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Dear diary,

So first of all, thank you to all who have already bought their special “Hovis” ticket for the Belton International Horse Trials in April. As I have mentioned previously, not only does this magic ticket give you access to a fantastic day out, watching amazing riders and stunning steeds (hopefully at least 50% of which are mares and totally moral-less), but you also get to rub shoulders with a mega-star (me) and meet mother (which is an unavoidable downside). PLUS, you will get your mitts on my sixth book later this year — weeks ahead of everyone else and be included into a prize draw to win load of cool money-can’t-buy prizes. But the main thing is that in buying this ticket, you raise much needed funds to continue the amazing work of Bransby Horses, a Lincolnshire-based equine charity who do incredible work rescuing and rehabilitating equines less fortunate than me. Although to be fair when I tell you about my week then I’m not sure there is ANY equine less fortunate than me.

So, I told you the other week that in the bad weather I had been struggling a tad and that mum had called in Herman the German Needle Man to take a look. Mainly because one day I was fine — galloping about my field with gleeful abandonment and then days later shuffling about like an old man. Mum was deeply concerned and had wiped snot and tears over poor Herman on several occasions. All were baffled. Blood was stolen from me (again) and nothing revealed. I was poked, prodded and generally asked to suffer all manner of indignities but still nothing revealed. Then on Sunday, mum came to get me from the field; dad and mini-mother had turned me out and mucked me out as apparently it was Mother’s Day. Heh, in my world EVERY day is Mother’s Day…

Anyway, as I shuffled pathetically out of the field, unwilling and unable to put my foot down on concrete, it’s fair to say mother nearly had a complete breakdown. Videos were taken and the vet called. It was then that Herman delivered the news we might have to face up to it being the “L” word. Now how on all Earth’s creation that gloriously talented German goofball could think it was the “L” word I have no idea. Firstly, I’m built like a thoroughbred racing snake (honestly, I am. In the right light i.e. the pitch darkness). Secondly, I am allowed like one single blade of grass a day. Seriously. Strip grazing? You lot have no idea. This is blade grazing. Mum and the boss lady are so paranoid about my weight and the “L” word (which by the way chaps and chapesses I have never had in my 15 years on this grass depriving planet), that I am starved to within an inch of my life. There are donkeys in the Sahara Desert who get more grass than me. And camels. All of which have less of the hump that mother usually does but that’s a different story.

And let’s not get me started on how little feed I get. I have to empty it out of the bucket onto the floor just to be able to see it. It’s like looking for a pin in the black hole. I’m only guided by a faint smell of pasture mix that’s clearly been put in the bucket and then removed by militant mice because I can assure you all — it ain’t in my bucket dear Liza dear Liza…

Anyway, back to Sunday and Monday. Herman mentioned the “L” word and mother, at the airport by this stage, had a total meltdown. I understand that upon arrival at work she bore a passing resemblance to a bulldog chewing a wasp and had a disposition that swung violently between a Halle Berry Oscar acceptance speech (lots of tears and snot) and Jack Nicholson in the Shining.

By this stage, Herman had hot footed (see the pun here people — I have a sense of humour about these things) to my rescue. An hour, and a lot of bodily fluids later, we had two outcomes: Herman had realised that Cool New Shoes Man must be a lot fitter than he looks as Herman was crippled and we had pus. Lots and lots and lots of PUS. I had a very large, very deep foot abscess and thus despite my manly ability to deal with pain (which is not as mother put it as dramatic as a Kardashian with a broken nail), meant I couldn’t face putting my foot down. Because I am big and muscled, this then made my gait look very odd (which is rich coming from mother who is so wonky, she makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look straight). Anyway, despite wearing what looks like a nappy on my foot for the past few days, I’m well and truly on the mend, much happier and ready to get back to my training.

Continued below…



Mother in the meantime is being booked in for mental health counselling not least by the Boss lady after she insisted on FaceTiming me the other night to see with her own eyes that I was doing better.

So, the horses that Bransby rescue are absolutely in need of your help and support, but please people I beg of thee — so am I. So buy a ticket to see me at Belton, support the charity and more importantly come and rescue me. Please…

Laters,
Hoppy Hovis