Thursday, 11 October 2012

Huge apologies to everyone for the long silence - We have just got back from a few days away in Devon and my plan was to catch up with all the news while we were away but then found that there was no Internet signal in 'deepest darkest' Devon, so that put paid to that idea.
We stayed in a beautiful little cottage near Axminster overlooking stunning country views, there is nothing but little grass fields in that area, all stock and virtually no arable. It made a lovely change. The nearest seaside resorts were Lyme Regis, Sidmouth, or Branscombe, just half an hour away,part of the Jurassic coast. The fossils were amazing - it was quite incredible, you could find them all over the beach and then discover that they were 1.78 million years old. Mind boggling.
We are now back and Laura has done a wonderful job of looking after the horses with her team of Jay, Charlie, and Peter Mann who was able to do a bit more for us as it was too wet for tractor work.
Before we went away we went Autumn hunting locally and took seven horses out - Jake, Dream, Jess, Paddy, Flash, Red and Goody - As it was a Saturday there was a huge field which is always difficult when you are on racehorses as often you can't get out of people's way if they are being 'lively' - However, it all went really well with everyone behaving themselves, except for one very amusing moment -We were all moving away from a covert and were just trotting up a grass track when out of the corner of my eye I saw a little pair of black ears and looked around to see a steely glint in Paddy's eyes - before I could warn Jay (who was his pilot for the day) he was off. There was at least eighty horses in front of him and he took enormous pleasure in overtaking them at high speed, ducking and weaving his way through until he reached the front - by which time Jay's hat had slipped over her eyes and she was just hanging on to the neck strap giggling - He flew past the master, who raised his eyebrows but didn't say anything, and then pulled himself up where he could get a better view of the hounds We were all terribly concerned about Jay as we thought she would be rather terrified by the experience but she couldn't stop laughing - it really was rather funny, especially coming from Paddy who was completely lifeless last season after a very tough time in Ireland, and has suddenly been rejuvenated by hunting and seems to understand exactly what it is all about. Let's hope he still has the will to get to the front when he comes to his first race of the season!