August has not been Billy Banks friend

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Top of the Morning to You,
And what a glorious morning it is to, although the weather in August has not been our friend. The Young Master and I were all set for the Pony Club championships in the middle of the month. New shoes with stud holes were on, I was clipped to the point of being scalped and now even the fridge in the lorry was working. Never in the history of Team Ireland had we been so organised to the extent the humans had even planned their menus for the stay!
But it just wasn’t to be, for the first time ever (excluding foot and mouth) the PC Champs was abandoned. What a massive blow, not just for us, for everyone involved. On top of that we heard Richmond BE was cancelled too due to strangles on the yard. How awful for everyone. The Old Girl is often involved with organising various pony parties and is well aware of all the effort and time that goes on behind the scenes to give the competitors and their families a fun time. We all felt the disappointment on everyone’s level.
Not to be deterred we re-routed to Shelford, a new venue for us, where the sun shone and the temperature soared into the 30’s. “Oh no!” I hear my supporters groan, “Billy doesn’t do heat” Well have I got news for you, this time it wasn’t me who didn’t cope but The Young Master. He just wasn’t on his A game. Don’t get me wrong the lad didn’t let me down, we did a passable test, rolled a pole in the show jumping when a huge Leprechaun sauntered across the middle of the double I was approaching carrying a camera of all things! And we cruised round the cross country posting a clear but clocking up a few too many time faults to make a top ten placing. I was barely sweating but my jockey was done in! Never mind always another day and I still got plenty of Fibre-Beet for tea. It was a good job Glamour Girl and Minne HaHa were flying the flag that weekend at another venue.
The York & Ainsty South Grassroots teams had headed off to Derbyshire for the Pony club Regional Championships at Eland Lodge and what a weekend they had with members riding in all three disciplines.
Day 1 Dressage – Never our favourite but possibly that may have altered now as Glamour Girl coolly produced an arena winning test of 74% putting her into the ride off against other winners and second placed riders. A hydrating feed of Fibre-Beet and a quick look at the sheet to see where improvements could be made, Minnie Haha rode her little heart out to post an amazing score of 77% and take the Championship. Glamour girl shrugged it off, “All in a day’s work” before demanding more Fibre-Beet. Minnie Hehe on Spike, Sprout’s borrowed pony, rode well to receive 10th place in her arena alongside another team member, Sophie, who also took a 10th putting the team just out of the rosettes.
Day 2 Showjumping – The Legend was in action with Minnie Me in a competition that started at 8.30am and didn’t finish until past 6pm. With his first two rounds five hours apart the old boy nailed a double clear round a stiff track that really sorted the men from the boys. With another four hours to wait for the jump off even the best of us can get fed up. It would have been a fairy tale ending if the old man had gone clear but a stop put him just out of the rosettes. He muttered he’d seen a Leprechaun and I don’t doubt him.
Day 3 Eventing- Babyface and Barney Big Belly, now named Fat Boy Slim due to his weight loss over the summer holidays, were on the team alongside Glamour Girl and Minnie Haha. All four YAS team members rode nice dressage tests before heading over to the show jumping. Fat Boy Slim jumped an immaculate clear round, with the others rolling the first part of the double. The Cross Country caused no problems, with clears in the bag. Babyface finished 10th in his section and after a nail biting wait where the results seesawed and Glamour Girl took another WIN!! AND the team finished 8th.
It was a quick turnaround and I headed up to Hamley Hagg for Pony Patrol Camp with Minnie Haha picking up the reins again. Plenty of fun I can tell you and lots of Fibre-Beet to keep me hydrated on the hot days.
Finally, the last event of the summer holidays the local hunter trial at Rise run by the Holderness Hunt Supporters. Sprout, who has been so generous lending her pony to Minnie Hehe, had a ball with Spike. The pair flew round the course, proving Fibre-Beet does give you wings, winning the class and qualifying for a championship at Eland Lodge in late September. A fitting end to a busy summer holiday.
September will see me piloted again by Minne Haha while The Young Master laces up his football boots and kicks on with Football Association stuff… I snort in disgust but realise this is part of his Degree course but we will be back in action together in October. (Unless Minnie Haha does so well we jock him off… Never! Only teasing or am I? Never say never as the Old Girl would say. And I did hear a whisper she was intending to book a lesson on me with “He who must be obeyed.” Watch this space…
Keep smiling, which you will do if you eat plenty of #FibreBeet
Billy Bank xx