The Great Yorkshire, Royal Highland and Royal Welsh, over and done with and now just a collection of wonderful moments and memories shared with the best of friends.
Our rosettes and cards have been nailed to the big oak beams in our sitting room, joining the others from previous years, now gathering dust. For me, the countdown is already on for next year’s Great Yorkshire, where we will hopefully be joined yet again by our friends under the glorious skies of God’s own county.
The last of our hill sheep have been gathered, clipped, wormed and given a general MOT before being returned to their stomping ground, the mighty Deanhead valley. They certainly went back to their moor with much more willingness than what they came out with!
Their reluctance to move wore thin with all of us including the dogs who were quickly exhausted after chasing a particularly awkward Herdwick ewe and her lamb up and down a steep sided gully. Unfortunately, great swathes of bracken have taken a foothold in parts of the valley, making gathering even more difficult and an ideal hiding place for the sheep.
As the first day of August dawned, I thanked my lucky stars I was born and bred in this amazing place. Yorkshire day, a day where we celebrate all that is wonderful about our beloved county while giving a sympathetic nod to those born and living outside of our boundaries.
With harvest time almost upon us, Paul will soon be spending his days and quite a few nights in Doncaster, busy baling and carting this winter’s straw home. It’s a long, winding road from the straw fields to Stott Hall, one Paul has done for nearly 30 years without missing.
While he waits for the phone call to say the combines are rolling, John-William and I have headed south to the beautiful rolling hills of Malvern. Our annual pilgrimage to the National Pony Society championship show at the Three Counties Showground is one we eagerly look forward to.
Our little guy will be joined by hundreds of like-minded pony lovers. From Fells to Dales, Connemaras to Highlands, Shetlands, Welsh and Dartmoors, it really is a truly wonderful display of some of our breeds. John-William will be riding his beloved Welsh pony, Bronze. Following a recent loss of confidence, for both pony and rider, pretty much anything could happen in the ring.
Despite their wobble, I’m immensely proud of both of them, they’re both young and still finding their feet and I’ll be happy just to see them enjoying themselves.