From the horse's mouth - a message from Samson

With so many of our humans on holiday, I thought it was about time I told the Park Lane news. Well, you know how they say that behind every great horse there’s a great rider..... for instance, Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin... Red Rum and Tommy Stack... Rupert and Daisy Cinque... I’m not one to brag but it’s quite possible that the names Samson and Bella Whitaker could be added to the list!

Admittedly Isabella Whitaker, the daughter of showjumper William and great-niece of showjumping champs Michael and John Whitaker, is still only little; but she and I had a jolly old time today at Longines Global Champions Tour at Syon Park. We had quite a few fun walks and trots until one of the party-pooper humans said it was time for Bella to finish. “But I’ve got to check my girth!” I heard Bella protest as she was carried away. Clearly she’s a conscientious little human.

This all happened because my humans were offering pony rides for donations at Syon Park; so Roger, Trigger, Dougie and I had volunteered to go. It did mean that we got to stay overnight in some pretty swanky stables too. I made friends with some scurry ponies, who were very nice, but didn’t get much of a chance to make friends with the showjumping horses - they weren't really in the mood to have a friendly neigh, because they were concentrating on how they would perform the next day. The Longines Global Champions Tour is a big deal and apparently some of the jumps they have to clear are taller than me! (Is that possible??) Some of their humans were a bit astonished at our Park Lane team – one was even a teeny bit rude about Dougie and said he looked like a cow! I think those humans hadn’t seen ponies with more than one colour before! Anyway, Dougie didn’t hear, and I didn’t tell him. So if you see Dougie, don’t tell him someone said that because it could hurt his feelings.

All of the humans made a big effort to make it a special event. In the entrance to Syon Park there was even a big sculpture of a horse. Roger said he thought it looked like one of his cousins, but I'm not so sure. My humans did try to get me to have my photo taken next to it but I didn’t want to – I'm not a tourist! But Trigger liked it and had his photo taken. To be honest, even though all the humans said they loved the sculpture I wasn’t impressed; I don’t know a lot about art, but I know what I like. I think a sculpture made of carrots would have been good – or perhaps an art installation where we could go bobbing for apples. But each to his or her own, I say. I quite like this portrait of me taken by Rebekah Morgan - I think she caught my good side.

Another thing Dougie and I weren’t too happy with was the number of balloons. The trouble with balloons – in my experience – is that you don’t know when they are going to fly off without so much as a by your leave, or suddenly go bang. Thankfully our humans did ask other humans to keep the balloons away from us. I wasn't really scared, though, because I'm a big, brave pony. All my humans tell me so.

There’s one more day left at Syon Park. Rain or shine, we’ll be there! And maybe little Bella will come back for another trot around our enclosure – there won’t be a prize at the end, but she can have a sticker saying ‘Well done!’. And she'll deserve it more than those grown-up humans Penny and Louise who nicked a sticker each without even having a trot around the enclosure first!


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