Why, every year, am I under the impression that life will be less hectic after HOYS? I even hear myself telling people this in a vague hope it will be true this year. I have managed to sneak in a few nights out in London, though, which have been excellent fun.
I have several baby ponies I bought for [daughter] Alice to break and make and sell, which is very rewarding as I haven’t done this before. They are quicker to come to hand than the Irish hunters I am used to.
I also have some super hunters in this season and, of course, my lovely lot of 3-year-old show horses to break over the winter. This year’s are no exception and I can’t wait to show them off come the spring.
Every year I say I am not going to hunt too much and every year I am lucky enough to drop on to a nice horse or 2 — there is nothing better than hunting a good one.
My children have been going like dingbats, the Warwickshire hounds have given us some excellent days and I am so proud to see what they jump right up the front, tucked in behind the field master.
Harry jumped some extremely big places last time he went out — and they grew in size every hour that passed at the hunt ball that evening!
I have struggled to find shows to suit us in the right place on the right day, so have only done one winter show so far. BSPS Area 6 put on a novice cradle stakes class that was a massive success. I have always wondered why one BSPS class doesn’t have a novice section, so we put one on. Please could more areas follow suit?
Alice jumped Hightopps Jazz for the first time in the ring. He was great, he loved it. They made a couple of mistakes, as you would expect first time out, but looked promising for 2014. Unfortunately, Alice is out of the class now, so they will have to do novice nursery stakes from 1 January.
Alice also had her first show on her new ride for next season, Annandale Maria, taking the championship. We look forward to next season with her very much.
There are a few current topics being talked about that I feel compelled to mention. The first is Sport Horse Breeding of Great Britain changing the hat rule [so that all riders and judges have to wear safety hats]. I add my support to all the people who have written to ask for this change not to happen.
There are many amateur voices out there supporting this, so there is a chance we can stick with tradition and style. The society has rarely listened to the professional voice — so come on, amateur members, keep going!
Secondly, I am not sure I understand how the new HOYS part-bred section is good for the future of showing. If anyone would like to explain to me, I am all ears, but it just looks like a way to increase HOYS funds rather than a revelation in showing.
HOYS has such a lovely canvas to work with, so I would so love to hear all the ideas and reasoning.
Christmas is now starting in our house, so I am off to New York for a shopping spree. My husband Tom is working out there and it would have been very rude of me to say no when he asked if I could go for the weekend…