November has been a lot of fun here with Team Billy Bank despite all the rain and winter weather. My long awaited Woldgate school team championship was our first exciting outing all the way down to Keysoe in Bedfordshire. It was a trip down memory lane for the Old Girl who could be heard saying on the journey down, "That's the place I found a fossil when walking my Dalmatian dog, Lucky (Grafham Water). That's the river I fell in and my Dad jumped in to save me (River Ouse). That's the field I got bucked off when we were bareback riding with no bridle!" It's a wonder she survived her childhood growing up down there! It certainly gave Glamour Girl and I a giggle listening to the banter.
Friday evening kicked off with a scurry class as a warm up. Minnie Haha took no prisoners executing some high raising turns to beat the field of 50 with Glamour Girl and take 6th place on me. The other Woldgate girls all jumped clear rounds which delighted us all .
Dressage followed on Saturday with the news filtering back the Leprechauns were out and about, hurling abuse at Fancy Piece and Boxer Boy which completely unsettled them and their riders! "Don't worry Billy," the Old Girl reassured me, "You can blind them with your bling." Yes you've guessed it; it finally happened I am now the proud (?) owner of a dazzling browband and a patent leather noseband. Oh yes we don't do things by halves. I wouldn't say it was the best test I have ever done as although the Leprechauns were stunned to begin with they did make an appearance towards the end of my test but I gave them a good boot as I passed by leaving the arena clear for Glamour Girl later. This was a good move on my part as she produced a winning test and with my 8th place the team finished in the rosettes (also in 8th place). Then it was a quick change of tack for a Hickstead qualifier. Despite the girl’s best efforts, clear rounds were at a premium with only one from Dolly Bird so we finished in 7th with orange rosettes to add to the collection.
Sunday was jumping with style which I watched from the side lines. Fancy Piece and Minnie Hehe posted a lovely clear round, followed by another by Glamour Girl. Boxer Boy was going great, guns clear to the last fence when a pesky Leprechaun popped up spooking him. Dolly bird also fell foul of the goblins but with just four faults it was good enough for a team 3rd and 3rd individually for Glamour Girl too. What a weekend of team fun and all of us fuelled by Fibre-Beet.
Back in Yorkshire the rain just kept falling. The floods have been terrible with some poor people having to leave their homes. The fields here are water logged and the farmers unable to plant crops. Surely it would have to stop at some point? Well it has and now frosty mornings welcome us along with warm Fibre-Beet which I love. The Old Girl always makes warming mashes at tea time too.
The Young Master picked up the reins at our next competition held at Bishop Burton Arena. BE jump training, which involves a course walk with a coach followed by a round of jumping, a chat with the coach on how to improve then another round. Style penalties are given which are then added to any jumping faults, the lowest score being the winner. This competition always seems to fall around the weekend of the Young Masters Birthday and this year it was no different, he was sleep deprived having done a 24 hour marathon to raise money for MacMillan cancer research. The Old Girl was slightly anxious he might drop off but I looked after him (oh how my halo shines). Competition was fierce but four 10's helped us secure 2nd place in both the BE90 and BE100 where we posted four clear rounds. This means we have qualified for the final at Moreton Morell in February 2020. Lots of Fibre-Beet for tea that night!
The last outing of November was the NSEA xmas show jumping at Bishop Burton again, where The Legend made an appearance too. He was most unimpressed to be dressed up to the nines in Christmas apparel. Fresh from his 2 month sabbatical he literally flew round with Minnie Haha cutting the corners and taking strides out. His epic performance helped put Woldgate Team into 2nd place and he was placed individually 7th. Once again Minnie Haha rode me like she stole me taking 2nd and 4th places in the 80 and 90 helping her Woldgate Team into 5th and 3rd spots. With huge entries in all the classes everyone was delighted to go home with rosettes.
December looks like quietening down a little on the competition front while we all recharge out batteries. Team Billy Bank will be out in force carol singing to raise some funds for Hope Pastures. Please give generously if you hear us, even though the Old Girl is tone deaf and cannot sing in tune. I have been told we will be dressed up, dazzling like a Christmas tree...….Goodness what will The Legend have to say about that?