David yawned. It was early. Too early.
He wasn't a morning person at all and it took a great deal of effort and preperation to get him up at such an inhuman time of day.
Sighing, he unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the cab of the horsebox. Luckily for him Abigail was driving. Had it been him, he'd have probably crashed the box!
He stifled another yawn and opened the back door of the box, lowered the ramp and led a small chestnut sabino pony out into the light. Rocky, for that was the pony's name, tiptoed his way down the ramp and flicked his tail when he reached the bottom.
David ruffled his mane and led him out to the preparation ring. The ring was full so he about turned and 'parked' Rocky next to the horsebox in the car park. It had a significantly nicer view than the ring anyway, it was on a hill and the view of the sea was beautiful!
Abigail, who, up until now had been making herself a cup of tea, tutted when she saw the two of them going nowhere and went off to give them a hand. She picked up a haynet from the cab and tucked it under one arm.
"David, are you actually going to take Rocky's rug off or are you just going to stand around there like a spare part?"
David glared at her.
Abigail laughed and took off the rug.
She took it back to the box and returned with a couple of brushes, handing one to David who started to give Rocky a through grooming. He was all dusty from the box but after five minutes, his coat gleamed like burnished copper.
While he was doing that, Abigail made another trip back to the box and fetched a bucket of water for Rocky.
"What time is our class again?" asked David. Abigail glanced at her watch. "Oh not long now I should think, another hour maybe?" She tried to remember the time but couldn't so she went hunting for the show schedule in the front of the cab.
There was a great deal of cufuffle coming from the cab, and a great deal of cursing (none of which I will repeat here) until all fell silent and a small voice could be heard saying "Oh."
David knew that tone...he sighed.
"When is it then?"
David glared again.
"But it's just gone eight now! We're going to be so late!" He fumbled around for Rocky's leadrope and was about to head off to the arena when Abigail stopped him. "It's not on now David"
David frowned, confused, until it finally dawned on him.
David handed over Rocky's leadrope and disappeared into the horsebox, muttering something along the lines of 'it's going to be a long day'
A moment later he reappeared clutching two items which he promptly held up.
Crisps or Chocolate?
Some hours later...
As evening fell, David led Rocky into the arena. He joined the other competitors in the Mountain and Moorland class and watched as the handlers took it in turns to lead their ponies round the ring.
David clutched the end of the leadrope anxiously and nervously awaited the judges' decision.
"And the winner of the Mountain & Moorland In Hand class is.....EAE Rock 'n' Roll"
Abigail shrieked with delight from the crowd and David, still too stunned to take it in, led Rocky into the middle to greet the judge. She congratulated him, patted Rocky and shook David by the hand.
The judge presented him with a silver trophy, Rocky with a large blue rosette and Abigail recieved a beautiful silver plate. Together they posed for photographs from the local press.
Abigail was extatic and before she had even left the ring, she had phoned most of the staff at the yard to boast about Rocky's result.
On his way towards the box, David rugged Rocky up and put on a brand new set of travel bandages that he'd bought especially for him.
As the crowds disappeared and Abigail had retreated into the cab, David pulled an apple out of his pocket and gave it to Rocky.
He rubbed his nose affectionately and led the little welshie back up the ramp.