Top of the morning to you and hasn't the weather changed? Not that I mind too much it's just the humans round here that are obsessed with rainfall and the talk of snow.
Well, November has been a month of mixed emotions. Wannabe has left the fold and headed off, to form a new partnership further north. We all miss his Irish charm but wish him well with his new owner, Kath. Another loss has been the disappearance of the Old Girl's ginger and white cat, Reggie. The yard just doesn't seem the same without him prowling around.
On a happier note Pocket Rocket and I went to BE Arena eventing at Epworth at the beginning of the month. With no dressage involved we were both looking forward to the day immensely. Things didn't quite go to plan to begin with when the Young Master and Pocket Rocket parted company in the warm up arena! To say the boy landed with a splat is an understatement as the heavy rainfall had made the going very sticky. Never one to be daunted the Young Master remounted and gave Pocket Rocket a nice ride round the first class. For some reason she just wasn't her usual self, so the decision to withdraw her from class 2 was swiftly made with me being substituted.
I relished the challenge and flew round clear just incurring 0.8 time faults for being too fast. It was good enough for 5th place which pleased the ground crew. It seemed ages before I was on again in class 3, the BE100, which gave the Old Girl and the Young Master plenty of time to chat with all their friends who had also turned up.
Fuelled by Fibre-Beet and feeling fantastic (even though I say it myself) I flew round again, making nothing of the Joker fence which stood at 110cms and caught many out, to post another clear. I still managed to be too quick with 0.4 of a time penalty this time. With so few clear rounds it was good enough for 2nd place and a qualification for the Arena Eventing Final at Aston le Walls in February. I had lots of carrots that night with my Fibre-Beet... yum, yum, crunch, crunch… Billy Bank's the best of the bunch!
My next outing was a quick trip to our local venue, Bishop Burton College. It was great to be back on familiar ground with the Young Master feeling so positive. We zipped round the discovery taking 2nd place in a very competitive field.
I knew all this fun would have to stop when I heard dressage mentioned for the end of the month. Pocket Rocket and I both groaned when we heard we were going to Port Royal to take part in the pony club dressage series, however we perked up when we realised we would also both be taking part in BS show jumping on the same day there too.
Pocket Rocket acquitted herself well in her first BS competition and then produced her best dressage test to date. I can see I am going to have to up my game when it comes to the fancy flatwork or that pony will be stealing my thunder. I felt in fine fettle and flew round both my jumping classes, bagging a 3rd place which now means I have jumped myself out of Discovery.
In the dressage I managed to contain myself in the first class but two classes was a step too far! I had a cheeky buck, just to liven up proceedings you understand and check to see if the judge was still awake, (after 6 hours I doubt I would be), and then I shouted out to the Pocket Rocket to put the kettle on as I'd soon be back for a cuppa!
The Old Girl, who does share my sense of humour, took it in good part but the Young Master was less impressed. I am just hoping he doesn't decide we need even more practice.
With Christmas on the horizon I can't wait for the tinsel and mistletoe not to mention the chance to escort some youngsters out hunting. Check in next month to find out what Santa put in my stocking and in the meantime, keep eating up your Fibre-Beet for goodness inside and out.
Bye for now!
Billy Bank x