My Happy Horses: Part 5
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Owner-breeder-trainer Selena Farnese has bred two foals from her four-time winning mare, Cosmic Girl (Concord x Northfield). She writes:
“I decided to breed from Cosmic and put her in foal to a Shadwell stallion Monsieur Al Maury (Djelfor x Melusine Al Maury). On 17th March 2016 Cosmic girl had a lovely strong filly called Lunar Lady. This photo [above] was taken day she was born.”
She then brought Cosmic Girl back into training, winning one more race, a Wathba Stallions Handicap at Chelmsford City, ridden by her daughter Isabella and then immediately retired her mare and put her back in foal. She recounts:
“On the 12th July (my birthday – a lovely present!) 2018, Cosmic Girl had a beautiful filly by Assy, called Galactic Girl (below).”
MY HAPPY HORSES Q&A – SELENA FARNESE
What was your earliest memory of racing?
“Watching horse racing every Saturday on TV as a child. I was very lucky as I always had ponies growing up and often competed in all disciplines of equine competition.”
When did you know racing was an industry that you would like to work in?
“From the age of 14 I was torn between dancing and horse riding. A dancers’ career is short, so I attended Laine Theatre of Arts in Epsom for three years. Then after working and performing for several years I then started a family and had the perfect opportunity pursue my love of horse racing.
I went to the British Racing School to gain my NVQ level 3 in racehorse care and management as that was needed if I ever wanted to train thoroughbreds, but after being introduced to Arabian horses and Arabian racing, I felt this was the route I wanted to take.”
What are the big moments in racing you remember?
“My first winner Cosmic Girl at Wolverhampton with Anna Wallace riding. I knew that day she would win as she was working so well at home. Watching her travel on the bridle around the home bend at Wolverhampton made all the hard work at home worth it!”
What made you choose owning/breeding/training/riding horses?
“I have always loved horses, and with my racing knowledge and ability to ride I felt I was in the perfect position to own, train with success and have now bred two fantastic fillies.”
What are the things that other trainers/yards often overlook?
“I have a very set way how I train, and treat every horse as a individual. I am a great believer that horses should be trained over the trip they race at, or even a bit further. Once my horses are fit they only do a four-day week with turnout in between. Keeps them happy and gives the body time to recover. But every trainer has their own different methods for their successes. I have always trained on the beach as it is so close and the sea is so good for their legs.”
What do you look for in a horse and what are you prepared to forgive?
“When I look at a horse to buy obviously I look at how they are put together and the pedigree. Height does not enter calculations if the horse has a big stride and stretches in canter rather than prance, like the show Arabians. So I have to watch them canter to see if they naturally stretch. I am forgiving with certain confirmation providing it will not affect the training and running of them.
Another important aspect as well, is making the horse enjoy its’ racing and somehow if not naturally in them, making them want to put their head in front.”
Name your favourite horse that you have handled and why?
“My favourite horse has to be Cosmic Girl. My first Arabian racehorse which I bought as a three-year-old, backed myself and trained her to win four races and be fifth in a PA Group 1.
She has given me some amazing days out and won at some good prices! She is a horse of a lifetime and trusts me fully. Her last run over a mile at Chelmsford she won by 13 lengths eased down in a very fast time 1min 53. What a way to retire! It brought tears to my eyes as she crossed the line. I now have two of her daughters to train and I’m sure they will live up to their mums’ reputation!
I’m very excited to run Cosmic Girl’s filly Lunar Lady this season. She has a very big personality! But I feel this will be a positive on the race track. Her sire Monsieur Al Maury is a group winner and felt he was a good combination with Cosmic Girl, as they are both 1 mile winners. My Assy filly, Galactic Girl will run at four. But I must say she is very exciting, at only two she is extremely fast!”
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