November 8th dawns – well actually it hasn’t as the alarm went off at 1.15AM & it’s pitch black! Fran & I left Malsbury Cottage in Wexford at 2.15 AM to drive to Dublin Airport to change Faith into Fran as dear Faith had a family bereavement, the wig wouldn’t stay on Fran’s head & he point blank refused to take off the moustache, so we were told we had to check in at the desk in plenty of time. Dublin Airport T2 Aer Lingus, YES we are not going on Michael’s airline BUT we went to Gate 335 and Oh Dear we had to go down steps catch a bus and then WALK across the tarmac to the plane. With me stating in a loud voice with tons of marbles in me mouth “But as this is Aer Fungus I wanted to go down a tunnel to board NOT a bus ride & walk” Anyway, we arrived safely in Gatwick & found Dahling Sam C W & Peter who were to drive us to NEWBURY RACECOURSE. There we met with other like – minded people all going to support the BHS Charity Race at 12 noon and for us it was Ann Bostock we were cheering for.
Loads of us gathered in the paddock to cheer ‘our’ rider whilst her trainer Brendan Powell legged her up onto No 8 Gannicus, he of Irish breeding, Ann had that steely determined look on her face – the one that says don’t argue with me. In fact, a young Irish Lad who became a BHSI/St 5 Coach last year & who is coming to the Annual Course has pleaded with me not to let Ann ask him anything about Point to Pointers! Then popping on the specs & reading the Race card I see other riders I know. Holy Moly that’s Alan he of Police horses & Ride Safe. So off they canter down to the start & suddenly they’re off. “Come On Ann” and she did, she rode a wonderful race. The cheers that greeted the riders as they later came up to the BHS room, the Race Goers room in the Dubai Grandstand were phenomenal.
What to remind you about our Fellows & Instructors Association’s Vice Chair the Formidable Ann Bostock? 35 years ago, she had open heart surgery & then this year things started to go wrong again & she was in & out of hospital ending up with an 8-hour operation in mid-August. Ann started riding again on 5th September and it’s been a roller coaster ride to pass the fitness test, find a horse and get to the stage of being able to hold her own & come in the first 5 of a 10-horse race.
WHAT CAN I SAY SHE DID IT & THANKS TO EVERYONE RAISED THE £2000.00 FOR THE BHS CHANGING LIVES FUNDS & ANOTHER £4000.00 FOR THE BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION.
Meanwhile there was lunch to be had a silent auction & a ‘real’ auction, far too much prosecco was drunk by yours truly who is now the holder of a Day for Two on the Doc Martin set in Cornwall!!!!! We stepped back into the house at 1.15AM 9th November.
Report by Jillie Rogers