Wednesday, June 17

Tack Strömsholm!

Some of you will have seen over the weekend I was over in Sweden to attend the Swedish Grand National at Strömsholm racecourse, it was my first time I'd been to Sweden and the Swedish Grand National. The journey to there was long from Liverpool which involved coaches and planes but in the end it was well worth it. I landed in Sweden on Friday the day before the Swedish Grand National and was invited to do a walk of the course at Strömsholm lead by Magnus Gustavsson and Johan Persson (JP). It was a pleasure to walk the course on such a beautiful day. Strömsholm racecourse is such a beautiful and unique place to watch horseracing set in a gorgeous countryside surrounding. The place has a special feel to it and the work that goes in to the running of the Swedish Grand National is just superb with everyone volunteering their time to put together this brilliant day of horseracing, the biggest day in the Swedish horseracing calendar. The pride and passion of everyone involved in the Swedish Grand National is easy to see and it was so special to be a part of it. It's such a welcoming racecourse with such a great atmosphere! I felt like a member of a very special horseracing family working with my Swedish Grand National colleagues who were all extremely friendly and welcoming. Swedish people are just the best! 

The day of the Swedish Grand National was very fun and a thrill to be part of and I was honored and delighted to be asked to judge the best turned out horse for all 9 races. Happy to say out of the 9, I picked 2 that went on to win so was happy with that. The weather was brilliant with an attendance of over 4,000 happy people. The day was very busy for all involved especially my press colleague Amie Karlsson who was brilliant. It never felt like a job to me it was more fun than anything. I'll miss our little press tent (well until next year anyway). The Grand National race itself was brilliant to watch and you just had to be there to experience the full affect. After race 9 it was such a shame the meeting had to stop. 

The fun didn't stop there though with the Swedish Grand National after party event which was a great evening with one tradition of the Swedish Grand National being a toast to the winner, this is done by the stunning Swedish Grand National Annual Challenge Trophy being filled with champagne (8 bottles I was told is the amount it takes to fill it) and then its passed around each guest to have a drink of champagne directly out of it. I gladly obliged with honor. Which brings me to Amie... :)

After the after party there was a country and western music (country and western music in Sweden I hear you say) event in the place where the after party was hosted. The entertainment was great and Swedish people sure do know how to party! 

If you ever get the chance to go to the Swedish Grand National then please do as you will not regret it!

Special thanks go to Camilla Andersson (thanks for telling me about Farmer Needs A Wife haha), David Crona (thanks for looking after me David, your a top guy!), Magnus Gustavsson (another top guy and pleasure to meet), Amie Karlsson (thanks also for looking after me Amie, had a real good time working with you), Elisabeth Oldengren (thanks for everything Elisabeth) and not forgetting the drivers especially Sten who drove us all around. It was also good to meet jockeys Gerard Tumelty,Colin Bolger and Tom Messenger, top time lads. Boss.


If I've missed anyone out I am sorry. It was a pleasure meeting you all I hope to see you all again next year.

Take care friends,


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