By Romina Sofia Fitzgerald (aged 7).
I stopped my horse riding lessons when the winter got too cold. My Daddy told me bedtime stories about horses instead. One night, he told me we would be going to the Royal Windsor Horse Show the next Sunday — only it was the same day as Emily’s birthday party, because we couldn’t get any tickets on Saturday. I had to decide what to do… “I know,” I said, “I’ll get Emily a bigger present to make up for not being at the party.”
On the way there, my Daddy told me my great, great, great, great, great, great grand uncle was once the constable of Windsor, and his name was Gerald de Windsor. He said we had so many castles that we gave that one away and the current owners had added an extension.
I said I deserved an ice cream for being right, and my Daddy agreed.
When we got to Windsor, the sat nav in the car took us towards the front gate. I told my Daddy to follow the horse box in front of us, but he didn’t listen, and we ended up at the castle entrance, where the policemen had guns. I looked out the car window and saw my Daddy talking to the guards, but they didn’t let him in. When he got in the car, he said they thought he wanted to go to the royal wedding — but we didn’t because the Queen hadn’t invited us. They told him the horse show was somewhere else, so we drove there instead. I said I deserved an ice cream for being right, and my Daddy agreed.
The horse show had cars too, and shops, and lots of people. We had a snack and watched the riders practicing in the paddock — just like I did before the winter came. The women had their hair in plaits. I asked my Daddy to do my hair like that every morning before school. He just looked at me. He is not very good at plaits.
We sat in the stadium and the first horse and rider came out. It was brown and silky. The rider was a man, and he had a yellow jacket. He was from Brazil. Next was a lady from England called Laura Renwick. I told my Daddy to get me a horse like hers. She didn’t knock over many poles, so I thought she might win. There were lots of other riders, from different countries. I counted eight who didn’t knock down any poles.
We were sitting opposite the royal box, but there weren’t many people in it. I thought the royal family might have followed us down when they saw us leaving the castle for the show. One of the horses lost a metal shoe and had to leave the arena. I felt sorry for the man. They would have to glue it back on before he could come back out.
After lots of riders had jumped over the sticks, the place became quiet. I thought the show was over, but then all these hounds came into the stadium. The man who spoke on the microphone said they were beagles. There were riders with them who had red coats, brown coats, green and blue too. I thought it was nice of the organisers to let people take their dogs for a walk during a horse show.
The rider who won came out and did a victory lap. He was from England. The people clapped along to the posh music. It was time for us to go, because I had to have a bath and have dinner before bed. We walked past the dressage riders, who looked like they were from a film from the olden times. I liked their hats — and they smiled a lot too. They must like their jobs. I smiled when I got my ice cream. I hoped I would have nice dreams about horses. My Daddy told me a story about dolphins that night. Maybe he had seen enough horses.