Opera singer turned horse trainer Heather Main gets the best out of her steeds by singing arias to them.
She strolls around her yard trotting out the classics and the horses respond by launching into a high-pitched whinny – and some even dance behind their stable doors. It may be unorthodox but Heather claims the amazing rapport has led to some impressive results on the track.
American Heather, who switched careers after marrying a vet, says: “First, I would like to stress that I’m neither barmy nor living in fairyland. When I start singing, the horses lean out of their boxes and join in.
“They prick their ears, look up and whinny. Some even dance.
“Mozart is their favourite. It’s proving to be a great way to get them relaxed and boost their wellbeing before a race.”
Island Cloud, a three-year-old filly, is the yard’s leading soprano.
Heather adds: “She has a wonderful voice – a clear, high-pitched whinny. And she loves to dance. Al Kout is our top tenor. He’s an unraced three-year-old that cost us just £11,000. He has lots of class and a grand voice.”
Heather revealed the secret to her success after landing a 440-1 treble with Childesplay (8-1) and Rake’s Progress (6-1) at her local Newbury track, and Fair Selene (6-1) at Chepstow. She followed up with Royal Melody (15-2) at Lingfield a few days later.
Leading equine psychologist Grahame Frank, the “horse mind doctor”, said: “I’ve never heard anything like this before, but it definitely can work. Horses will respond to many things in many ways.
“This lady has found a remarkable formula that’s doing well for her and long may it last. Being relaxed like this is one thing, but the horse must still have the ability to do the job.”
Holding a trainer’s licence led Heather to abandon her busy stage career, which included solo performances at the Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican.
Audiences have plunged from thousands to a mere 16 at her tranquil Kingston Lisle stable in Wantage, Oxfordshire.
Heather, 49, says: “I’ve just taken in an unnamed bay sprinter that is showing excellent promise.
“He’s got a decent voice and has responded brilliantly to my Mozart bits.”
Racing fan Andrew Knott owns Childesplay and cashed in when it finished second at 150-1 on its first run.
It went on to win four times and was retired to stud last week. Andrew, from Berkshire, said: “Heather makes racing fun and is a top trainer.
“Singing to the horses might sound crazy, but it works and that’s all that matters.”
Once the owners became aware of Heather entertaining the horses, they insisted that she should do the same for them – and she has been happy to oblige with a series of classical concerts in her Queen Anne mansion.
Unlike the horses, however, no owner is permitted to sing along.
Article Source: Mirror News
Image courtesy Mirror image archive
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