So what a week! I’m still buzzing with excitement after the most AMAZING weekend at Your Horse is Alive which saw me release book number five, sell an amazing auction lot for charity, meet hundreds of my fans, pose for hundreds of pictures, oh and be ridden in the main arena by no less than the mighty Geoff Billington! People, I have finally ARRIVED!
So Friday dawned bright and early and with mother’s dire threats about getting my feathers dirty ringing in my ears, I was turned out for a leg stretch for a few hours while my minions (mother, Aunty Emily and Frenchie) ran around like headless chickens getting everything sorted. I was fetched back inside, subjected to yet more feather scrubbing and then rugged and booted for the trip down to the venue. On arrival mum off-loaded me almost slap bang into the arms of a very excited lady who flung her arms around me and said she was totally star struck. Obviously I didn’t blame her but she could have let me get my travel boots off first…
Mum then led me up to the stables and I will refute to my dying day that my eyes were on stalks or that I in anyway looked like I wanted to jump into mum’s arms like a large, hairy equine Scooby Doo. No sir, I did not do any of those things. Absolutely not…
So I got settled in and was informed that I had a dress rehearsal with Mr Billington that evening. I was a little alarmed at this news as I don’t own a dress and was starting to wonder what I’d let myself in for…
I need not have worried though, as we merely spent the evening walking about in the enormous arena, doing sound checks and the like. It was then that it started to get exciting as my new mate, Mr B, decided that not only was he riding me but he’d take me over a jump as well. I took this news like the pro I am — it was only inevitable that a star such as Mr B would recognise fellow greatness. Aunty Becky however squealed at a frequency only heard by dogs and Mum nearly wet herself and hyperventilated so much I feared that the course builder was going to have to resuscitate her.
So Saturday morning dawned early — not bright as it was chucking it down — and mum and the team arrived to sort everything out. Dad was his usual unruffled self, mum looked stressed, Aunty Becky looked overexcited, Aunty Em looked overexcited and Frenchie looked totally confused.
My public started to arrive and I was tacked up and led down (with my own security guards — I am SO not going anywhere without an entourage from now on, it’s so COOL) to meet with Mr B and the team. He asked mum for a leg up, which she actually managed without bursting a blood vessel and then we were off!
As we rode through the big black curtain into that huge arena and hit a wall of light and noise — shouts, screams and laughter — I knew that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. Mum burst into tears, forcing me to disown her and concentrate on showing off to my people. I walked down the crowd lines, allowing all there to appreciate my manly stature, magnificent white feathers and melting brown eyes before Mr B asked me to step it up a gear. Now here we had a minor misunderstanding; firstly they’d forgotten to put a jump down for me and then secondly Mr B I think thought I might need a fair bit of encouragement to go forward. He gave me a good amount of leg; I accelerated from 0-60 and locked on to one of the 1m+ jumps which I was more than happy to go over. Mum reports that Mr Billington had a “oh ****” look on his face before I actually listened to what he was asking and slithered to a halt. He did tell the audience that “this horse is dangerous” to fits of laughter before handing me over to dad for us to exit.
I then spent the next few hours in my stable, hanging out with my fans, cuddling and posing while mum signed copies of my new book like a pro. Why she signs them I have no idea but they were flying out of the door so THANK YOU to all who bought a copy. If you weren’t there then the book is now available at the online shop at www.bransbyhorses.co.uk so please please dig deep and order a copy for yourself or for Christmas. Every single penny goes to charity and it’s for a great cause, so thank you x
Saturday afternoon came around and once again I was tacked up to meet Mr B. This time he got on me earlier and we went for a little walk, two heavyweights of the equine world enjoying a private moment together in the weak autumn sunshine. I was in total heaven.
We rode in together to a packed arena to screams of delight and a massive round of applause and away we went! This time the lovely course builder had put me a little jump (although it was so little I was positively insulted) and over we popped to cheers from the crowd. I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life when I say I could do this all day, every day. I LOVED it! Seriously, I could have stayed in there all day but in fairness Geoff’s show was about the next generation so being the generous hearted horse that I am, I stepped aside to let the kids and their ponies have their moment in the spotlight. To be fair the kids, their parents and their ponies were more excited about meeting me than about riding in front of the crowds but heh — who can blame them?!
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I’ll tell you all about the rest of the weekend another day, including the auction of a lesson with me in aid of Wilberry the Wonder Pony, bigger fences and me giving a little buck of excitement with Mr B on my final trip into the arena on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned!
It’s fair to say however that I now know without a moment’s hesitation that THIS is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Mr Billington, you are a total star and I am more than happy to make the move to Nantwich as soon as you have a free stable. I think between us we could change the face of British showjumping forever.
Mr Hob-nob, Mr Fox-in-a-hole, Mr Toddle, Mrs King et al, I’m still keen to work on showing the world my cross-country capabilities and you know I’m training for the Wobbleberry challenge so don’t be shy — get your people to ring my people and let’s make a date to show people what feathers are made to do; FLY!
“In seventh Heaven” Hovis