The adventures of Hero, Heidi and Hobday: I am beyond distraught

  • All is not well for Heidi (Aberllanerch High Tide) on the Hobday yard. She is beyond distraught and has been bereft most nights. Everything is going wrong and fear is her overriding emotion. She doesn’t know what to do and has been very needy. She was just nuzzling Ben (admittedly for the 100th time) and was distraught when he told her to stop with the head-butting.

    The first terrible, terrible thing occurred last Thursday, when her majestic, beautiful Welsh cob father, Brofana Bonny Boy, died in his sleep aged 29. Although Heidi hadn’t seen him for a while, he was all she had left and now she’s an orphan.

    Her father had a bad start, rather like Heidi’s mum. He was skin and bone when he was discovered in Ruthin in a stable that was five feet deep in muck. Sian his human mummy spotted him and refused to leave, eventually paying £500 to save him from such a pitiful life. He went from a terrible home to one of complete luxury in Cilcain where he wanted for nothing. Heidi remembered all the stories about her wonderful father and her sadness has been all consuming.

    Heidi and me cross-country schooling last year

    And as if things couldn’t get any worse, she thinks that Ben and Hero are plotting to sell her. On Saturday morning Heidi was thoroughly groomed and looking very snazzy when a sweet girl came to ride her. She was especially gentle which Heidi liked and they had a nice time schooling in the arena, and once they’d finished Heidi got lots of cuddles. When she was back in her stable, Heidi heard Ben and the girl’s daddy talking and listened distractedly while munching hay until the words “I think we want to buy her”.

    I (Hero) am beyond distraught. I love Heidi more than I can express. She is everything to me, but maybe by owning her when I’m too busy to look after her I’m holding her back. Also I can’t really bankroll a top event horse. She’s too good and enjoys competing too much to languish in a field while I’m at university.

    I remember when I got her the summer she turned five and we went off to our first competitions. She was so excited she’d do this galloping on the spot thing, which made me laugh. However as soon as we went in and she had something to do she’d be completely fixated with the job at hand. She’d jump every fence as though it was on fire and we’d have a good two foot to spare.

    Ponies have been the centre of my life since I was three when my aunty sent her little Shetland pony Tuppence from Dorset to Wales to live with us. She had a small cart and my friends and I would load it up with snacks and spare clothes then set off along the forestry trails to a big lake for adventures until sunset. And now for the first time ever, I’m contemplating not having a horse, which is a very sad thought.

    The thing is that I’ve funded this expensive horse journey since I was 11 when I earned quite a chunk of money by writing a song that went to number five in the iTunes charts. I was able to buy my first competition pony and a trailer with that money. Then with a very willing mum to take me everywhere there was no stopping my pony adventures! Pony Club was my life.


    A photo taken with my mother Alice when my brother, Tibalt, and I were children

    However everything became confusing last year when I got some acting work right across the summer. I decided to send Heidi to Ben for what was supposed to be a few months. Heidi did amazingly well and I kept being busy so didn’t want to stop how well she was doing with Ben, but it became more and more tricky paying for the events as she went up the levels. The big looming problem is that I’m not allowed to do paid work while at university as it’s against the rules at Oxford, so if I get in that will be the end of filming, concerts and performing jobs. How can I pay for a top event horse then?

    Heidi is obviously doing brilliantly; what with winning an intermediate and getting placed in her first two-star. However with that success has come offers to buy her. I always said to myself that no offer would be high enough but then something happened that made me reconsider. The right owner came along. A really talented young girl with all the time in the world to devote to Heidi. She is 15, gets taught by Ben and is starting to event, and most important is a lovely, gentle rider. She really loves and wants Heidi and so I think I might be about to say goodbye to my beautiful girl. Heidi will still live at Ben’s and he will still compete her, but she will also go back to doing some fun BE100s and novices again.

    Heidi and me cross-country schooling last year

    Ben, I and her potential new owners still all dream that she’s going to make it all the way and I fully intend to go to all her events watching her progression with my heart in my mouth as usual.

    Continued below…

    This week she is being vetted and I guess very soon I might not be the owner of my beautiful girl. I’m going to keep following her progress though.

    This weekend she will be out with Ben in the two-star at Burgham International and so I’ll have lots of photos and an update on my beautiful girl…. If the sale goes through, which is very likely, I’ll keep you updated on Heidi’s change and Ben is very keen that we find a new youngster for him to ride so we might be off horse shopping very soon too.

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