By the time you read this blog, I will have started at Edinburgh University where I’ll be reading classics, and I’m not sure if this is more or less scary than the fact that my 12 week summer has felt as if it’s about three days long.
The BSPS summer championships is one of the many things that just seems to have passed us by. After the disappointment of neither Susie nor I making the English team this year, which is one of our biggest aims each year, we had a very happy week and were thrilled with how the ponies went.
Cash (pictured top and above) was third in the gold cup after just having the joker down, second in the open, and had two poles in the Desert Orchid but got the top jump mark. Lenny was second in both his classes, and Percy, the star of the week, won the champion of champions with the only clear round, and was second in the open too.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Snuggy Hoods, whose support was an absolute lifesaver during that week in particular. As I said in a blog about the champs last year, the weather in Grantham seems to range from that of a tropical climate to conditions resembling Hurricane Irma. This year was no exception, meaning that having just a few basic Snuggy Hoods products for each pony enabled us to keep them at the perfect temperature at all times, whether they had just done a class or were going to bed, without having to overload the lorry with turnout rugs, duvets to go under their turnout rugs, light sheets, sheets that are lighter still, and so on. This is the first year we have travelled there with the range of body hoods and sheets that Snuggy Hoods sent us, and I can tell you that our whole experience was absolutely transformed.
We are also in a state of excitement due to a potential new arrival. As my mother will tell you, we are the people who were always going to stop after cradle stakes classes by which time I would be 10. When we got to that stage, however, we thought we would just test the waters for the next stage up, nursery stakes. Once I was out of 13hh classes, we really had decided that 14hh classes were too much and that was that. Typically, here I am now, almost at the end of my 15hh career. At the beginning of this season I decided that I would see out the end of 15hh classes (next year is my last year), but then I would absolutely not be carrying on until I was 25 in intermediates, the very final stage of pony workers before moving into horses.
Although we have had a very happy year with the ponies and they have consistently been so amazing, it has also been our roughest year yet by far, and there have been numerous times where I have actually just decided that enough is enough and I can’t face a whole other year. The arrangement we are at now, however, is that I will hand-pick the few shows I want to do on Cash and for now carry on with my last year. Mummy, however, ever optimistic, has been on the search for an intermediate. Although I am still not going to do intermediates and I will definitely not be doing a full on season next year, all I will say is watch this space…