From COVID-19 to Syndicate 19: a welcome change!

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Reporting on four events is a delight, starting with the Racing Society BBQ marking 25 years of the Society, held at The Caledonian Club in early August. To feel the buzz of the Club again was simply fantastic, with guests and Society Members alike looking thrilled to be enjoying some normality.

The weather was only mildly sympathetic to us as we mingled on the Terrace, in the Oval Room and in the Bar. The event also opened this year’s Syndicate 19, our first foray into National Hunt racing. Our thanks go to The Caledonian Club for a quick switch from outside cooking to a buffet, which was delicious and enjoyed by all in the somewhat comfier surroundings of the Morrison Room.

We only made one visit to the racecourse this year, and that was our annual visit to Kelso towards the end of October which is featured in more detail on page 23. It was, by general consensus, a spectacular success and the sight of Corrigeen Rock, our Syndicate 19 horse, winning the opener on his debut under rules was the perfect way to launch a thoroughly enjoyable day. We held our Society AGM in mid-November, and it was excellent to see many of the Syndicate attending. This was, in fact, two AGMs in one to make up for the lost year of 2020 and we were pleased to receive the reporting for both years.

Our grateful thanks were offered to our retiring Chair, Graham Doyle, for all his hard work, energy, wisdom and commitment to the Society. After questions from the floor – and thanks to Steve Moore for his care with our annual accounts – a quaich and bottle of Club Malt were presented to Graham as a sign of our gratitude for his tenure.

The annual dinner followed, with a champagne reception in the Morrison Room, followed by a delicious dinner in the Johnnie Walker Room. It felt like standing room only as the event was packed with Members and guests. The guest speaker, Sandy Dudgeon, Senior Steward of The Jockey Club and Grand National jockey was candid, amusing and engaging as we drew the evening to a close. Our thanks went to Trustee Atholl Duncan for facilitating the speech.

We look forward to an excellent year of racing ahead.

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