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There is no stopping those leprechauns

Top of the morning to you,

And what a glorious one it is to be sure, the sun is shining and I feel pretty good. May has been packed full of action and a touch of madness on the 'Old Girl's part but I'll come to that later!

Our first event of the month was up at Richmond in the BE100, a venue we all really enjoy which offers great facilities and a cracking cross country course. Everything was going smoothly in the dressage warm up and I started my test feeling super calm. This feeling didn't last for long as a bunch of leprechauns decided to hurl abuse at me in the free walk. Well naturally I shot off giving them both barrels as I passed by. Obviously dressage judges have no idea how pesky these goblins are because if they did they would be a lot more generous with their marking system. The comment "Canter too fast" hardly described the flat out gallop I executed in my bid to escape the taunting of those evil sprites! I think I must have injured one of them as I didn't see them again that day and the Young Master and I posted a super double clear with no time penalties on the cross country either. This pulled us right up from our poor position after the dressage but not quite high enough to gain a rosette.

Bank Holiday Monday saw The Young Master and The Old Girl assisting at The York & Ainsty South Pony Club showjumping competition all day at Escrick Park. With well over 100 entries it was a busy day for the pair of them. Tuesday we were back with "He who must be obeyed" in a mission to smite the Leprechauns from future dressage tests. I had heard many phone calls over the weekend about a horse viewing trip and was relieved to find out it wasn't to replace me (NEVER) but potentially for Minnie Haha who won't stop growing! The Old Boy arrived to swap vehicles and take me home and the Young Master and The Old Girl shot off to head south. None of us knew how far they would end up travelling that day. When The Old Boy appeared at tea time with my Fibre-Beet I did begin to wonder where they had ended up. Another evening check and still No Old Girl! Whatever next?

"She's totally bonkers", I heard the Old Boy mutter as he refilled a water bucket. Whoever was he referring to? Not the Old Girl surely? Headlights finally pulled into the yard in the early hours and from conversations gleaned at breakfast the pair of them had only ended up at Stonehenge but I don't think they encountered any Druids. What they did find is a gorgeous Irish lady, Glamour Girl, who has now moved to Yorkshire to show Minne Haha the ropes in eventing. Glamour Girl has been very modest about her previous achievements and has settled in very nicely using the maxim 'actions speak louder than words.' Her wonderful behaviour and athletic ability bagged her Best in Ride at Pony Patrol Camp recently up at Hamley Hagg. Minnie Haha just hasn't stopped smiling!

Minnie Haha and the Young Master had a trip to Warwick Hall where everyone was impressed with the friendly atmosphere and the wonderful cross country course. The pair rode in the BE80 and posted great clears on the cross country, and on ponies which are not their usual mounts. Whilst up there the pair of them ran into 'The Flying Scot' none other than Ian Stark himself whose name had been mentioned more than once when practicing for the pony club quiz a few months ago.

More training followed both for myself and The Woldgate School team as they headed to Hickstead for the Arena eventing final and I went to Bishop Burton for another BE100. The flaming leprechauns hit again in the dressage, this time blowing poisoned darts resulting in some nasty lumps under my belly. They always get me between the white boards! "Never mind, always next time," said The Old Girl giving me a pat before I danced off sideways back to the box. The show jumping was causing quite a few problems as the time was tight, lots of friends had told the Young Master to ride it like a jump off. Well we didn't need telling twice, and we zipped round but annoyingly clipping a pole for 4 faults. With the ground quite firm The Young Master was under instructions to give me an easy round and save my legs for another day. We cruised round the cross country and I finished barely sweating with a few time faults. The girls from Woldgate all had a positive experience at Hickstead but the odd pole here and there kept them out of the placing’s, onwards and upwards...

My next outing will be the arena eventing at Bramham Horse Trials. What a great event it is, The British Horse feeds team will be there as sponsors of the Under 25 CCI 4*L as well as the Fibre-Beet Inspection areas and not forgetting the Speed-Beet Double Feat Cross Country Fence, so come along to the stand and meet the team. In preparation I shall be eating plenty of Fibre-Beet to help keep me hydrated and in tip top condition.

I hope to see lots of you at Bramham!

Keep smiling
Billy Bank xx