Billy’s Blog August

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Top of the Morning to you. Now August has been a busy month, with comings and goings at the yard. The Legend went off to do what he does best, restore confidence and give children fun, for a few weeks while I headed to Pony Club Camp with the York and Ainsty South Pony Club at Askham Bryan College.

Oh, how I love camp, it’s so much fun meeting up with all my chums, we had a ball. Given all the hard work I was doing my rations increased which meant lots of yummy fibre beet to give me plenty of slow release energy so I didn’t flag towards the end of the week. Boy, it was a good job too, I needed plenty of energy what with a six bar competition (first place in that one), a puissance which reached a metre thirty five over the big red wall and only a lack of bricks prevented us going higher (shared first place) AND then the one day event on the final day (won that). The Young Master surpassed himself by also winning the tack and turnout prize, I have never had so many baths and the Old Girl was amazed. The big red wall made an appearance on the last night when it magically constructed itself outside the DC’s bedroom door. We could hear the gales of laughter in the stable block when she opened her door to be faced with such an obstacle. Wonder who was responsible for that prank???

So, it was with high hopes we travelled to the Area Eventing hoping to do well with other members of our team. Our dressage went well despite one little trip in the long grass and the team felt confident with everyone producing accurate performances. Word was trickling back that the show jumping time was extremely tight. Despite jumping clear rounds folk were clocking up huge numbers of time faults resulting in expensive penalties. Well there’s nothing better I like than a jump off against the clock, and we zipped round taking some very nifty lines. We only just made the time, which had the Old Girl chuntering, and annoyingly clipped the first fence in our haste but it was better than most!

With everything to play for we set off across country knowing only a clear round inside the time would be good enough to qualify for the championships. Fuelled with fibre beet I had plenty of energy and knew I could do it. We were on target, shaving every second we could with tight lines and direct routes. Then it happened the pesky Leprechaun I haven’t seen since the Dengie final reared his ugly head at the skinny before a ditch. Given the speed we were going even the long legs of the Young Master couldn’t keep me straight and I avoided him! A quick turn back and we jumped it but 20 penalties ended the dream. Our team members also fell foul of the curse of the Leprechaun when he was sighted earlier in the course, which saw us finish in fourth place. Spirits were low it has to be said but before long the team bounced back making plans for next year and proposals to smite the Leprechaun!

The Young Master had another busy weekend ahead at Epworth with two newbies in the fold. Both coloureds, naturally, Wannabe a leggy version of me as described by the Old Girl. (I have pointed it out to her I cracked the mould). And Tiny Tilly, the pocket rocket.

I watched them go up the ramp and felt, it has to be said, a tinge of envy. Although they didn’t return with any prizes they both jumped double clears and Wannabe had done an amazing dressage. I could barely believe it when he said he would have won had it not been for reverse time faults! “Well we’ve all heard that one before,” I muttered and sometimes slow and steady wins the race! The Legend had been there and done what he does best, won the junior class. Naturally he hasn’t let me forget this since coming home!

I’m not one for sulking but I was glad when I heard the Old Girl telling the Young Master I was going to another pony club rally as I needed an outing to cheer me up. I have had plenty of cantering on the stubble too in order to keep up the fitness as I am heading off to Richmond BE100 shortly. And I can tell you if I see that Leprechaun again he’s for the high jump!

Bye for now, Billy Bank