Well after weeks of trying to keep hold of him for a little longer by finding more shows to go to, Jacob has finally been dragged from my clutches and returned home to the Popsters Stud.

It had been agreed that he would return home after we had competed in our last ridden class together at the NPS Autumn Festival. It’s probably a good thing that I was really busy working in Manchester the day before so I didn’t have time to get upset about Jacob’s imminent departure.

On the day the classes were huge — everyone seemed to have turned out to do the last Olympia classes — but Jacob felt on great form and really looked the part. As I went into the ring Jacob’s breeder hadn’t arrived and in the back of my mind I was hoping he had forgotten he was coming to pick him up!

Jacob did a great go round with the others and managed to keep his ‘ping’ going into his show, putting in one of his best performances with me. Typical for him to save his best ’til last! I was thrilled to be pulled forward to win the class — and had a few tears as I collected my rosette. What a great way to end our partnership!

As we did our final lap of honour we lost our rosette, so as I exited the ring I was greeted by Ollie Burchell, who produces Jacob, who had no idea I had won! Then Justin appeared with my mum, so I knew Jacob wouldn’t be coming home. He was thrilled Jacob had won and said he didn’t mind it being a wasted trip if Jacob managed to get that elusive ‘Olympia ticket’. I knew that was too much of a fairytale to hope for, although it was great to ride in the final NPS Olympia championship.

There were many tears as I loaded Jacob into Justin’s lorry. The worse thing was Justin had bought the new section C I will be showing for him next year up to swap with Jacob, but I didn’t even say hello to him as I was so busy saying goodbye to Jacob. Poor Pop must already feel unloved! Don’t worry, I’ll make it up to him.

There have been a few more updates that have happened recently that I must get round to telling you all about in my next blog, but I think this one should be a homage to Jacob.

Thank you Justin for letting me have your pride and joy for three years, thanks mum for supporting me with him through the ups and downs, and to my darling Jacob, thank you for all the fun times and teaching me to ‘use my legs’ like never before!

Chloe