I wanted to write a little tribute after the very sad passing of the amazing Billy. I also wanted to let you all know that if it wasn’t for Billy, Petasfield as you know it today, would not be here.
I was working a full time job in London in Digital Marketing, had my own pony that was on DIY and was doing two part time BHS courses. It’s safe to say life was a bit busy! As part of my BHS Stage 3 course I needed to be riding horses and so I started to look around to see if I could share a horse. A lovely horse came up in Tewin and I would do him on a weekday night after coming home from London. However, just after this, my lovely Farrier, Trevor (who knew I was looking for something) told me he had found me a perfect horse to ride. I told him that I had taken one on already and really couldn’t take anything else on in my already fit to bursting schedule. Undeterred, he managed to go on and on about how great this other horse was and in the end I thought…. Well maybe I’ll just go try it…..
I went down to Petasfield for the first time, met the owners and had a little ride. I got that immediate connection and pure love that you only get with some horses. I knew I realllllly shouldn’t take him on but of course decided I could squeeze him in on a Saturday. That horse, of course, was Billy.
Billy had already had a brilliant hunt career with his owner Michael who had owned him since he was 3yrs, a horse that was also one in a million for him. I was lucky enough to loan him in his later years and just loved every moment with him – I trusted him completely and continued riding up to 3 weeks before Oscar was born. He would kindly lower his head for me to swing my leg off round the front as I couldn’t get off the normal way with my bump! He was just such a pleasure to ride and look after in every way.
All the odds were against me even meeting Billy when I think about it, let alone actually deciding to take him on. If I hadn’t met Billy, I would never have been introduced to Petasfield, met Helen who owns Petasfield and ran the riding school at the time or asked to shadow Rebecca in some of her lessons. That all led to taking on a little bit of teaching after passing my exams and then the big moment when Helen asked if I wanted to take the riding school on and build it back up to its former glory. So that’s what I did. From its three working ponies and open just 3 days a week to what we have now. To all of you that ride and enjoy your time at Petasfield stables with us now – you have the amazing King Billy to thank for the wonderful place it has grown to be.