Saturday, January 19, 2013

The youth of today

There are some phrases which it is hard to say without a sigh.  One such is 'the youth of today'. The re-assuring thing, of course, is that that's been the case for two or three thousand years - and yet the world still hasn't (yet) ground to a halt because of the degeneration of its inhabitants.  Still, the youth of today (sigh)!  The good thing, though, is that they aren't all bad - as we were reminded this morning when an outstandingly untypical British teenager (Cam Hardie, pictured down the bottom of Railway Land this morning on Magic Ice) gave us a hand.

Cam has ridden out here in the past, but he's left school since then and is now apprenticed to Richard Hannon.  He came up to Newmarket yesterday because he'll be on his pre-race-riding apprentices' course at the British Racing School next week, after which I'd imagine that the granting of his license will be a formality.  So you can now glean one of this blog's rare tips: keep an eye on Cam when he starts race-riding during the forthcoming season, because I'd say that he's nailed on to be the next in the long and distinguished line of good apprentices to come out of Richard Hannon's stable.

Cam's big asset, of course, is that he's come from a good home.  His father Willie is Tim Easterby's head lad, and Cam's clearly had a good education in horsemanship while growing up, as well as clearly being taught how to conduct himself.  But there are enough people who come from good backgrounds and end up complete tossers, and enough people who have terrible starts in life before becoming really nice people, to suggest that it would be wrong to give all the credit to Cam's family: they clearly deserve plenty, but he deserves some too.  Anyway, as these photographs  (the second and third of which were taken on Warren Hill third lot, showing the view down the AW from the top looking back towards the town and a view of some of Sir Mark's horses going up the canter) show you, this morning was bloody bleak; and Cam works hard enough in his usual job so would have been justified in awarding himself a rare day off to enjoy a rare morning of warmth and rest.  But he didn't, which was good news for us, and also an illustration of why I say that he's set for a good career.

And, by the way, with most youngsters I wouldn't usually pay them such a compliment in print as it doesn't do to give them a high opinion of themselves; but Cam's got his head screwed on the right way, and I'm sure that he'll continue to act as if mindful of the excellent line from 'If' (NB - good tautology, all the lines from 'If' being excellent) which gives the invaluable advice, "Yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise".

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