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Steph's latest blog: Mr P semi retired, George Clooney pays a visit and Clyde prepares for Inter 2

In Steph Croxford's latest blog she tells us about Mr P's last big competition, Clyde's step up to the next level and a new boy on the horizon...

"We are preparing for the Nationals at the moment with Mr P - it is his 10th year of Grand Prix competition, his 12th National Championships and over that time he has won 730 BD points - over 300 of which have been at Grand Prix level! Not bad for an old boy! He is however now semi retired and we have decided this will be his last big competition. I feel asking him to perform is a bit like asking a 70 year old to do gymnastics and I don't want to 'flog a dead horse' so to speak and have to be kicking him down the center line! He is still sound, healthy and very happy so after the Nationals he will just do local stuff on the odd occasion - for as long as he enjoys it!"

"Meanwhile Mr Hyde went to the regionals and went really well. I have to admit to being a bit miffed about the score - he tried and didn't make any major mistakes and gave it his all but we only managed 4th in the PSG. He then felt more tense in the Advanced Medium but bizarrely we got a higher mark! Unfortunately not enough to qualify but as Richard (Davison) wisely says, you can only control the controllable!"

"So Clyde is now working at home with the view to going out at Inter 2 level in a few weeks time at Vale View! His training is going brilliantly and Richard is very pleased with him. I shocked Richard recently by telling him how I was getting my one time changes - because our school is only 37 metres long I don't have room to do more than a few changes, so I have been out in the haylage field doing them between bales  - I can fit about 20 one time changes in out here! Richard was horrified but I think if I can do it there I can do it anywhere!"

"The two year old George is a real buffoon! He seriously needs a job and if he was a year older he would have one. He is a bit strapping 15.3hh already and is bolshie, bargy and in your face - he just needs a task! He now has a friend in the field though which is helping settle him - the new addition is Clooney (yes we do now have George and Clooney) and he is half owned with Julie Harris. He has been backed and broken and is very scrawny, underweight and very ugly - but I am hoping he will grow into himself as there was something about him when I saw him! The first time I sat on him at the weekend, Simon turned away to get something and by the time he turned back I was on the floor and Clooney was hooning towards the mirrors! I had managed to sit in the saddle and put my leg on and that was it - two bucks and I thought 'I am out of here!' however I got back on reluctantly and he then went on to be really good - and touch wood he has been ever since. My theory is that he was backed in a jumping saddle with short stirrups and I put a dressage saddle on him which would have felt totally different when he first moved off. I really like him otherwise I would not be putting myself through this!"

Mr P retired