As the deluge continued it seemed incredible that Windsor would be able to run, but the rumour mill assured us that hundreds of tons of straw and bark had been put down and everything would be perfect. Consequently Ferro had a good tune-up in her snaffle, seeming really confident, followed by a good bath with special attention to her socks and I declared for my Wednesday classes.
I dragged myself up at 4.00 on Wednesday morning, mucked everybody out and left at 6.00. To my astonishment I drove the lorry straight onto the car park, exchanged my pass for a wrist band and set off to watch the first part of the Foxhunter. I was drawn sixth in the second half, so warmed Ferro up as the first half drew to a close, and Tony Pavitt very kindly held her while I walked the course, and gave me the highest leg-up ever to get me back on. Until this year Ferro has been very spooky about her surroundings, so a ring with a huge model of Buckingham Palace on one side and a very strange rockery with ostriches, monkeys, elephants and hippos on the other, in addition to the stands, marquees and flags, was going to be a fair old test. Although she was spooky over the first couple of fences she grew in confidence as she went, and if the rider hadn’t turned too quickly out of the double she would have had a low placing. As she was drawn late in the B&C (1.30) I was able to take her back to the lorry and give her a quick sponge down, a little drink and a small amount of hay. By the time I got back on the rain had begun, but she warmed up well and jumped a confident round, just rolling two poles, one where she had a little look at the ostriches and one where I slightly fired her. However, I was thrilled – she had been a star and I hadn’t been a shambles.
I stayed to watch Edmond Mahony: friend, husband of my cousin Fee and chairman of Tattersalls, jump his young horse in the Working Hunter. By this time you could hardly see for the rain, the course was incredibly spooky and the horse was very inexperienced, so everyone was delighted with a really good round for just a couple of rolled poles.
Ferro was entered for the 7/8 year olds on Thursday, but between us Shane and I decided that a big 1.35 in the Frogmore Ring, which is quite tight, might be a rather ambitious idea for both me and Ferro so I decided to give Thursday a miss.
I just stayed to watch the Hickstead crew jump in the A&B class and then drove home in the bright sunshine. I was such a lovely day that, having collected the dogs from Mark’s office, I then hacked out the other three. It was such a treat to have the sun out that I was reluctant to go inside.