Billy Bank’s February Update

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Top of the morning to you, and very chilly it is too. The snow has hit hard in our neck of the woods disrupting our routine, let’s hope it quickly disappears.
February has been a fun month with a couple of trips away. Team Ireland headed off to Somerford during half term for some cross country practice on the fantastic all weather surface.
The Pocket Rocket, now in the recent ownership of Saskia Brookes, and the new pretenders Izzy and Spirit and I all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. While the others went for a spin round the farm ride, the Young Master rode another horse for a friend of the Old Girl.
Show jumping has also been on our agenda. A trip to Bishop Burton BS proved profitable with a second for the young Master and I, however a newcomer on the yard, the Ginger Ninja, has been cleaning up on the show jumping front. Ridden by young rider, Lucy Jones, the pair of them won two classes at Port Royal, qualifying for the show jumper of the year competition later in the year. A week later they continued their winning streak when two double clears saw their Woldgate School win both classes at Northallerton to qualify for the Championships at Bury Farm in April.
The long-awaited Arena Eventing final was an interesting experience and the furthest South I’ve competed before. When all is said and done I’m an Irish northern boy and think some of the southerners I encountered could learn some manners. I’ll say no more. The Young Master and I managed a ninth place in the BE100 class. I was not my usually relaxed self and had an annoying fence down in the show jumping but the cross country phase was straight forward and I cruised round easily inside the time. All that extra hacking the Old Girl has insisted on really paid off.
The long journey home was made more pleasant by the addition of Fancy Piece returning to the fold. We were both happy to return to Yorkshire and extra carrots with our Fibre-Beet.

The Legend has reached the ripe old age of 21 and we were hoping for a hot tub party which seems to feature heavily whenever the Young Master can think of an excuse. Well that didn’t happen although the Legend got a rather sporty new rug and lots of extra treats.

The Team will be out and about in March with more show jumping competitions planned, weather permitting of course. We are all enjoying the hot Fibre-Beet mashes the Old Girl has been making but I can’t wait to feel some sun on my back!
Best wishes everyone
Billy Bank