On Wednesday Doug and I went hunting with the Pytchley, Doug was on Harry and I was on Dream. We met at Ann and Mark Spicers near Staverton. There was a sharp cold wind and after almost an hour of standing on the hill with the wind whistling through me I started to lose enthusiasm. We were standing by my least favourite crop, elephant grass, where the hounds just seem to disapear into, go very quiet and nothing happens for what seem like an interminable age. It was good for both Harry and Dream to be out though, but when Harry pulled a shoe off we weren't too unhappy to call it a day and head home.
Yesterday Doug was clearly suffering from a mid life crisis and decided to school Harry over the fence in the menage - Will had been winding him up all morning and had challenged him and Harry to jump the big fences three times (18 fences) so that he could see what it was like to be in a real race. Doug had (jokingly, we thought) accepted his challenge and they were planning how much to charge people for the privilige of watching, bearing in mind that poor Harry, who isn't the brightest light on the Christmas tree, is a woeful jumper, and either falls or wins. When we got back from the gallops, Doug quietly slipped away, apparently to do a bit of practising, unfortunately, I didn't see the forthcoming 'incident' but apparently Harry was jumping beautifully, and Doug was in his best 'jockey' position, just leaving Harry to it, but then he got a bit carried away and asked for a big one at which point Harry put down, and with the forward weight of Doug (slightly more than the normal racing partner) Harry crashed into the hurdle and Doug flew over his head to land in a heap on the other side. Will was watching and tried very hard to keep a straight face until he knew Doug was OK but then he just fell about laughing. Becky came by a little later and saw Doug with the rake smoothing out a great big hole in the sand, she asked what he was doing and he said the pig had been lying on it and made a hollow in the sand!! Needless to say there was much hilarity in the yard, and poor Doug's pride is somewhat dented, as well as being £10 lighter for the drop pot.