Giving you the lowdown on who’s who in the Billy Bank team?
Granny/Old Girl – Pippa Ireland
He Who Must Be Obeyed – Top Trainer and Ex Olympian Eventer Gary Parsonage
Baby Face – Noah Marsh
The Leading Lady – Polly Raper
The Legend – Nick Ireland’s show jumping pony, Puzzle
Purple Corker – Daytime Polly
The Guardians – Yard Rottweilers, Zeus and Pablo
Billy Bank – That’s me!
Top of the Morning to You,
Happy New Year and I hope everyone is surviving the awful storms, ok? Here in East Yorkshire, we seem to have come off quite lightly compared to others areas of the country. The cold weather does bring the bonus of warm Fibre-Beet and Cooked Linseed mashes supplied lovingly by Granny. Soaked fibre feeds provide much needed hydration, not only in the hot weather, but also in the winter when is equines are often consuming bast amounts of dried forage such as hay. I think it is fair to say we have all wintered well and at a recent pony club show jumping competition it was remarked upon at how well I looked. I have had a pretty easy time these last few months, just ticking over, with my workload minimal but it was fun to be back out at a Pony Club Competition, at Bishop Burton, with Babyface.
The pair of us have had some good results at BS but Babyface does tend to go the scenic route in the jump offs. However, on this occasion he decided to try some turns! Mary, Mother of Jesus the boy meant business and we fair flew round but his turn to the last jump was beyond even me. ” I do need to see the fence, ” I muttered on the re-approach but top marks to him for giving it a go and he won’t make the same mistake again. Babyface now has another string to his bow as recently New Girl on the Block joined the team. Their first outing at BS resulted in a 2nd place and the partnership continued to gel with a clear round at the Pony Club Competition. New Girl is a real candidate for the conditioning properties of Fibre-Beet as she is currently on the leaner side. The Young Master and Purple Corker had really begun to get it together posting back-to-back wins that day. Corker is extremely athletic and made nothing of the 110cms class. She really looks a picture now having gained weight and muscle, a real testament to her diet of Fibre-Beet , Cooked Linseed meal and Turmeraid by The Golden Paste Company.
Proving it wasn’t a fluke, the pair won another British Novice competition at the BS competition held at Bishop Burton the following Tuesday. It is exciting that the pair have nailed their second-round qualification at this level and plans are being made to attend some new venues where these competitions will be held.
Back in the day I did the very same with The Young Master who will be hoping to go one better this year and make it to the final in August. With this in mind our plans have changed slightly, and we won’t be rushing off early season to event. Granny has flatly stated until the clocks change, she has no intention of attending any BE competitions although we all know that may well change if she gets fired up with some success at the unaffiliated dressage, she is planning to take me to: apparently, it’s a class for OAP’s that the York & Ainsty Pony Club are running March. I suggested The Legend entered given his status of Golden Oldie, but he told me it was reference to the jockey not the horse!
Babyface and I are off to Northallerton for a school competition shortly where The New Girl will also join us. This is followed by a lesson with Geoff Billington at Bishop Burton Arena, for both Corker and me. So, it would seem the holiday is ending with all these fun outings on the cards. We will all need plenty of Fibre-Beet and Speedi-Beet to fuel our ambitions.
Keep smiling everyone and stay safe from the storms!