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It’s less than a week to go before SEIB Search for a Star at HOYS and there are so many things to remember. I’m a bit worried that I’m going to forget something vital, despite having done so much organising and preparation.

I would start packing the lorry, but it’s away being plated so that’s just not possible. I’ve been assured that it will be back by Monday night, and I’ve got a second one on standby just in case things don’t work out as planned.

As far as my clothing and equipment goes, the only thing I’ve still got to sort out is my top hat. I tried on one the other day but it was huge and sat down on my nose! Luckily a few other people have said I can try theirs so fingers crossed I’ll find one that fits, in case I do make it through to the overall championship.

Fergus is going really well at the moment, which I hope is a good sign. Natasha has ridden him again, and another friend of mine, Diane Grinyer, has also sat on him. He was a little bit worried when Diane first got on, but he went nicely enough for her. He can be quite a sensitive soul and gets a bit anxious sometimes so I hope he stays relaxed when Claire Oliver gets on in the class.

I’ve also been offered some ear plugs for him, which I’m going to try on Saturday, and I’ll take some calming paste with me, but I’ll wait to see how he is when I exercise him early Wednesday morning before deciding whether to use that or not.

We have both had a tidy up so we look presentable. I clipped him last Saturday and I had my hair cut by my friend Denny on Thursday. He is being shod today and Gary will do his tail on Saturday. Having HOYS just around the corner makes simple tasks seem so much more stressful. Normally I clip Fergus without a moment’s thought but this time I was wondering which blades to use as all the little things seem so much more important now.

Although the anticipation is building I am still really looking forward to our big day. Fergus is a super cob and I know we stand a great chance. It’s a fantastic opportunity to compete at one of the biggest shows out there without having to go up against the professionals. Members of my riding club, Mid Sussex RC, are coming along to cheer us on, so whatever the result, I know I’m going to have loads of support on the day.

Wish me luck!

Rose