M’father has lost all restraint when it comes to buying horses. He keeps phoning to tell me about a new Dales mare or filly he has picked up, and then, in a total change of horsey direction, he phoned to say he had bought an American Standardbred as he wanted to be a racing owner. Here she is, with Gordon, m’father’s second cousin and right hand man in the stableyard (yes, he is smoking, and no, I’ve no chance of getting him or m’father to stop, so don’t bother going there). Her name is Savilla, but he has renamed her Tootsie (personally, I’m sticking with Savilla), she’s 18 months old and next year will go to a racing yard in York to be trained for pacing races.

Savilla is very sweet, quite a calm disposition but when something makes her jump she moves much faster than a Dales pony! Her coat is short and silky and her feet are very dainty, especially when compared to a Dales.

And now, after that elegant interruption to our usual programming, here’s a picture of Waterside Jack in all his hairy winter glory: