This is now getting out of control – give someone else a chance Ireland! Having run out of natty ways to describe the incredible success Shane, Trevor and the Irish in general are having this week, henceforth they shall just be referred to as the Green Breen Machine – and it’s struck again! And it’s family celebrations all round as my cheeky little git of a brother has won nearly £900 this week betting on them! Why oh why oh why didn’t I put some money on? Idiot!
We had a wonderful day in the box today, on one of my favourite days of the year, Ladies' Day (supporting the brilliant charity Variety, the Children's Charity). This whole being ill thing has definite pluses as I managed to convince my sister Chloe to let me borrow her amazing new crazy bird hat, which looks like a black glittery raven diving out of your hair. I totally should have won Best Hat, but of course everyone would have said it was a fix! And actually it was good, but not a patch on my one last year made of Hickstead rosettes.
I digress… the inimitable Barbara Windsor, Babs, the Barbster, was our celebrity judge and she was totally brilliant. One of the funniest lunch guests I’ve sat next to in a long time, and definitely the owner of the best, and most hilarious/dirty laugh I’ve ever heard. The Ladies did us proud today with some incredible creations perched atop beautifully coifed heads, which made choosing the Best Dressed Filly even harder than ever. I love being part of the selection process as you get to have a proper nosey at everyone’s lovely hats, shoes, dresses, gorgeous sparkly jewellery etc. Barbara oohed and ahed and finally chose Philippa Butler, resplendent in a gorgeous 50s-style polka dot concoction. Special mention must go to the lovely Leesha Leeman (joint runner-up Best in Show), who looked amazing, and is one of life’s goodies. The top three placings were very hard to call. It was more stressful (and definitely provoked more wolf whistles) than the Supreme Ridden Championship!
After the excitement of the judging was done, it was time to relax and enjoy the sport, and have a good catch up with my lovely friend Henry Cavill. Fresh back from wowing fans in America with the teaser trailer of his new film, in which he plays Superman, he is a huge showjumping fan. We managed to watch a few rounds of jumping in between the gossiping and catching up. Shane, cool as a cucumber as always, watched the first part of the Sky Sports Speed Classic next to us in the box, giving us a few tips and hatching his own plan. When he left we asked how he was feeling and he said “sure, I’m going to win it!” And sure he did! Fellow Irish team mate, and member of yesterday’s winning Nations’ Cup team, Richie Maloney had posted a pretty impressive and seemingly impossible to beat time, yet Shane just cruised in, cut a few more corners and galloped home. Woo. He just makes it look so blinkin’ easy!
Today’s blog fodder can only be the fabulous Victoria, Press Officer Extraordinaire, and one of the friendliest peeps on the showground… So friendly, in fact, it got her in to a spot of bother today. “Hello gorgeous”, she hollered at her good friend Jay Halim as he walked passed the Press Office door, with a loud wolf whistle for good effect (allegedly). “Hello to you too," replied a slightly bemused (but no doubt terribly flattered) Team GB Chef D’Equipe, Rob Hoekstra, who happened to walk in just at that moment. It is often remarked upon that we have one of the friendliest press officers on the circuit, and now we know her people-handling secret!