Dear diary,

So this time just over a week ago, I was already into day two of my star turn at Lincolnshire county show. I’d done a long day in the blazing heat the day before, with mother and aunty Em keeping me cool by giving me the gazebo (resulting in minor sunstroke for mother) and sponging me down every 30 minutes.

The second day, however, was a totally different story with gale force winds and, later on, torrential rain. Note mother’s kindness only extends to protecting me from the sun — she stole the gazebo back under the guise of “protecting the books from the rain”. Yeah right.

We arrived at the show in the lorry with both of them looking slightly smug that I still had glowing white feathers; I was off loaded, given my breakfast and allowed to graze before the masses turned up. I did cause considerable alarm to the Bransby ladies when I realised mum and aunty Em had disappeared and so briefly considered nimbly leaping the pitifully low gate at the front of my “cage” and going to look for them. Panicked-looking ladies wondering how to contain 750kg of rampaging beast was quite amusing, especially as mother reappeared with a sausage sandwich and a resigned air of a woman only too used to histrionics. Usually her own…

I settled into a morning of meet and greet, although we didn’t get anyone who could beat the lady who’d come from France for distance travelled to meet a proper horse. I met lots and lots and lots of children, didn’t eat any of them (mum was grateful for the lack of paperwork, but the truth is I can’t manage a whole one) and mum was interviewed by yet more radio stations. I sold books and my unique “Team Hovis” polo shirts (well mum did, I’m too young to work in a shop — it’s child labour) and rattled the donation bucket thing loudly after anyone had stroked me. Mum missed a serious trick — people kept asking how much it was to stoke me or take my picture and she kept saying it was free. Seriously, we could have made a fortune! Treats don’t come cheap she tells me and here was a sure fire way to keep me in lickits for years and she turns it down! She calls herself a management consultant? She couldn’t manage a canter at a racecourse.

Halfway through the day it started to bucket it down with rain so I sulked hugely, pointed my slimline derriere in the direction of the wet stuff and glared at mother sheltered under MY gazebo. I was not mollified in the slightest by her filling my treat ball periodically with pony nuts and plotted my revenge. Which I got only an hour or so later, but quite by accident.

I was just starting to enjoy life again after the rain had stopped when all of a sudden there was a loud noise and turbo charged pheasants, trailing blue, white and red smoke leapt over the trees behind me. I gave a manly jump in surprise (I refute any suggestion that I damn near jumped into mum’s arms like Scooby Doo at a horror film convention) and may have done a swift circuit of my cage to check the perimeter — I have no idea what that means but it sounds impressive. Mum looked horrified at my actions, muttered something about my injured leg and leapt into my pen faster than a cage fighter on a promise. She snapped me onto my lead rope just as the large, petrol powered pheasants came back for another go and I may possibly have stood on her foot. Briefly mind. The leaping about she did was nothing compared to the happenings in the owl tents or the hounds’ tents for that matter where havoc was now reigning. Even the giant tortoise looked distinctly perturbed. Well either that or he’d chewed a limp piece of lettuce — was hard to tell with the dude as “dynamic”, he wasn’t…

Suffice to say it’s a pretty accurate statement to say no one around us really enjoyed the Red Arrows as we were told they were called. Mum because her foot hurt, the owls because the planes didn’t give two hoots about their ears, the dogs because practising dog fighting isn’t the same thing and all the people around me because they’d suddenly realised a 1m high gate was never going to hold me if I wanted to get out. It’s also fair to say I settled down a lot quicker than either the hounds or the owls, so clearly I am a big brave warrior — despite what mother called me…

So it’s fair to say we had a great few days. I met loads of you, cuddled lots, had lots of selfies and other photos taken and raised a lot of money for Bransby Horses. I was offered re-homing multiple times (for me to be re-homed rather than people offering to take mother off my hands sadly) and called a genius by one woman who refused to acknowledge mother’s minor role in bringing my literary skills to the masses. I thought it was hilarious…

Continued below…

So thank you all who came to say hello, thank you for not mentioning the feathers, thank you for putting up with the cross I have to bear (i.e. mother) and being nice to Aunty Em and more importantly, thank you for your ongoing support. Don’t forget you can always order all five of my books or my Team Hovis polo shirts online at www.bransbyhorses.co.uk in the online shop and that ALL the money goes to charity.

Laters,
Hovis