Dear diary,

To quote Mr Jack Nicholson: “I’m baaaccckkkk”! Apart from the fact I am neither a crazed psychopath nor am I sticking my head through a hole in a door while saying it, obviously…

Admittedly I have done the whole “stick your head through a hole in the door” thing but it was just one time and the hole wasn’t entirely my fault, but the psychopath thing? Not so much…

Anyway abandoning this literary cul-de-sac which I appear to have navigated myself down, I come with news! That’s right, folks the Destroyer rode forth once more last week; flying over cross-country fences like a force of nature, leaping off steps in a single bound, hurtling through water like an equine torpedo…well, you get the idea.

Saturday morning dawned much like any other day; the boss lady gave me my breakfast then tuned me out. I settled down to chew some of the green stuff and shoot the breeze with Dolly, but my mid morning’s musings were paused when mother sauntered down the drive, followed closely a few moments later by a four-wheel drive and a horse trailer. Intrigued I sauntered down the field and was greeted a moment later by mother and Aunty Becky. Without so much as a pause for breath I was stripped of my rug, given a flash over with a brush and loaded onto the trailer with Aunty Becky’s small black dude who seemed rather cool until he tried to snog me. I appreciate I am a fine specimen of feathered fella but I’m not sure that justified him sticking his tongue in my ear…

We got to the venue, off-loaded and Mum gave Aunty Becky a leg up. Another nice lady (i.e. she thinks I’m great) was riding the black pipsqueak and off we went.

There are no words for how good it felt to be back on a cross-country course after over a year off. It’s where I’m meant to be and boy, do I love it!

I swiftly showed that I’ve not lost any of my magic although mother did spend a LOT of time yelling at Aunty Becky to “make him do it again and not be so cocky”.

We hurtled over logs, palisades, coffins, up and down steps and generally had a ball. I had to give the black squirt a lead a few times over the coffin as he seemed to think there was something lurking in the bottom of it. Judging by the determination on his pint sized rider’s face I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t going to be his corpse if he reared one more time…

We did the sunken road, the bigger steps and the tyres, hurtling over them with total ease and reminding Aunty Becky once again that all she needs to do is tell me what to jump and leave the rest to me.

I will admit to attempting to duck out at the water jump, but not because I’m scared of water as mother suggested while calling me a girl at such a volume they could probably have heard her in Scotland. It’s October people — it was COLD.

After realising that if I didn’t launch forth into the murky depths like the QE2 out of a dry dock mother was probably not going to feed me for a week or, worse still, actually get on board herself, I jumped in, splashed across and jumped out.

I’d like to apologise to the owner of the venue for a) the amount of water that jumped out (water displacement is a swine) and b) the damage caused to the far end of the complex by the resulting tidal wave. It’s physics people, it’s not my fault.

Anyway exhausted, muddy and happy we warmed down, re-loaded and went home where upon I regaled Dolly with tales of my brilliance.

The next day a white-faced, worried looking mother came to get me out and led me down the drive. I did briefly consider pretending to be lame just to see the size of the melt down that would have occurred but even I cant be that mean. She asked me for a trot, I tucked my head onto my chest and carted her down the drive, chucking a little buck for joy in along the way. She called me rude names but it was very half-hearted so I knew mum was over the moon really.

So on Sunday I get to go out and play again, showing the masses what big boys can really do. Never mind that the fences are so low Aunty Becky could jump them without my help – that’s beside the point – it’s cross-country baby!

Wish me luck.

Laters,

Hovis