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The Story of one of the stars of Knowle Rock

Where the occasional quiet success makes it all worthwhile.

Rio at Witton Castle

Knowle Rock is not a flashy, vast concern; it's not often in the public eye, and it's not famous for producing regular quantities of "big name" horses performing on the Country's top stages. However what Knowle Rock has proved over the years is that what it does it does very well. Its idyllic setting and facilities, the attention to detail and concentration on quality rather than quantity brings its own rewards.

Knowle Rock covers several aspects of the equestrian spectrum from stud work to the resting and convalescence of out of training and competition horses. Life, of course, can be a procession of days of graft and grind until those significant moments when we can be uplifted by the successes of horses that have been born at, or passed through, Knowle Rock during their careers.

One such story is worth the telling and for that we must go back to the early hours of a June morning in 1992. The pride of the stud at that time was a liver chestnut thoroughbred mare, Music Meadow, by the great Music Boy. This particular morning she gave birth to a lovely chestnut colt with two white socks and some white on his most engaging face. He seemed to say " Look at me! " from the moment he flopped out on to the straw. However, at first it seemed we had a problem to overcome. His two front legs were so severely contracted at the fetlocks that he was unable to stand, let alone walk, without knuckling over and pitch-polling headfirst.

This is not only desperately frustrating and alarming but very tiring for the new born foal whose instinct and singular desire in life is to get to his mother's udder and suck. This little lad was going to need help and without delay. So we collected the precious and all important colostrum from his mother and bottle-fed him as he lay beside her. The vet was called and after little discussion it was decided to place both the colt's front legs in lightweight nylon fibre casts from toe to the elbow. The next concern was how he would adapt to these cumbersome attachments. This was when we got our first glimpse of the sort of character that had arrived in our midst. He had it sussed! In no time at all he sat back on his haunches and launched himself forward arriving on all four legs. From here with determination all over his face and his big ears pricked he shuffle forward to the business end and got stuck in. We were overjoyed! Rio

Three mornings later the casts were removed and we all held our breath as we watched to see whether they had done their job..........

To be continued.......... /

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