Hovis’ Friday diary: Stand back people, the Destroyer returns

  • Dear diary,

    First off let me start off this week’s diary by sending every vibe I have in my body and the collective good wishes of the entire Hovite Army to William Fox-Pitt.

    Mr fox-in-a-hole might be a little slow on the uptake in realising what potential Burghley winning brilliance lies under my ginger feathered exterior, but he is one of the most amazing sportsmen in our game. I wish him a speedy recovery and send his family all the best wishes in the world.

    Well, for the last year and a bit I thought the day would never ever come again, but maybe just maybe, with a good wind and a prayer to St Feathers I might, just might, be out doing what I do best again soon. And no I do NOT mean pandering to mares with loose morals — that is definitely not a spectator sport — I mean cross-country. Admittedly very low level cross-country where I am unlikely to come across Mr Knickerless or any other eventing legends but still its cross-country, it’s not stressage and there was a time when it looked like I’d never do it again.

    I’ve got to have a practise this weekend and if she-who-must-be-obeyed deems me ok then I can go to show the local warmblood massive just how to do cross-country Destroyer stylee next weekend.

    Apparently Aunty Becky is going to be my pilot which means it could be a round characterised more by eyes closed, blind faith than any form of finesse but heh a guy will take what he can get.

    Mum announced the amazing news last week just before she made me do an hour of transitions and stressage hell, which I think was her cunning way of attempting to pacify me in poncing. It worked in so far as I started to imagine leaping forth out of the start box at Blenheim like a feather powered Ferrari, hurtling down the leaf pit at Burghley like an equine pogo stick, accelerating like a ginger G force… well you get the idea.

    Sadly my imagination ran a little wild and it’s fair to say I bronc’ed around the school like a Mexican jumping bean after a bowl full of blue smarties. Which is to say there was muchos de bouncing. Which I think sort of ruined the picture of peaceful power mum was aiming for.

    When one dissected the actual non-blasphemous content of mother’s diatribe it would appear my upward transitions were eager, responsive and just shy of perfection. Apparently the same couldn’t be said for the downwards ones…

    After one particular misunderstanding — how was I supposed to know mum letting go of one rein to wipe her nose was not in fact a new cunning signal for a frankly brilliant halt to canter transition? — mother was heard muttering loudly about sale rooms and knicker yards. I suspect she might have needed clean pants hence the fixation with the location of the nearest underwear outlet but still I don’t think there was any need to discuss these things out loud. Some things should be kept private should they not? For a privately educated toff she has no class at all…

    Apparently she and Aunty Becky are taking me for a little cross-country practise tomorrow so hopefully she’s changed both her pants and her attitude and is far more appreciative of my athletic acceleration. I doubt it, but ever the optimist I remain hopeful.

    As I’m now inside at night due to mother’s insistence of getting Aunty Alison to shear me within millimetres of doing a full impression of a plucked chicken I am enjoying getting a full night’s sleep without Dolly snoring in the field next to me.

    Mum is loving grooming me for hours only to watch me re-do my hair on my hay net, adoring me rolling in my shavings so that I look like a Christmas card and is utterly delighted with my artistic re-styling of my tail. Apparently the “bog brush” is all the rage this year. Or so I’ve heard? Aunty Becky is supposed to be pulling my mane while mum’s away seeing granny in Spain so that they might actually coax my mane into plaits for the competition next week. To be honest I only allow this indignity because I get to jump over stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing Aunty Becky’s face when she sees the chunk I took out of my mane last night on the stable wall. She’ll be thrilled. I can tell.

    Anyway if anyone in Lincolnshire feels the ground shaking on Saturday don’t fret. They have not started fracking nor has there been an earthquake. The noise will be the sound of the original all-terrain vehicle revving its engine, dropping down a gear and accelerating like an equestrian euro fighter. Sonic boom? More like a Destroyer Detonation. Stand back people the Destroyer rides forth again.



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