Tag Archive | Welsh National

Dream Alliance-can dreams come true twice?

I have always loved horses. Majestic, elegant, powerful creatures, full of character and stubborn determination. I have had several “favourites” in my time but my current favourite is Dream Alliance, The “Dream”.

Dream Alliance: from slag heap alotment to Grand National hopeful

Dream Alliance should be running in the 1.45pm at Chepstow this afternoon to defend his Welsh National title that he won so dramatically last December. The fact that he is running at all  is a miracle in itself and I know that his rags-to-riches story of serious injuries, recoveries and subsequent triumphs has made grown men weep.

Dream Alliance  was reared on a Welsh allottment above an old slag heap in Cefn Fforest, and is owned by a syndicate of amateurs including an ASDA cleaner, pub landlord, and a tax colleague of mine Howard Davies who heads up the syndicate.  Almost 2 years ago when “The Dream” was developing nicely and showing great promise he struck into his tendon running at Aintree and  the vets at Liverpool University gave him no chance of racing again. Slicing through the tendons would normally sound the death knell for a racehorse but this is no ordinary syndicate of owners. They decided that experimental stem-cell treatment was the best option for the horse and the team invested a sizeable chunk of the Dream’s retirement fund into the rescue programme. Their faith was repaid when Dream Alliance won the Welsh National last Christmas and then gave the owners a fabulous experience at Aintree in the Spring when he ran in the Grand National itself.

A real fairytale for all concerned and a fantastic example of triumph over adversity. What an inspiration this horse and his owners are.

They never gave up hope. They cared for their horse and made sure that he received the best possible care and opportunity to come back and show everyone his true spirit.

He’s a star and win or lose today, he’s a hero.

Read more about Dream Alliance;

So long December, welcome 2011

It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was writing ” So long November, hello December” promising to make this last month of 2010 a more sedate and calm affair. What a laugh. Despite my best intentions, it seems like I have been busier than ever, but then that’s what New Year’s Resolutions are for.

December was dominated by the weather. Snow, ice, blizzards and sub-zero temperatures like I’ve never experienced (since I was born in February 1963) all combined to wreak havoc with my travel plans  making my final 2010 visit to my colleagues in Scotland impractical. Christmas was white, albeit that no snow actually fell near home that day, but we still managed to keep to our original plan of having a Barbecue instead of the traditional roast. The snow did melt in time for our annual Lubenham village walk which led to copious amounts of sludge being brought back to the pub for well-deserved stew and dumplings. It’s not nice being hosed down in December in the car park !

My fund-raising Santa Run scheduled for 5th December in Greenwich Park was cancelled due to the dangerous conditions, but I did fulfil my part of the bargain by completing the run on my treadmill resplendent in Santa costume. Another first and I raised a total of £1,500.00 for the Depression Alliance.

I am still enjoying writing my Blog and I am never short of things to say, just the time to write. In the New Year I will be spending more time trying to keep fit so I may not be so prolific with my posts in 2011…we’ll see.

Yet more lovely new friends this month; Andrew may be regretting his Facebook friend request which he fired off early in December. I’m not sure he fully realised what he was letting himself in for being a fellow (very depressed ) Aston Villa fan of 40 years standing and having so much in common. Andrew I apologise now for being so verbal and opinionated but you seem to be coping admirably! I also welcome Carole, fellow depressioneer as well as Will Gibson from Reading University hoping to climb Scarfell Pike on New Year’s Day to raise funds for MIND. What an inspiration this guy is.

Will’s Fundraising page

As well as welcoming new friends, I had to say “Goodbye” to two friends at work, both of who have fantastic new opportunities awaiting them in the New Year and thoroughly deserved too. Whilst I will miss Nicky and Emma when visiting Birmingham, I wish them all the best in their new roles and know that we will keep in touch regardless. “Good Luck Girls-Kick Ass”.

Dream Alliance won’t have the chance to defend his Welsh National crown this year, the race is postponed until January 8th. I will still be cheering him on and will no doubt have a few pennies on his back (but can’t watch) hoping that he repeats his remarkable feat of last Christmas-a real Dream come true.

All in all not a bad month and Christmas was far less stressful than usual. Perhaps that was because I ignored it as far as possible but now feel very guilty for not sending my son a Christmas card. Next year, I may feel more festive and do the job properly. Or I might be able to persuade the family to decamp to Iran. Now that would be a really cool Yule.

Dream Alliance-overcoming the odds

I have always loved horses. Majestic, elegant, powerful creatures, full of character and stubborn determination. I have had several “favourites” in my time including Desert Orchid, Sefton, Milton, Master Oats, Tingle Creek and now, Dream Alliance.

Dream Alliance: from slag heap alotment to Grand National hopeful

The fact that Dream Alliance should be challenging the great Denman in the Hennessy at Newbury tomorrow (currently 66-1), weather permitting, and defending his Welsh National title in December is a miracle in itself and I know that his rags-to-riches story of serious injuries, recoveries and subsequent triumphs has made grown men weep. I know. I’ve seen them. So why is this horse so special?

Dream Alliance  was reared on a Welsh allottment above an old slag heap in Cefn Fforest, and is owned by a syndicate of amateurs including an ASDA cleaner, pub landlord, and a tax colleague of mine who heads up the syndicate, Howard Davies.  Almost 2 years ago when “The Dream” was developing nicely and showing great promise he struck into his tendon running at Aintree and  the vets at Liverpool University gave him no chance of racing again. Slicing through the tendons would normally sound the death knell for a racehorse but this is no ordinary syndicate of owners. They decided that experimental stem-cell treatment was the best option for the horse and the team invested a sizeable chunk of the Dream’s retirement fund into the rescue programme. Their faith was repaid when Dream Alliance won the Welsh National last Christmas at Chepstow and then gave the owners a fabulous experience at Aintree in the Spring when he ran in the Grand National itself. A real fairytale for all concerned and a fantastic example of triumph over adversity. What an inspiration this horse and his owners are and I would love to see the proposed film come to fruition and take the cinemas by storm.

They never gave up hope. They cared for their horse and made sure that he received the best possible care and opportunity to come back and show everyone his true spirit.

I am a huge fan of this horse and win or lose this week or next month I will still  send him his favourite treat of Polos or Extra Strong mints via Howard.

He’s a star and he deserves them.

Read more about Dream Alliance;