Hovis’ Friday diary: ‘I was back where I belonged’

  • Dear diary,

    I’m bbaaaacccckkkk! Despite hobnobbing with the other lesser celebrities over the weekend I have decided, like mother’s love handles, to return from whence I came, but boy do I have lots to tell you. So much so in fact that it’s going to take several diary entries to tell you all of it so grab a cup of tea, step away from the biscuit barrel and let me begin.

    Friday saw me packed up and ready to go with mother rushing about with more lists than brain cells (not hard to be honest – somewhere there’s an amoeba suing her for looking more brainless than it is), while myself and Aunty Em stood deadly still for fear of being flattened by the limping tornado. Finally we were deemed “set” and we were allowed to depart while the mothership waited to go and fetch mini-mother from her human manège before she could head down.

    This staggered start meant that Aunty Em and I got there ahead of major storm mother and as such enjoyed some fun quiet time meeting fans without the embarrassment of mother pretending to be the talented one of the two of us. Eventually hurricane hairball turned up and I was fed, watered and bedded down for the night while mini-mother went and said hi to some of the celebrities who had already turned up to say hi to me – she’s definitely her mother’s daughter, jumps into my limelight faster than Chippendale into a Love Island hot tub.

    Saturday morning dawned bright and early and saw the mothership and entourage turn up and set up my stand outside my stable from which mother would sell the books she claims to have written all in aid of the charity Bransby Horses. Even better yet, the lovely lady who organises the whole Your Horse is Alive cult event asked mother and Aunty Em to take me into the main arena to check “I was still ok with it”. I gave her my best “I was born for this” side eye, but to be fair, with my track record she probably thought I was constipated and thus ignored me pretty much the way mother has for the past 1,115,000 years that she’s owned me for. I had a brief wander round after my mate Ben had finished proving he can control four horses standing on them better than mother ever has me with her substantial ass actually in the saddle and then returned back to my stable to meet my incoming fans.

    Build it, they say, and they will come, bring an equine superstar and they will come in their droves and so they did. By the time I went over to the clipping zone, the level of fan hysteria was at the “One Direction undo a top button and go up an octave” heights and rising faster than the value of my vet bills.

    At the demo I stood looking handsome while mother drivelled on (when will they STOP giving her a microphone?) and poor Aunty Em had to act out cleaning feathers that were already so white, B&Q have renamed “brilliant white” to “gleaming gelding” in their honour. I allowed them to primp me for some time before meeting my fans over a delightfully low fence meaning that I could raid their shopping bags while they petted me and told me how pretty I am.

    The meeting and greeting went on all day as I showed the pint-sized para mascot opposite me how a seasoned veteran really does it, while he screamed like a new recruit thrown from a plane sans parachute. Seriously, the guy was so high-pitched Maria Carey has asked him for vocal training – there were moments I think the only things that could hear him were bats…

    I found myself especially enjoying the visits from those who had been to the bar and who didn’t mind sharing, or at least whom got distracted listening to mother’s banal waffling, while I snaffled a good mush full of their alcoholic beverage. I apparently owe an apology to the woman into whose prosecco I liberally stuck my tongue before hoovering up her raspberry from said drink like a turbo-charged Dyson – sharing is caring peoples, sharing is caring…

    If you recall some months back, I suggested that many of the top names in British equestrianism were flocking to YHL to use it as a cover to have secret talks with me about my coaching capabilities. You all smiled in that way that mother does when she’s humouring me while silently wondering whether senility is setting in but lo and behold, once again, I was right. For at lunchtime, one of the greatest names in the sport, the much-heralded saviour of Britain’s riding reputation on the world stage met with Carl Hester to have a quick powow about the future of British Stressage. I’ve got to be honest, we all know that I view flat work as the bit between two jumps, but equally look what I achieved with Nip and Tuck shop – two nights in a stable next to me some years ago and he was a transformed horse. Carl made a compelling case for me to come on board as the team coach, but I did have to tell him I would have to think about it. It’s fair to say we parted on good terms, but he stepped up his attempts to convince me by first sending Charlotte What’s-her-face-in-a-garden to have photos with mini-mother (that’s right, sneak up on a boy’s heart string area) and then sending another envoy to speak to me on Sunday. There’s a reason that man is so well regarded – clearly knows top talent when he sees it…


    Me with Carl Hester (and mother)

    Late afternoon, I was then asked to mooch down to the other arena to meet and greet my fans, which in principle sounds great, until you realise this means mum stands behind the person with the camera bouncing up and down like a rabbit on a pogo stick waving her arms like she is either doing a Mexican wave or swatting a wasp squeaking “Hovi, Hovi” at the top of her voice. That alone is hideously embarrassing but then when you factor in that mother is in show condition with very ample air bags, the amount of bits on the move is terrifying. How she doesn’t end up with black eyes is beyond me…

    Post- the meet and greet and impromptu Haka from the mothership, we then mooched back towards the stables, but instead of turning in, I was walked towards the back of the main arena, which temporarily had me more confused than a hedgehog in a broom factory. Having been with the mothership for 15 years however, I am nothing if not used to surprises, so I rolled with it and when they flung open the curtains to reveal a massive audience and my mate Geoff telling the crowds about me, I sauntered in with the coolness of Olaf in Alaska. I was back where I belonged.

    Some clueless nit wit gave the human hairball a microphone so she was drivelling some nonsense about me nearly shuffling off my mortal coil, never thinking I’d do this again blah, blah, blah, which frankly I ignored as I did my lap of honour in front of the adoring masses who clapped and cheered so hard I did wonder if someone had promised them free prosecco (including the raspberry). But no. They were clapping for me. Which is understandable, but was rather lovely nonetheless.

    So, after my brief parade in the limelight, I was taken back to the stables, bedded down for the night and read a lovely bedtime story by my favourite security guard before getting some sleep ahead of Sunday. And Sunday’s tales will have to wait until next time!



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