This update has been delayed owing to Xmas, which will keep on getting in the way at this time of year, and events have somewhat overtaken the story of the Christmas One-Day Event at Blade’s Hill the Sunday before last, but here we go anyway: we decided PG should not enter the 70cm class but instead the 85cm as it would ‘give a chance’ to people who weren’t
riding Blade’s Best Pony 2005. This noble decision cost us, as you will see, but I guess we have the reward of, well, nobility in the place of rosettes, points and the rather nice Xmas gifts on offer for 1-3rd places, and who wouldn’t rather have that glow of noble sacrifice than material reward? Yes, quite!
All started well, exceptionally well in fact, with Clyde doing the dressage test of his life, the judge even writing on his scoresheet ‘This is a lovely pony…’
a phrase which had us gasping and mopping tears from our sentimental eyes, for Clyde’s loveliness is, I feel, sometimes not so well appreciated as it might be. It takes time to spot the inner beauty beyond those donkey ears, those cobby legs, that grumpy face. But this judge had that rare vision and awarded him a mark which put him in second place. Next came the showjumping, and when I tell you the jumps were big, believe me, they were big
. Everyone suspected a cockup due to the Christmas punch being freely drunk by the jumpsetters, but dauntingly big they stayed despite appeals.
“Has he ever
jumped that high? Are they ever that high at Pat’s?” PG gasped in horror, staring at poles the height of Clyde’s chin.
“Oh all the time!” I lied. “They just look big because, well because they’re a different colour
!” My knees were shaking so much I couldn’t bear to watch, but when I tottered back round the corner pale with dread, there was Clyde trotting towards me with his usual insouciance, all four legs going along ok and PG on top without a black eye or a splint.
“Go ok?” I quavered.
“He was wonderful! He flew over everything!” Now
I wished I’d watched.
Still in second place then, and CrossCountry to come, Clyde’s best discipline and the one Pony-girl is least nervous about for some strange reason known only to her. I relaxed and leaned on the fence to watch. Bang! - Whoooosh!!!!
That was Clyde rocketing out of the start gate and galloping down the long side flat out. He was going at an astonishing rate, legs in a blur, launching off from a powerful spring over every jump in turn then racing on for the next. Fluent and powerful, doing what he loved best, and every time they shot past the gate PG was laughing, exhilarated with the madcapdashery of it. When they galloped to the finish, they were 15 seconds
under the previous best time. There was only one problem. Many of the jumps lay flat on the floor. In Clyde’s excitement he had forgotten the little matter of leaving them, if possible, still up.
“It won’t matter,” Pg said, flushed and excited, “It’s crosscountry rules – you don’t get penalised for knockdowns - only for refusals or error of course.” But alas she was wrong and when her score went up, there was an 8-point deduction whihch pushed them into 5th, two places away from the prizes.
Well, nothing could spoil Clyde’s mood. He was very pleased with himself indeed, pushing his nose into my hand and looking for praise: I went real quick and I didn’t stop at nuffink, now where’s me treat!
He got his treat, of course.
This morning Clyde had some kind of ‘event’ – either a sudden traumatic pain or a severe fright – which scared us all and is at the time of writing still ongoing. No sleep for Pony-girl I fear, until she sees him tomorrow and gets a better idea of what’s going on. More on that when I know more.