Hovis’ Friday diary: Hannah Francis possessed the spirit of pure sunshine

  • Dear diary,

    I cannot start this week without reflecting on the tragic news earlier this week that young Hannah Francis sadly died. Mother had often spoken of her and I was very keen to meet Willberry — both of us being fundraising horses with a desire to ride around four-star courses with incredible riders.

    The work Hannah did, the bravery and determination she showed, the spirit of pure sunshine she possessed, was an inspiration to us all. I have no doubt she’s got the best seat in the house to watch the big party in Rio and will be riding every stressage move and every stride on the team’s shoulders. You’ve got the pick of the greats to ride up there Hannah, so kick on.

    I also want to send my respect and love to her parents and family. For all we thought we “knew” her and shared in her journey, for all she inspired us all, it’s worth remembering before she was anything else, she was their little girl. The world is truly cruel at times but I hope one day they are able to take comfort from what an extraordinary girl their daughter was and how many people’s hearts she touched.

    Willberry — I’m always here if you want a ride on a big, hairy, talented beast and Mr Hobday too if he’s up to the challenge.

    In less devastating news this week I can reveal that project “attempt to loosen shoe and get out of work” failed miserably and Cool New Shoes Man is en route as we speak to give me a full new set of dancing shoes.

    The new French girl arrives today and between her, Aunty Emily and mother I do fear for my well-being. Mum seems hell bent on slimming me down to the size of an anorexic racehorse before Your Horse Is Alive — I’m tempted to call out the welfare officers at Bransby Horses to come and do an inspection on me I tell you. A handful of food, hardly any grass due to mother’s obsession with electric fencing — I HAVE grass, the witch just won’t let me EAT it — and being made to sleep outside. All of this surely adds up to a serious case of abuse?

    The good news is I think Aunty Emily is getting closer to getting her big brave pants on and actually leaving the ground with me. On purpose I mean (we may have done a few aerial moves that weren’t entirely jointly planned).

    We did pole work the other day, which I’d be the first to confess is not my strong point. I’m alright when they’re in the air suspended between jump wings — when they’re on the floor I tend to trip over them and get my feet in a bit of a pickle. Mother says it’s due to the distance my lonely brain cell has to fire nerve signals to my dinner plate-sized feet. Mother is an idiot…

    Continued below…

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    The new lady who owns the ginger fire-breathing prancing poof is clearly into her jumping and has brought lots of lovely jump wings so I’m hoping mum might ask if we can use them. Mind you, since I bucked on her last time we went to do some jumping I’m not holding my breath. She did say that Uncle Monty wants to come up and have a jumping lesson but since he has high levels of ambition and zero control I can’t see her letting us go over anything more taxing than a cross pole…

    So I’m off to wait for CNSM, I just hope he’s not in a “snogging and selfies” mood — a boy has a reputation to protect.



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