End of Season 2009

Space Trek and Dancing!

Here is there long awaited report of our end of season activities (and it is a long one)! The last weekend of trekking was better than we have had in the past weather wise – the Saturday was lovely but then we braced ourselves for the onslaught forecast for the Sunday. The very early morning and then up until about 9.30 was true to the weatherman’s prediction, howling gales and lashing rain, then when our customers arrived for the morning ride so did the sun! Again at lunchtime we got battered with wind and rain, but the afternoon was bright enough to cheer us up. Despite the muddy ground we had some lovely rides for the last weekend of the season.

Space Trek (Staff Trail Ride)

The trekking guides and friends all gathered in the Court Farmhouse at 8.15 on the Saturday morning for tea and coffee – a very civilised start to the day, until Darth Maul arrived (alias Katie in red and black face paint and horns) and frightened the living daylights out of us. There was a good Star Wars contingent:

Yoda (Cressy on Punch with a very convincing mask and robes)

Darth Maul (Katie on Magic, plus double ended light sabre)

Princess Leia (Jessie, even with plaits and white riding boots on Brandy!)

And a cuddly little Ewok (Keith on Whiskey – I wonder what was in his hip flask…..)

In addition there were:

Solar Flare Paula (all red and yellow sparks – get it – on Sparks?)

Space Hopper (Polly on Warrior)

Alien with lots of legs and silver face (Sarah on Cracker)

The Galaxy (Bryony in very artistic cape and make up riding Queenie)

The Milky Way (Karen in sparkly riding had and shiny cape on Kitty)

Major Tom was feeling under the weather so didn’t ride with us but met us later.

Andie had just moved house with hubby David who has finally arrived from the US and so they also joined us later.

Harri and Jonny decided to RUN with us in the morning, bringing the lurcher puppy Trip (who also had a great outfit) and Jessie’s Collie Tommy. Far too energetic if you ask me, they also almost kept up on the canter!

Special mention has to go to Chris in the Mission Support Vehicle (alias Big Red the Land Rover) which was dressed as the Space Shuttle and carried all our astronaut equipment for us (overnight bags, rugs for the horses etc).

Morning elevenses for the intrepid trekkers (Klingons on the Starboard bow) was mulled wine and sausage rolls at Ivor and Noreen’s place on the side of the hill, plus the veggie and non-alcoholic equivalents of course. A very welcome break! Then over to the Pandy for a huge lunch and up the road in the afternoon to the Crown at Longtown for our overnight stay, by which time hip flasks needed to be empty. We managed to get good weather right up until the last half an hour of the ride so we didn’t get too wet and got the horses’ rugs on as soon as their saddles were off.

A great evening in the pub followed with Colin, Tom, Tracey, Andie and David joining the happy band for dinner, after which there were games of pool and sparklers in the garden.

After a hearty breakfast the next morning and rescuing one of the horses after it got stuck in a fence we all rode back over the Hatterall Hill, during which we paused for a 2 minute silence for Remembrance Day, again the weather was kind to us. While the horses were cooling off in the barn we all had lunch in the Abbey before turning them out.

And so another epic trail ride was over for another year and we said goodbye to all the horses, some are staying on the farm, some have gone to winter homes locally, and others have gone back to college.

So we go from one extreme to the other: The following weekend was the Llanthony Valley and District Show Committee’s annual Dinner and Dance. A sumptuous affair that does exactly what it says on the tin – dinner then dancing. Court Farm had two tables and everyone was looking very glamorous and debonair in their evening dresses and dinner suits. A new band was booked this year, Soul’d Out was a 12 piece group including a brass section (sax and trumpet) with some very good musicians and vocalists playing a wide range of live music (no backing tracks) and the dance floor was full for the whole evening so good were they. The usual raffles and auction took place, with some very funny speeches too. There were some sore heads (and feet) the next day but what a great evening! It was hard to recognise the folks normally seen in riding clothes or farming overalls in their finery.

So things go quiet for a while at the farm. Except for our Tom who is still being kept busy with the youngsters and foals on the farm who are determined to get in to trouble at every opportunity. Cobalt now comes in at night and is getting plenty of TLC too. Our next big event is New Year in the valley and that River Jump after the night of parties.

Watch the website in the New Year for details of 2010’s trekking dates, and we wish all our friends and customers and very happy Christmas season and a peaceful new year.

Lots of love from Karen and everyone at Court Farm.

November 2009.

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