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Billy Bank and Mini Haha are quite a team

Top of the Morning to you,

Autumn has arrived for sure, the leaves are falling fast and the cool winds are blowing. September has passed in a flash and I have been kept busy by Minnie Haha who has picked up my competition reins while The Young Master has been doing football coach training. I am hoping with all the good results we've had I might be moving up the legend scale as I did hear myself being referred to as "A real gentleman" recently!

My first bid to legend status started at the Pony Club show jumping competition at Escrick Park where Minnie Haha and I posted a nifty double clear to finish third in the winter league series debut class and qualified for the Area final early next year. Glamour Girl also took a qualifying ticket to fly the flag further for coloured Irish horses fuelled by Fibre-Beet!

Next stop Frickley Park Horse trials where Fat Boy Slim partnered by younger sister Minnie Hehe joined us in the BE80. I took care of my young rider and trundled round the dressage in good style, although I do wonder what these children learn in Maths lessons as some of the circle sizes left rather a lot to be desired! They obviously do learn number sequences as we sailed round the show jumping clear and zipped round the cross country inside the time to finish third and pick up a qualifying ticket for a regional final next year. Fat Boy Slim took sixth place with a double clear too and when Glamour Girl finished on her dressage score in the BE90 to take fifth, The Old Girl was beside herself with delight. I could tell we would all be getting extra rations of Fibre-Beet for tea that night!

Despite the football training, The Young Master has still made time to visit "He who must be obeyed" and keep up to scratch with the dressage practice. I feel this is not his favourite discipline when I hear the tack locker open and the groan when only the dressage saddle is visible. There is also the element of surprise in the guru's voice, "Dressage again Nick?" which fuels my belief. The Old Girl smirks on the sidelines as we are put through our paces, just wait until she hacks me out on a blustery day I might just show her a medium canter she won't forget in a hurry!

With another outing on the cards it was all go. Plaited, bathed and trimmed I arrived at Bishop Burton for a schools dressage competition with Count Figgy, another pony belonging to Tinkerbelle and Babyface, accompanying me this time. The Count has a wicked sense of humour which can often land him in trouble and results in strong words from The Old Girl and a spot of being put in his place by both of us. Strangely enough I enjoyed myself warming up alongside the dressage divas despite almost being blinded by the bling. It was weird entering the indoor school at Bishop Burton with not a show jump in sight. Minnie Haha rode much better shapes but was a little tentative in the give and re-take of reins despite me not altering the outline a lot. All in all I think we did an ok job and with a score of just over 70% the judge agreed. Glamour Girl smashed both her tests to win and qualify for the Championships in both classes. I finished fifth in my class and along with the Woldgate Team have qualified as an individual for the Championship Plate in November. My first ever dressage championship, and in a long arena too! Of course we all know what this will mean… more sessions with "He who must be obeyed" while the jumping saddle gathers dust.

The Young Master is back on the competitive scene next month with a couple of BE100's lined up at Bishop Burton and Norton Disney, so on that note I shall sign off but not before reminding everyone to keep eating Fibre-Beet especially now the cold weather is coming.

Keep smiling

Billy Bank