter I will give you a full update