| Published in Sunday Independent on 01.11.2020 | A Touch of Frost |

It’s been a great few day for Bryony with two fantastic wins plus she joined The Sun’s racing team and had her first column published.

As most people know, Bryony’s love of her life is Frodon who she rode in the 2019 Ryan Air Cup, becoming the first ever woman to win a Grade 1 over jumps. This week she raced again at Cheltenham on ‘’Fro’’ as he calls him and the two performed superbly and won by a good two lengths again. The next day at Wincanton she rode another great race coming first on Viroflay.

Inside knowledge tells us that her column was also a huge success with several people contacting the paper to say how much they loved it.

Also this week, our son Hadden now working in the States was delighted when his final horse arrived to join him from the UK. To hear your children happy makes life worth living and Nikki and I have been smiling all week.

Illustration for Touch of Frost, 01.11.2020

Open drains in Hembury Woods – danger for horses and riders

You may remember that our land backs on to Hembury Woods which is National Trust land and is open to the public and riders. We have been complaining for some time about the open drains they have installed to filter away rainwater which are the width of a horse’s hoof. There have been several accidents since their installation with horses trapping their hooves in the drains and then falling. It has also led to two horse fatalities that we are aware of and various injuries to riders. How long do we have to wait until a rider is also killed?

Despite talking to the local National Trust about covering the drains and articles about it in the local press, nothing appears to have been done, so this week I wrote to His Royal Highness Prince Charles who is the Patron of The National Trust asking for help with the matter. I rode with Prince Charles many years ago and I also rode several times for his grandmother the late Queen Mother. She was an amazing lady. We are all hoping that now we have brought it to Prince Charles’ attention the problem will be escalated to the right people and finally these ‘death traps’ will be sorted once and for all.

Back at home, Betty, our converted and fully furnished double decker bus, has proven to be a real winner and we have bookings for it right up until spring 2021. With the income from racing and training being hit so badly due to coronavirus, we decided that we should start renting Betty out. The bus was featured on the television programme – George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

Our other venture, a beautiful mobile home that we bought to sit on our land, is nearly ready to be rented out too. Our neighbour has reported us for not having planning permission for what is not a permanent structure. It is a shame when people can’t be polite and communicate directly especially when it is a neighbour. It isn’t causing them any harm at all and sits in one of our fields overlooking Dartmoor and is importantly just replacing a cabin that sat on the same site for over forty years.

Off to watch Bryony race now. The weather is very overcast, it’s windy and it looks like rain. Autumn is definitely here.

Until we catch up again next week, wear your mask in public, remain social distancing and importantly be kind to each other and don’t report your neighbours when they have done nothing wrong.

Jimmy