by Lisa Evans, York Press
THERE’S a spring in the step of the latest resident at Norton Grove as the first of this year’s crop of foals was born at the stud last week.
The filly foal is by Misu Bond out of Bond Royale, a mare that has already produced three race winners, including Master Bond who is full brother to this filly.
Both sire and dam are owned by racing enthusiast and thoroughbred breeder Reg Bond, from Yapham, near Pocklington, whose black and gold colours are a familiar sight on racetracks up and down the country.
The nine-year-old stallion Misu Bond was formerly trained at the Hambleton yard of Bryan Smart and his racing career looked promising after he won three races as a two and three-year-old, but his time on the track was to be cut short by injury and he retired to stud at the age of four.
The first of his 2013 crop of foals, as yet unnamed, surprised everyone by coming into the world at midday on Tuesday last week.
Richard Lingwood, owner of Norton Grove Stud, said: “It was quite unusual as mares often wait until after dark to foal when all is quiet, but this filly foal arrived in the middle of the day.”
Norton Grove was founded in 1959 by Major Hudson and he managed the operation until his death in 1995, when Richard and his wife Maggie took over the running of the stud.
They currently stand three stallions, Misu Bond, Monsieur Bond and Dabbers Ridge, and have foaled about 60-90 mares in each of the last couple of years.
Richard originally hails from Norfolk, but relocated to Norton in the early 1960s when he came to work for Major Hudson.
“Major Hudson was well-known in those days for his enthusiasm for country sports, particularly hunting and shooting.
“I assisted him in the buying and selling of horses and would take them out hunting and competing in the showjumping ring before they were sold,” said Richard.
Richard met Maggie when she also came to work at Norton Grove and the couple married in 1969.
Major Hudson decided to try his hand at breeding horses and purchased his first stallion in the 1970s.
Nowadays Richard and Maggie are helped by their daughter Tina and their two granddaughters, Laura and Jessica, making Norton Grove Stud a real family affair.
The stud boasts almost 100 acres and more than 60 stables and can accommodate mares, young stock and resting racehorses.