Tuesday 15th of June 2021
Pumbaa Goess-Saurau

Pumbaa, The A Level Eventer : Part 3



Hello again guys and gals, it’s been a while since my last post so here is a little update! I’d absolutely love to tell you that my life is currently full to the brim with crazy exciting things and it’s all extremely interesting. But that would be a lie. So I’ll make something up and hope you believe it instead. (This is what exams do to you folks, they’re socially unhealthy – really, they should be banned.)

To prove my point I give you exhibit A: the other day, my ‘French Day’ (during the holidays I do a subject per day for revision), I got a little caught up doing, joy of joys, grammar and translation exercises. My brain didn’t really appreciate the late finish of 11pm – I am not an evening person: Kick me out of bed at 4.30am to go eventing, grand. Ask me to do anything at all later than 10pm, absolutely not. Consequently, my brain soon took its revenge: That night I dreamt in French. Not just French though, French with poor grammar. Nightmare. I woke up repeatedly for fear of poor tense use, adjectives that didn’t agree and – horror – incorrectly conjugated verbs. Dear Lord, please help me!

Anyway, moving on swiftly, let us focus on our furry four-legged friends! Since I spoke to you last I have been at 2 events; Gatcombe and Somerley. Both, fortunately, went very well, no thanks to the wonderful British Weather though. Every year the prospect of emigration seems more and more appealing – recently they’ve had the Show Jumping Masters in Miami…ON THE BEACH! Hello!? What an earth are we doing here? Flat ground for dressage: check. Show jumping clearly sorted. And cross country? Well there’s plenty of space for us eventers to go galloping round AND you have the world’s biggest water jump! I say we go for it!

FullSizeRender-3At Gatcombe I was supposed to have Kenny in the Intermediate Novice on the Saturday, followed by Dell in the Intermediate on the Sunday – but since Sunday was cancelled after the rain turned the Park into a mud bath, I only had the chance to run Kenny. I arrived on Saturday morning to walk the courses in my car, Morris the Mini, who I have a worryingly large attachment to (like really large!) – so hyperventilating quietly I navigated the mud, said a prayer for him and parked. 



Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 20.30.28


I then set off to walk the Novice and the Intermediate back to back as the heavens came down on us. While I completed this all successfully, I did make one fatal mistake: new black jeans. When I peeled (yes, literally peeled) them off, I was greeted by a very dodgy set of blue legs. Who knows, perhaps I was a Smurf in a former life?


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With kind permission from Blackheart Imagery



Nonetheless, despite my dubious colouring Kenny battled the mud to pull a respectable 33 out of the bag and then a cracking double clear! After the first 2 fences in the show jumping they had to stop me after a fence blew down, so I was delighted that we both maintained concentration and went on to jump a nice round – though admittedly the stride I saw to the 3rd fence was a little ‘interesting’ shall we say.

With kind permission from Blackheart Imagery

With kind permission from Blackheart Imagery






It was one of those ‘Mum, you’re an idiot, but if you say so’ moments from Kenny. He’s a bit of a superstar really! Unfortunately time faults knocked us out the placings, but his performance spoke for itself so I was totally thrilled.


 So, after the cancellation of Gatcombe Somerley put on an extra day. To be quite frank I was a little surprised not to see the organizing running round in capes and tights when we arrived – what complete and utter HEROS! To all those who gave up your Good Friday; thank you! I can’t tell you how appreciated it was!

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 20.29.21As expected we arrived in rain, so on came the fetching macs and the even more fetching hats. I’m sure they’re out there, but there are very few people who suit base ball caps – I am not one of them. However, I went for it anyway since my hair is, nor has ever been, a fan of the rain – and it definitely makes a bit of a song and dance about the situation. The frizz is impressive to say the least. I could flatter myself and tell you that it’s a vaguely controlled Michael Jackson-esque afro type get-up. But to be honest, it just looks like I’ve been plugged into an electric socket. Several times.


Looking slightly electrocuted and a little soggy around the edges I trotted off to walk the course, caramel latte in hand– Charlie Coffeman, you’re an angel. True to their heroic nature, the Somerley organizes had moved mountains (and a lot of mud!) to make the ground look almost new. SERIOUSLY impressive effort.

The Wonder Dun most certainly lived up to his name in the Intermediate. In the past I’ve said that he is like marmite for dressageFullSizeRender-2 judges, either loved or hated. Well this judge was evidently a super fan – Twiglets and everything! He pulled off a 26 dressage (!), followed by an unfortunate pole and a flying clear cross country to finish 5th. Excuse the cheese, but I don’t think I can really put into words how much love I’ve got for this horse! 

Bar the pony prancing the only other thing my Easter Holidays have consisted of has been revision. I start in the afternoon, after riding in the morning, and work through till the evening. As the day goes on I feel myself slowly sinking into that all-too-familiar revision depression. I always know when I’ve hit a low though: Abba. When the Abba playlist comes on, that’s the signal that the situation is well and truly dire. It’s at this point that I feel like saying ‘Frankly, Chiquitita, I’LL tell you what’s wrong: I’m calling ‘S.O.S’ since I can feel my chances of getting into university rapidly ‘slipping through my fingers.’’ Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Well, that’s me for the moment. Back to school next week, I’ve been told that’s when the ‘real work’ begins. Well, if that’s the case I hate to think what I’ve been doing for the last 3 months is labeled as? ‘Pretend work’? I think not. Pony wise, we’ve got a busy few weeks coming up: Belton this weekend, followed by Hambleden and then Withington. Let’s get cracking!

Until next time,


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