WORKING THEM ON THE LIMEKILNS
For many of us there is something magical about working them on the Limekilns. Normally opening at this time of year and undoubtedly benefiting from some rain, the historic set of grass gallops and canters is where Derby colts are “tried”, sometimes with gatherings of people so wealthy and powerful as to need heavy security and sometimes with….well, people like us.
It would have been even more special this morning, even without any Derby colts. The Limekilns can be entered from either the Railway Land / Al Bahathri side – the lower side – or from – the higher side – the Bury Road that continues to Waterhall and the Gypsy Boy’s Grave and separates the Limekilns from the Town Canter and Long Hill.
You keep your wits about you walking in through small gaps as there are gallops hard up against the dense hedgerows on either side as well as the whole reach of workable grass between.
Standing ready for a team working seven furlongs or a mile, the dominating sound is of skylarks so high that you can’t see them but so vociferous that you know where they are. Hence “even more special this morning” because they would not be drowned out by early drivers into the market town.
The next sensation comes through your ears picking up the sound of hoofbeats. The straight canter or gallop down the middle starts where they cross the road to get there. But there is a dip into which they disappear when en route. So the first signal that your horse is approaching you is not the sight but another sense of them invisibly on the move at speed. Then they rise back into view to show you what they can do.
Ours went less than that, but they had a lovely stretch.
Oleg pronounced ICE LORD deeeeelighted to be on grass, lolloping along cheerfully while the admirable HAN SOLO BERGER made the running with somewhat more effort.
FLYING STANDARD had his very first experience of the Limekilns this morning.