Hovis’ Friday diary: Cuddles with Mary and Carl

  • Dear diary

    Well WHAT a week! I’m going to have to write several diaries to cover off the madness that was last weekend at Your Horse Live as SO much happened! I will write more on my Facebook page if you want to read it there too.

    So last Thursday saw mother running about like a headless chicken getting my borrowed executive transport ready and bathing me within an inch of my life. She also gave me another shower when Herman came and told her I wasn’t a great deal better and so I was to remain on walk only, as it’s now looking likely my foot problem is a ligament. She cried. ALOT.

    Herman didn’t quite know what to do with this sobbing mess so I manfully allowed her to wipe tears and snot all over me — hey, I do it to her often enough (well the snot bit) so I thought she at least could have one time with me returning the favour. He told her I would be fine, he was going to fix me, I’m not in pain (as evidenced by the fact I feel VERY well) and I was fully ok to go away for the weekend — just no cantering about or jumping which totally wrecked my plans to show Mr Tiptapner what he’s missing out on. Killjoy Herman.

    Anyway mother pulled herself together and finished my packing before bidding me farewell and threatening to hang me up by my man sausage if I got my now pristine feathers dirty before the morning.

    After a night levitating to avoid a sausage-related incident we all loaded up (mother, dad and Aunty Becky) and off we went. Aunty Becky was like a kid at Christmas — jumping about and squeaking like a goosed guinea pig.

    When we arrived it was getting dark and was raining lots but I was swiftly disembarked into this weird temporary stable which was to be my bedroom. No one else had yet arrived on my row but Aunty Becky nearly fainted when she realised my neighbours were to be Mr Nester’s horses. I was more alarmed by this — I mean stressage could be catching…

    Very shortly afterwards, a very stressed out, shouty Hanoverian male was moved in next to me. Clearly as I am experienced in high maintenance drama queens (my older brother Sid was a highly-bred Hanoverian idiot and let’s face it my mother is extremely high maintenance — just ask dad) I was given the role of babysitting the lunatic. To thank his parents, I woke them up at 5.30 the next morning banging on my stable door for breakfast. They were thrilled…

    The highly-bred stressy dude and I noted with interest, the arrival of a VERY big flashy lorry which turned out to be Tiptapner’s. It parked next to my transport and suddenly my level of ambition for my future transportation needs grew. It was MASSIVE. And had sides that came out which was very cool.

    I want one.

    After a night freezing to death, after Aunty Becky turned off the heaters in the lorry, I think it was fair to say mum did too.

    So we all got up very early, mother tacked me up and dad led me over to this very large door which was being guarded by a lot of tractor-type machines. I manfully strode past them (and did not prance past like a fanny in anyway shape or form) before being led into this massive arena. Aunty Becky leapt up on me and we went for a nosey. People I had arrived! THIS is where I’m meant to be. Even the cleaning people all stopped and sat down to watch me prance about like the dude I am. Mum squawking “WALK YOU ******!” at the top of her voice sort of ruined the ambience but then I’m used to her.

    I LOVED it! Grandstand seating, amazing surface, lights, cameras — if this is what these stressage dude gets to do I was almost converted. So much so, when a rumour started circulating the showground that I was going to star in Mr Nester’s demonstration I was almost excited. Sadly, it wasn’t true but heh if anyone wants to use me next year or at any other event I am more than available…

    Anyway after prancing about for a while I went back and had breakfast before being led around to my spot to meet my public. Mum had said they would come and by gosh did they come! HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of them. I’ve had my photo taken so much this weekend it’s wonder I don’t glow in the dark from all the flashes. I have cuddled children, entertained grannies, hugged riding club groups, licked mascots of famous food companies and met many of my growing Facebook Hovite army. Who, by the way, are very lovely but slightly scary — I believe there is a term “as mad as a box of frogs”? Stuff the box, this lot were as mad as a lorry the size of Tiptapner’s full of frogs!

    I have so many presents from fans and feed companies that I needed two boxes to take them all home! It was insane. Even mum looked completely gobsmacked by the crowds gathering round me and positively hyperventilated when Mary King came over to have her photo with me. It’s an amazing feeling to be in the presence of such equestrian royalty. In fairness, I thought Mary handled it very, very well…

    I enjoyed cuddling Mary and did try to impress upon her, my desire for her to take me around a cross-country course when my foot is fixed. I remain hopeful. Mother says I remain deluded…

    The next day Mr Nester himself also came for a cuddle after apparently being berated by fans for not using me in his demos. Mother was slightly alarmed we were going to be issued with a restraining order when we got back to the yard on Saturday night and saw his lorry was parked between Tiptapner’s and mine. Tapner, Hester, Hovis — that lorry park was THE place to be!

    I, in the meantime, had buddied up with Nip and Tuck-shop back at the stables and spent the evening hanging out with the coloured cob dude who had been in the demo. By the end of the weekend I had convinced most of them that stressage is poncy and eventing is the way forward. Mr Nester may retract his comments about how gorgeous I am and how famous I have become (HE’D heard of ME! How cool is THAT?!), if Nip and Tuck-shop decides he fancies jumping instead of prancing about. Ooooppps…

    Anyway I have SO much to tell you all — I will have to save some for another day. Suffice to say I had the most amazing weekend of my life, met some incredible people and raised a HUGE amount of money for charity. Which is what it’s all about.


    An exhausted but very happy


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