Top of the morning to you all. I’m very happy to be writing my first blog for British Horse Feeds since becoming a Brand Ambassador at the end of March. The news we were going to receive some branded gear sent ripples of excitement through the camp. Nick, the Young Master, looks very dashing in his gillet and baseball cap, although nowhere near as handsome as me in my travel rug! (See below for proof...)
I soon got the opportunity to put the rug to good use when I travelled down to Addington Manor, in Buckinghamshire, for the Pony Club winter showjumping championships at the beginning of April. It’s quite a long haul from East Yorkshire, but going with my friend Comet, a good looking Irish lady, made the journey much more bearable.
The Young Master and Comet’s Mistress talked incessantly, and quite honestly, I was relieved to arrive at Milton Keynes Equestrian Centre, where we were stabled overnight, to have some peace and quiet along with my bucket of Fibre-Beet.
The Old Girl, (Nick’s Mum), is very particular about my diet, and fanatical about keeping us all hydrated, which is one of the reasons why Fibre-Beet is so good for us.
At home, I share Mum’s attention with The Piebald Legend, who is 20 now, and has taught the Young Master well – particularly to sit up before and after a fence! The Matriarch, a fine chestnut lady of 25 years, who looks and acts half her age, has given him other skills in a jump off. I’m currently bedded down next to another Irish lady, a piebald fancy piece, who it must said is not lacking in the talent department, but is way too small for the Young Master and needs to find a smaller jockey soon. We all enjoy eating Fibre-Beet, and get lots of compliments on our looks and performance – so it must be good for us as well as tasty!
Fuelled with Fibre-Beet and refreshed from a good night’s sleep, we rolled up to Addington Sunday morning ready to do battle. It was my first time there, and I’d heard rumours they were goblins hiding in the jumps from the other horses...
The warm up class was a speed class, which I love, but The Old Girl had warned the Young Master not to go too fast and have a “nice round”. Where’s the fun in that, I thought, so I was glad that halfway round the Young Master let the handbrake off and we did some nifty turns. Sadly, we just weren’t quick enough for a rosette and finished 11th, but the good clear put the The Old Girl in a happy frame of mind, resulting in some treats for me and a cheeseburger for my jockey.
There were lots of mutterings as we warmed up for the main class. Goblins had been spotted at a double and an upright, resulting in terrified riders who fell off in fear. The Young Master has long legs, so I felt confident he wouldn’t drop off me and we could vanquish the goblins together! Well I did see a horrible leprechaun as I approached the Goblin Double, so I slowed down a bit until I felt the long legs saying: “C’mon Billy rise above it”. So, I took on that pesky thing hoping the two poles I hit would knock him out completely. Eight faults didn’t get us into the jump off, but I haven’t seen that leprechaun since!
The Easter holidays have been jam packed, with Pony Club rallies and training with the York and Ainsty South Pony Club. I enjoy them as much as the Young Master as I get the chance to catch up with all my admirers. We had a showjumping rally where I could show off how I can lengthen and shorten my stride, which is a great skill! The next day me and the Young Master escorted a group of children round an Easter Egg Hunt the Old Girl had organised. Then we were back to business with a Pony Club inter-branch showjumping competition at Rillington Manor. Fancy Piece was competing here too with a younger jockey, and she went ahead while I caught up with my old friend Misty on the journey.
We discussed the merits of a high fibre diet while in the horsebox, only to find that Fancy Piece had come fifth in the team competition and individual fifth too, which had qualified her for the junior series final. I could see I would have to do better than fifth or I’d never hear the end of it!
Well, I took the wind out of her sails by cruising round to a victory in the first class, and a double clear from Misty helped our team to fourth place, but we needed to raise our game a level if we were to win the class – which we did! I jumped double clear to finish second, closely followed by Comet in third and Misty chasing us for fourth. All the humans were very happy with Easter Eggs all round!
After having a day off while Fancy Piece attended a cross country training session, I was a bit put out to hear her getting described as “totally awesome” – as that’s a phrase normally reserved for me! So, the pressure was on for me to win some prize money the next day at Bishop Burton.
Well I was determined to deliver, and felt great cantering into the ring, having had a warm up with The Guru who helps us with our technique. The Young Master was in good form and we jumped a double clear to finish in third place. The Discovery Class was next and I did another double clear to finish third again. Points AND prize money – who’s totally awesome now?!
Bye for now,