Welcome back to my blog, direct from our inaugural All England Jumping Championships. With the new ground in the main ring that can stand up to so much more competition, we decided this year for the first time to put on a big national show in September – and here we are. It’s the end of day 2, and people seem to be having a whale of a time. It’s so nice to see the showground being used more, we all love it. It’s like a ginormous schools’ day – it looks like a normal show, but it’s just way more relaxed!
Less work = more play
I particularly am delighted with the show, as due to it being a national show focused purely on the riders, I have WAY less to do than normal! I sauntered in at 10 o’clock this morning and had left the office by 8pm last night: in the bar by 8:05pm! I don’t know myself, it’s a dream. I couldn’t work out why I felt so weird this morning and then I realized it was because it was a show day and I’d actually had more than four hours sleep.
"Well, okay, if I’m honest, there was another reason too that I woke up feeling slightly odd. Due to my new found show freedom and the fact that I’m not working every hour God sends, there is a rather unfortunate (but super fun) side effect… I can go out partying. And partying I did last night – oops! The usual suspects helped me along though, selfless souls that they are, with the lovely Jenny from HCTV here “working”, newly affianced Irish showjumper Trevor Breen and his fiancé Caroline Black, Sophie Broome (of the legendary Welsh Broome family, David’s her uncle, and boy does she know how to party!) the naughty Pavitt sisters and a bevy of Bunns.
Despite feeling slightly jaded now, as I am such a ‘committed supporter’ of the family business that I am forcing myself to go out again tonight! Tough life! We’ve Hickstead house band Bowman playing, so my wellies are about to come off and the dancing shoes will be firmly strapped on! Katie Jackaman watch out, it’s dance off time. Not a pretty sight!
Time, gentlemen, please
In fact, I really must behave better tonight, as last night my horrid brothers got me hook, line and sinker. Buttering me up to get them a drink they said that it was last orders and that I was the only nice member of the family who could work my magic and perhaps get us one or two more sneaky drinks. So off I sidled to the bar and flirted my behind off with the poor unwitting new barman all in the interests of playing for the team!
It wasn’t until I had done my best flirting (again, not a pretty sight) that I realized he was looking at me quite oddly and was completely fine about getting me said drinks, that I realized the bar wasn’t closed at all and the brothers were just being mean! It was VERY embarrassing! I could have just calmly walked to the bar and ordered a few vodkas! No need for any flirting, winking etc. at all. The poor barman is still in shock!
Anyway, I digress, we are delighted with the new show and will certainly be doing it again next year – we may even try and squeeze another national one in at the beginning of the season. The atmosphere is lovely and relaxed and I think people are really enjoying the invaluable experience of being able to get young horses into the main ring. Best be off to my most important job of this show (partying) but rest assured I’ll be here bright and early tomorrow morning to catch the height and amateur classes. Woo!"