Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘feathers are for flying’

  • Dear Diary

    I can’t spend long writing this diary this week, I have to be sitting by the phone waiting for THE call. Yes this is the week it’s coming, I can feel it in my feathers, the week when the eventing world finally realises what it’s been missing out on. Any minute now Mr Beauty Pageant, Mr Knickerless or Mr Fox-in-a-hole are going to be calling me up to be their steed of choice for this year’s eventing season. I know this to be true because they seem to be intelligent men, they haven’t taken too many falls on the head (unlike mother) and let’s face it how could they not after my exploits over the last week?

    I shall explain…

    As I may have mentioned last week, I have finally discovered that giving mother and Aunty Becky a brief moment of what they want (i.e. poncing about like a fairy). Thus allowing them to enjoy a brief moment of smugness thinking they can actually ride pays dividends. I.e. I get to go and play on the local cross-country course with Aunty Becky. Now to be fair Aunty Becky hasn’t jumped in a while so I was under strict instructions from mother to behave. Which was both unfair and unnecessary — I ALWAYS behave across country.

    Behaving does not, in my view, bare any relation to the speed and enthusiasm one applies to the boring flat bits in between jumps. In my view speed between jumps is a good thing — apparently mother disagrees if her descriptions of “pulls like the intercity express” with the “steerage of the QE2” were in fact talking about me…

    I shall also take the opportunity to clarify two things: firstly the “behave” instruction was about the actual cross-country and did not specify this about the hack up to the course and secondly Aunty Becky is a big fat fibber. I did NOT spook at the pigeon, the carrier bag, the car, the bikes nor the dog walker and I certainly did not put my head between my legs, hide my eyes behind my feathers and pray at any point. Her comment to mother that I am afraid of only two things: “things that move and things that don’t” was unnecessary and she is to be reminded I saved her from the creatures lurking in the bottom of that ditch thing several times. So there…

    Anyway when we arrived at the course we met up with some of Aunty Becky’s friends and a rather fine little filly. Aunty Becky’s friends seemed to think I was cool and the mare didn’t try to kick my head in so I decided I was to go into an all out “impress” mode. So I did.

    Hovis jump

    With Aunty Becky clinging onto me like a stick on Garfield in the rear window of a super-charged Land Rover, we tackled steps, skinnies, logs, some very dodgy looking ditches (which I did give some serious height and clearance to — just in case), the water complex (which I was not scared of — it was just COLD) and everything I was pointed at. I had a BALL! Admittedly, at first I suspected Aunty Becky had been to mum’s school of jumping (i.e. if it’s higher than a snake belt buckle we’re not jumping it) but after she began to realise these feathers are for flying then she got into it.

    The little mare whose name was Rose (I didn’t like to say anything but since she was yellow I would have thought Daffodil might have been more appropriate?) wasn’t keen on a few jumps so being the gent I am I went first and showed her how to do it. She was impressed I think. Admittedly if we get it on (hubba-hubba) she might have to stand on a box or I’m going to get a serious crick in my neck but hey I’m nothing if not game.

    All round we had an absolutely fab day only blighted by one distressing fact. On the way home I spotted them. The advance party for the yellow perils. They probably thought I wouldn’t spot them lurking behind that hedge but I am the Destroyer and when it comes to those creepy crocus’ and dastardly daffodils I am a spotter extraordinaire.

    Clearly they are plotting their invasion and these were the forward scouts. I guess I can look forward to several weeks of mum’s complete lack of appreciation when I bravely save us from this fearsome foliage on every hack. I’d better go and practise my long jump whilst wait for my Team GB call up.




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