And it’s all over, but what a show. Someone up there was smiling down on us today, as we woke to perfect, cloudless blue skies and gorgeous sunshine. It shined a bit hotter and brighter than usual, it seemed to me, to make up for its pathetic attendance record of late.
Sunday is of course Grand Prix day, and it was one of the most atmospheric Longines King George V Gold Cups that I’ve seen in a long time. An nine horse jump-off brought it to a thrilling finale, and it looked very much like we might have the first female winner ever. Despite some lightning fast rounds from Marie Hecart and the lovely Sussex local, Louise Pavitt, it was not to be however, and Hendrik-Jan Schuttert added his name to the history books. From the look on his face too, he couldn’t have been more delighted.
I was obviously rooting for brother-in-law Shane but a steady paced four faults put him out of contention. As he had the fence down, one of our lunch guests exclaimed loudly “Ahhh, that’s just cost me £20”. An even more disappointed Chloe, Shane’s wife, said simply, “huh, that’s just cost us £20,000!”
As Hickstead’s new unemployed Lady Who Lunches, we had a great day in the Master’s Box. Some of our very favourite sponsors, the lovely Penny and Martin Stoner, had me chuckling away as usual, and Lord Harris (of Carpetright, our brilliant Derby sponsors) was thrilled with Tina Fletcher’s performance on Hello Sailor. The Harrises and the Kirkhams (of our former sponsors DFS) have two horses in the GB Olympic team, and it’s so brilliant to see such loyal owners and supporters of the sport enjoy such success.
Anthony Andrews, husband of Hickstead Patron Georgina, and of course national actor treasure had one of his best days at Hickstead for years – for a rather unusual reason. One of our Dad’s best friend's granddaughters couldn’t believe it at Ascot when her Granny got a wave from someone who was in the Royal carriage sitting next to the Queen. “Of course you don’t know them, you’re Granny” was her charming response! Well she was delighted to meet Anthony today and recite the Scarlet Pimpernel to him, and he was delighted… because he had an 11 year-old fan! “I’m obviously trendy again”, he said.
And finally, everyone has miraculously managed to keep themselves together today and I am seriously lacking blog fodder – in the absence of the usual countless embarrassing things I do on an hourly basis when I’m working. Our lovely friend Henry Cavill, an avid show jumping fan, has caused quite the stir this weekend. Last night, two fans asked for a picture with him and Horse and Country TV’s very own Jenny Rudall. Henry, as usual, graciously agreed and after the picture she whispered to Jenny “I haven’t got a clue who he is, but I just love your Rudall’s Round-Up show”. Clearly a star on the rise Miss Jenny!
Thank you for reading and stay tuned as I’ll be reporting from a few more events towards the end of the year… and enjoy this weather, finally!
Wow, what a day! Another incredible day for Ireland, and in particular for the Brilliant Breen Brothers at Hickstead this week (and that’s not even me just being biased). Sadly I had to watch one of my favourite days of the year from the comfort of my sofa, but I have to say it has given me my first ever opportunity to watch the wonderful coverage provided for us by Sky live for once. And it’s so exciting. It felt like they’d bottled up the showground atmosphere and poured it into my sitting room.
The FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain was today’s feature class, and the last chance to watch Team GB compete on home turf before the games. And what a class! It’s always a bit of a case of divided loyalties when watching Nations Cups competitions as I’m obviously always rooting for England, but want my brother-in-law, Shane, to do well too!
He started off brilliantly with a clear in the first round, going on to have a slightly disappointing eight faults in round two. However, once it was clear that the Brits were sadly out of contention after some unlucky fences down, the entire competition came down to the nail, with the last three horses in the ring deciding the winning team. Germany crumpled under the pressure, as did France, and Ireland stormed to victory after an incredible round by Clem McMahon. Despite being on a youngster, Clem displayed nerves of steel and posted a faultless round. I’m very disappointed to have missed the celebrations in person but felt like I was right there with them with the amazing Sky Sports, and the fact that I can hear the commentary through my window!
Yesterday too was a storming day for Team Breen, with Shane winning the first class of the show in the international arena, and Trevor, his brother, winning the Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix with a lightning fast round, chalking up a very rare win for the show jumpers.
However, it hasn’t all been happy Breens…. Last night we hosted a hilarious Eventers vs Jumpers celebrity bucking bronco competition outside the champagne bar, when the horses had been put to bed for the night. Sadly I missed it, but was treated to the most hilarious post-match debrief by Shane when he got home. After some time of intricate explanations as to why he and Trev had only managed to stay on for a miserably short amount of time, and how the Eventing Team girls had clearly been favoured by the operator, he did finally admit that actually “we were just plain (insert appropriate Irish expletive here) rubbish!” The lovely Ellen Whitaker apparently cut a much more graceful figure and put uncle John’s time to shame, with the surprise of the night being a gravity-defyingly good turn by my brother Charlie – with not much horse riding experience to his name of late, and not cutting the most obvious of bucking bronco figures, he outdid all the riders! Shane did say, though, that Charlie’s display brought actual tears of laughter to his eyes. Well done Chas, acting up for the crowds – he is an actor after all!
Time to go, everyone’s just got back to the house, and not only is Irish team smiling, so is the entire support team – including my adorable little nieces decked out in their Irish team kits. They are in fact running round the house screaming “Daddy won, Daddy won!” – good luck getting them to bed tonight Shane!
The entertainment at Hickstead carried on into the night as six of Britain and Ireland’s top show jumpers tried their hands at barrel racing.
The H&C team were lucky enough to get the best view in the house as we went down into the arena armed with our camera and microphone to catch all the riders’ reactions as they came flying across the line. Everyone had such a laugh, and we can’t wait for you to see all the action onRudall’s Round-Up, but if you can’t wait until then make sure you watch Geoff Billington and Ben Maher’s rounds.
This weekend was a first for 'Rudall’s Round-up', as the team started filming for our upcoming polo special. Our first port of call was Hickstead, which was hosting the Arena Test match – England vs the USA. The chance to watch international polo stars in action was too good an opportunity to miss.
Sticking to polo
The organisers at Hickstead - the Bunn family - then came up with the idea of me having a polo lesson. Being the generous soul that I am, I thought I would take up the offer. The day started with a walk round the famous Hickstead Derby course with the USA team. They were truly impressed by the bank and thought any show jumper who even attempted it was slightly crazy.
Time to play
After some quick interviews, it was then time for my first attempt at polo… I was introduced to my instructor Sarah Wiseman, but she wasn't going to allow me anywhere near a pony until I had got to grips with the basic shots. Sarah was incredibly patient and after nearly taking out poor Katie behind the camera, I started to get the hang of hitting the ball. Pony time now – brilliant! My pony was as fantastic and patient as Sarah and after a quick crash course in steering and hitting, I was cantering for goal. It may have taken a few attempts but I did eventually hit it between the posts – hurrah. I have to say I absolutely loved it – next stop Argentina...
Watching the professionals
The test match was by far and away the most exciting game of polo I have ever seen and for anyone who might think polo isn't a good spectator sport, check out arena polo. The huge crowd were treated to a game that was unbelievably close but the English team came out victorious 12-9. Despite losing, the USA team captain went round the crowd high-fiving everyone. Not sure what he would have done had he actually won?
After an interview with Chris Hyde, England's winning captain, I also managed to grab Jodie Kidd for a quick chat. She is so tall and lovely, and really down to earth considering she's a supermodel and cover star! You can watch all the interviews and action from the day on 'Rudall’s Round-up' in April, after we have been to the O2 to cover the action from the Gaucho Polo event.
For those who can't wait for 'Rudall's Round-up', below is a taster of my interview with Chris Hyde, the Engalnd Captain
“I’ve run out of ways to say, ‘Wowsers, what a day’ when I write my blog daily! So, wowsers, what a day. I’m concentrating really hard as I write this as the lovely Jenny from HCTV (blonde and gorgeous, with a really dirty laugh - funny how none of the usually media shy riders don’t mind being interviewed by her!) has just been teasing me. She asked whether perhaps I might have had one or two glasses of Pommery before sending her my blog on Friday night (it was the sponsors’ barbecue!) as she said she never normally has to edit it, and there were just comedy spelling mistakes and a complete lack of punctuation / general coherence from start to finish! Oops! But like I said, it was the sponsors’ BBQ, so therefore I was technically working! I might have had one or two glasses tonight with Longines to celebrate a fab show…
Showground crumbles around me
As I type the showground is being dismantled around me – it always amazes me how quickly a teeming village goes back to being just another Sussex field, and another international season is over. It’s always a horrible anti-climax and I hate this week as extreme tiredness and a horrible anti climax make for serious post show blues! Luckily I managed to get a tiny wee bit of retail therapy though in this afternoon when I was waiting for a delayed VIP at my office. I couldn’t stray far but I made sure I had a right good snoop in the all of the shops in the immediate vicinity. I treated myself to a well needed new pair of Dublin boots from the lovely Adrian at Townfields. His stripey tent always reminds me of being little as he was always our favourite trade stand and we’d nag and nag dad to take us there so we could buy endless hairnets, studs and different coloured elastics for our peacock stirrups! I wish I’d stuck to that shopping and never got a taste for handbags and shoes – so too I fear does my bank manager! Oops!
Amazing King George V Cup
The Longines King George V Gold Cup was an outrageously good class today, well worthy of its status as an Olympic qualifier. A Brit-heavy jump off too is never a bad thing. It made for exceptional television, and Kent Farrington was made up with his win on his first visit to Hickstead. I’d say we couldn’t pay for better PR in America!
The last day of the show is always a funny one, with the excitement of the big class to come, and the downer of the last day mixed all in to one. It was particularly bitter sweet though this year as Catherine / Miss May / Cat Flapper Extraordinaire / The Originator of the Famous Dog Face and of course Tweedle Blondie Dee said goodbye after eight years of working at Hickstead! She and I have often been described as the comedy duo, because whilst we are clearly very busy important and efficient, we also have a massive laugh! Lizzie does sometimes send us out of the office for being too loud and cackling admitted, but it’s not our fault we’re so hilarious! Well okay I’ll correct myself, it’s not our fault we find each other so hilarious! I’m feeling a bit sad about saying goodbye to my friend so have cracked open the chocolates to commiserate and it just made us more sad when I realised the next person I get probably won’t even be as chocolate compatible as Cat and I! She likes all the gross flavours like butterscotch and Turkish delight (vomitous!) and I like all the delish flavours like all the rest (!) so there’s never any arguing!
A jolly good send off
Obviously having been plotting how we would give her a good send off for ages, we decided to award her the Dorian Williams Trophy for the person that has made an outstanding contribution to the Longines Royal International Horse Show. Past winners read like the who’s who of British equestrianism. Catherine has always had a thing that it shouldn’t be awarded to anyone who works here (we all strongly disagree, the dingbat!) and so I promised she wouldn’t get it. When I told her last night we’d awarded it to our sneaky decoy, the STRI who have done such a fabulous job on the ground in the arena, she was delighted for them. Stirring, obviously, I asked her if she wasn’t a tiny bit disappointed that she hadn’t got it (part of my devious plan!) her exact words were, ‘If you had given it to me, we would have seriously fallen out!’ Ah ha ha ha! We also got SKY to do a short piece on her and the boys said it was the most fun they’d had all week – hardly a chore they said to have to spend the day looking at footage of the beautiful Catherine to make in to an edit! Slow mo dog face even got in!
Anyway, I’m not that sad, cause I’m going to get her drunk tonight and make her sign something that promises she’ll come back in her holidays to work at the shows! She’s going to uni to train as a primary teacher – she’ll be a broke student who needs to earn money in the school holidays and hang on, I know a job going! I have this hilarious vision of the immaculate and glam Cat as a student, with dreadlocks and a rolley fags! Hopefully she’ll have to eat lots of pasta and will finally get really fat! Thank you Cat, for everything, what fun we have had.
And to everyone who has read my blogs, thank you, I hope you have enjoyed both them and the season here at Hickstead… Stay tuned though, there’s more to come!”
“Such a fun day, so fun in fact that I’m writing this with a glass of Pimms to celebrate, which is normally a complete no no because it just makes me want to sleep and that is not helpful when I’ve still got another four hours work to do.
A hat better than royalties
It was Ladies' Day today and the turnout was amazing. The car parks were all full to bursting and it was quite the sight to see lots of immaculate women stepping out carefully with an array of incredible hats and feathers and generally glam. As you can see from the attached picture, I did try to do my best! Never one to shy away from the ridiculous, I got my friend Olivia Roat to make me a special Hicksteady hat for Ladies Day. She’s quite the celebrity milliner these days, but said that mine was way more fun than the serious ones she had to make for the Royal Wedding. The response was generally really good, aside from my sister Lizzie’s bulging eyes and pretend sick making face, and my brother Eddie (not famed for his fashion experimentation) "What have you got stuck to your ‘ead? Looks like you’ve fallen head first into the rosette cupboard". I told them both it was haute couture and stalked off in a suitably fashionable faux sulk.
A Lamb that was happy to be lead to the slaughter
Every year we support a charity on Ladies' Day, and this year we teamed up with the brilliant Variety Club. Larry Lamb came to judge the best dressed filly on their behalf, and couldn’t quite believe his luck when he realised his taxing job required him simply just to check out gorgeous women. Gill Warner was crowned best in show this year, wearing a gorgeous blue silk dress that she’d acquired on a trip to NY. A gorgeous cobalt blue, the colour of the season, she was just so elegant and timeless. We had a cavalcade of minis in the arena, and a convertible whisked Larry and Gill away to huge cheers from the crowd. Had it not been for Sky Sports going live and the pressing need to get the first horse into the ring, Larry said he would have happily done 20 more laps of honour with Gill for company. It was very hard though to pick a winner and our nine other finalists all went home with some lovely flowers and a goody bag stuffed to the brim with Jemma Kidd Make Up School goodies. There are of course quite a few perks that come with my job, and after rather a late night at the BBQ last night I have to admit having the Jemma Kidd team on hand to paint Catherine and my faces first thing came in real handy. I went for subtle super glittery eyes to go with my subtle hat!
A Whitaker wedding
The BBQ last night was a huge success, and I have to admit I felt slightly worse for wear this morning. We had an amazing jazz band in the garden, I told them that when I win the lottery I’ll just have them on hand at all times so I can wake up in the morning, open my window and get them to play me some morning jazz. Having made sure all of our sponsors were well fed and watered I can’t deny that I wasn’t guilty of sneaking a bottle of champagne and having a bit of a sit in with my friend Ellen Whitaker, and a right good gossip. I haven’t actually seen her since she’s become engaged and we had quite a lot to catch up on. I can’t wait for the wedding next year, obviously I’ll need to go shopping for a new outfit although, I have already got a hat I could wear.
A golden response
I probably shouldn’t say this, but stuff it, I will anyway because it really made me giggle. Obviously being so fab and successful, Ellen gets approached a lot, and being a Bunn does sometimes attract some unwanted attention. So, Ellen had given me a little make up touch up when I arrived because I looked so tired, with her amazing new sparkly bronzer. Completely happy in our little world gossiping away, this rather annoying drunken so and so came up and started just being a wee bit sucky uppy and annoying and drunk and just wouldn’t really leave us alone - it transpired that he wasn’t actually invited and was just a bit of a chancer who’d wandered in to the garden when he’d heard the party. Anyway, one of his particularly cheesy lines was that we both had a really ‘golden glow’ about us (puke!)… To which Ellen retorted, "Golden glow? I’d like to think we do! We better bloody do anyway, this bronzer cost me a fortune!" That put him back in his box and made us both giggle for hours – nothing to do with the champagne of course!
I must fly as still lots to do before tomorrow, the last day of the 2011 Longines RIHS, boo hoo, but Grand Prix day, one of my favourites.
Who will hold aloft the famous King George V Gold Cup tomorrow, I wonder? "
The German team won on the amazing new ground at Hickstead
“Today was of course FEI Nations Cup™ day, the only place to watch Team GB compete on home turf, and one of two Olympic qualifiers here at Hickstead.
The best in the world come to Hickstead
The competition was fierce, as it would be when you pit the very best in the world against each other. Coursebuilder Kelvin Bywater certainly rose to the challenge with very few clears forcing a three horse jump off between the Americans, French and Germans. The Germans emerged triumphant with anchor man Marcus Ehning producing one of the immaculate rounds against the clock for which he has become known. What a great competition.
A Princess on a break and woman who wait
We were delighted to have the President of the FEI with us today, Princess Haya, who made a welcome return to Hickstead after some years, having been a regular here for many years when she herself was competing. She has been on a break to have her first child, but was telling me of her plans to begin competing again and suggested that she might try our new national show in September to ease herself back in gently! The topic of lady riders having children is something that is much debated in the sport, and indeed in my household, as my sister Chloe has also taken a break from competing internationally to have two children Lorna and Darcy.
It always seems rather unfair that whilst women working nearly any other job may decide not to return to work for a while in order to enjoy the very special time with their baby, apart from a bit of ‘milk brain’ they theoretically could go back a week later if they had to. For sportswomen however it is simply impossible because even if they were to start training soon after the birth, it takes so much time to regain the fitness needed to compete at the top. Recently though at least there has been a ruling that means women can ‘freeze’ their world ranking points at the level they reach before having the baby, so they don’t have to claw back to the top again when they get back to work. It is never more evident though than in a Nations Cup how men and women compete side by side in our sport, unlike so many others, and is certainly something to be proud of. Girl power.
Doughnuts and Princesses apparently do mix
You’ll all be delighted to hear that I managed to refrain myself from doing anything too clumsy whilst hosting the Princess for the day. It’s always such a funny one meeting VVIPs as they are of course all just people like you and I (although perhaps a tad less accident prone than me) at the end of the day. Princess Haya is charming, relaxed and very informal, and said she was delighted to be back seeing all of her old friends again. She didn’t even seem to mind when two-year-old Darcy Breen decided to lunge at her unannounced for a very jam-donutty-fingers hug.
Hamsters at Hickstead
Just after HRH’s arrival I could see several members of the Hickstead team staring adoringly in her direction and beginning to emit slightly alarming and high pitched noises, somewhere between a squeak and a moan. It wasn’t until Princess Haya had moved out of my eye line that I could see the swooning was caused not by being in the presence of royalty, but of a hamster. Top Gear’s own Richard Hammond was here today watching his daughter show, and tried his hand at a bit of presenting in the main ring. Proving my point that celebs really are just like the rest of us, when I asked what class his daughter was in he said, "Um, the one for ponies?" a classic 'Dad' response. He was very excited about watching her though and said she’d hardly been able to sleep with excitement. He then remembered that she was probably on ‘some kind of Exmoor’ but that ‘crikey we’ve got so many of them at home!’ I’ll never be able to watch Top Gear in the same light again, knowing that he’s just another long suffering showing Dad.
Just a bit of Saunders
Favourite celeb of the day though has to go to the lovely Jennifer Saunders, here with her daughter Freya, who I bumped into when they’d snuck off from their snazzy box lunch to hit the shops. They’re both huge horse fans, and Freya was delighted to have bagged a coveted official Team GB shirt from one of the riders.
I must be off as we have a BBQ tonight in the gardens of Hickstead Place to thank all of our sponsors, international riders and officials. It’s one of my favourite nights of the year as we have to leave work at a sensible hour to host everyone.
Tomorrow is Ladies Day and I can’t wait because I have a particularly ridiculous hat to wear. See tomorrow’s blog for piccies, if Lizzie doesn’t ban me from wearing it. Larry Lamb will be here to judge the best dressed filly, and there’ll be a very special parade not from our four legged friends for once, but our four wheeled ones.
There was not a dry eye in the house (Gary’s included) when Gary Parsonage dashed to victory on Peter Street this afternoon in the process becoming the first person ever to win four Hickstead Eventing Grands Prix this year sponsored by Amlin Plus.
Gary had decided to retire Peter Street after the class, no matter what the outcome, and I can hardly think of a more fitting finale for such a super horse. In today’s very professional, fast moving and commercial world of equestrian sport, it is lovely to be reminded of the extraordinary bond necessary to forge a special, winning relationship between horse and rider. Today though, it was more than evident in Gary’s emotional interview after the class. When asked if he was tempted after another win to give the class one more crack next year, he said quite simply that he wouldn’t because, "Peter Street is the horse of a lifetime, and he owes me nothing".
I’d like to introduce you all to a new member of our team, BF. Well when I say new, that’s not strictly true; you used to know her as Emma, our show jumping secretary and resident ghost spotter. After she sent rather an important email last night to a rather important middle aged, serious, professional and super formal man and accidentally, in her tiredness, added the cursory twenty kisses after it, I had no choice but to rename her BF: Blog fodder. Sorry BF you just make it too easy, sorry! The first we knew about it was when she screamed loudly upon pressing send, when she realised what she’d done. I have never giggled so much when he came in to the office today, full of the joys of spring, thinking he was absolutely in there. Classic!
The clumsy show
I have mulled over my next story as to whether or not it is relevant blog material but decided that actually all goings on at Hickstead count. As you’ve probably noticed from this blog, I come from rather a clumsy family. You see us Bunns co-exist pretty merrily for the other non-show 50 weeks of the year, happily minding our collective business, bumbling around the place, doing silly things and tripping over stuff. Delighted as we are when near on 100,000 people descend on us for a fortnight every summer, unfortunately our clumsy hilariousness doesn’t just turn off.
The star of today’s clumsy show is my sister Chloe, married to Irish showjumper Shane Breen. Shane took the place of Irish Chef D’Equipe in last night’s chefs’ meeting, in Robert Splaine’s absence, and was really quite pleased with himself afterwards poncing around with his Chef’s Pack under his arm. So, Chloe decided to race him to the house. It was of course she declared, much quicker to walk the long way to the office, pick up her bike and get up to the house, than Shane walking as the crow flies across the main ring and up the hill. Do bear in mind that they’re both professional sportspeople and therefore just a tiny bit competitive.
So, clearly Shane set off at a sprint, as did Chloe, and with Shane taking a very clear lead Chloe took the first corner on her bike at ferocious speed. She then made like superman, via crashing into an enormous bank of FULL wheelie bins, soared over her handle bars and ended up in a bruised heap on the floor, covered in smelly rubbish. This was of course much to the amusement of the 50 or so traders having their evening barbecues, not to mention all the boys out building the cross country course. With a nasty cut hand, broken bicycle under one arm and horribly bruised pride under another she made her way home. But not before of course deciding on one final speedy flourish around the last corner home. Unfortunately she didn’t realise she’d severed the breaks in the first crash, and went head first into the iron garden gates! Oops. The most hilarious bit in my opinion though has to be the reports from several people of the worst husband ever running up the garden cheering with his arms in the air, whilst his wife was lying in a heap at the bottom of the hill. Poor Shane was blissfully unaware of the crash and was merely celebrating his victory, not his wife’s injury.
Time to go now, but fear not, I shall no doubt be back tomorrow with yet sillier Bunn and all things Hickstead related stories anon.
“Hello faithful readers! The reason I say that is because I wasn’t ever really sure before how many people actually read this. However, having been stopped about ten times today before 8am, by a mixture of friends and strangers alike to marvel incredulously about quite how many silly things I did actually do yesterday, I can only assume that there must be millions of you out there! Its now gone 6pm and people are still coming up to me and laughing. Oh dear!
The last laugh
I was literally the one with the last laugh last night though when poor Emma, our showjumping secretary, called from her office to mine at about 11pm, genuinely quite upset that there was a ghost in the office! Now, long hours make for slightly crazy people, but Emma is very rational normally and she was really quite insistent that there was in fact a ghost! Catherine and I rushed over to rescue her from clear impending doom (brave aren’t we?) and despite her nearly managing to convince us too, we did get to the bottom of it.
Now, what had happened was this… We have a little trick we often play here (sad, I know!) which is to sit in the dark and work late at night because if we leave the lights on people can’t resist popping down to see if we’re open and if they can just enter quickly for the next day – usually on the way back from the pub! So poor Emma was just minding her own business, sitting in the dark, when it appeared that our ghostly friend had taken control over her computer mouse! She moved it left, the ghost would move it right. She’d move it up, the ghost would move it down and so on. When Emma was sufficiently scared, the ghost then moved periodically around the office turning on all of the other computers, which did of course light up suddenly in the dark. Ah! In fact, what we finally deduced (please feel free to call us Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson henceforth!) was that I’d asked the guy in charge of our showman system to make some changes to some logos and he was logging in remotely – having tried Emma’s computer he realised she was still on there and then moved from computer to computer finding the one with the file he required on it! Wowsers, lucky escape!
Highlight of the day
One of my highlights of the day must have been seeing Catherine, who I work closely with in sponsorship (we have been referred to as tweedle blondie dum and tweedle blondie dee more times that I care to remember!) doing her first presentation in EIGHT years. It was a bit mean, but she’s terrified of horses (excellent place to work) and we had a pony presentation that needed a presenter so I made her do it! She really is my very good friend but it was quite funny to watch – mean, aren’t I – but they do say you should face your fears!
I can’t write for much longer tonight as we are currently building the course for tomorrow’s Amlin Plus Eventing Grand Prix – the only place in the world where eventers and showjumpers go head to head. It’s one of my favourite classes of the year, but tonight is all hands on deck to get the course built and branded. A few years ago during a particularly wet show, suffering from a fit of girl powerness (and a desire for as much sleep as possible!) Catherine and I stupidly went and bought ourselves an electric screw driver thingy so we could do some of it ourselves. We still have the blinking thing unfortunately and have slightly shot ourselves in the foot because now we have no excuse for getting boys to do it for us! Disaster!
“…And we’re off! The first day of the show got off to a great start today with jumping in the national rings and some fierce competition as people battled it out in some of the last qualifiers to get in to the famous International Arena. Henry Turrell stormed to victory in the Outside Events Catering Winter Grades B and C Championship Qualifier, on Urlanmore Aldi, and Darren Wise won the Horse & Hound Foxhunter first round on Castlekeeps C’Est La Vie – come on girls, don’t let the boys hog the winning rosettes!
Meanwhile, we are all still busy as bees rushing around behind the scenes readying the main part of the showground to welcome everyone tomorrow. Now, whilst I normally regale you with hilarious (and usually embarrassing for someone!) stories, today I fear that this story is just down right gross! Unfortunately for me, the embarrassed person in question today is, um, me, but it actually wasn’t my fault! Poor Pippa, our lovely, very well dressed, showing secretary, was helping me with one or two things earlier and we were just minding our own business zooming (well, as fast as a golf buggy will zoom you at any rate) down the drive, when someone who I won’t name (you know who you are!) snuck up behind us in their van and beeped at us REALLY loudly. Well, such a shock did it give me that I veered off the road, very nearly crashed into an unsuspecting Peugeot and (the gross bit) literally spat the entire mouthful of squash I had all over Pip. Sorry Pip! Her very nice chiffon top might have gone a tiny bit see-through from the drenching too! Sorry Pip! Sorry, sorry, sorry! Oops!
More stupid moments
What else stupid have I done today? Well, losing my clip board and radio was stupid enough for starters! I do it at least once a show and due to the regularity of my idiocy, my laments of ‘Someone’s DEFINITELY nicked it this time’, are rather like the boy who cried wolf. It’s not ideal, because I can’t tell anyone I’ve lost it because I haven’t got anything to tell them on, and I can’t do any of the million things on my to do list, because the to do list is on the clipboard! I think they’re a bit Harry Potterish and just sometimes magic themselves away from me – today they walked up to the bit of grass outside Ring Five. Probably just a huge coincidence I’m sure that I’d just been up there putting a sign up half an hour before – maybe they liked it up there and went back for a repeat visit!
Oh, and I did spend at least ten minutes trying to track down a mystery guy called Pol, until I realised that it was in fact a Paul I was looking for (and who I know!) and that our Press Officer Vicky had just said his name in a Scottish accent. I didn’t manage to work it out however before I approached two Polish people because my silly brother Edward thought I had said I was looking for a Pole. Em. Barra. Sing.
Oh dear, perhaps we should name this ‘Daisy Bunn’s Stupid Things She Did Today Blog’ – oh well tomorrow’s another day, it can only get better!
I am SO glad I received this just before I sent my blog to be published. Check out award winning, famous, highly prestigious bla bla but certainly very important course builder Kelvin Bywater chipping in with some physical labour! Drying the paint in the water jump with a hairdryer so its dry in time for tomorrow. Words literally escape me! Hilarious!”