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In Honour of the Older Competitor

We loved this witty and wise poem penned by Anna Norris, who has kindly allowed it to be reproduced here. As a group with more than the odd grey hair between us we know the feeling well…

With huge apologies to Lewis Carroll……

In Honour of the Older Competitor
“You are old, veteran rider”, the juniors say
“And your hair has become very grey
And yet you incessantly enter our shows,
Don’t you think you should call it a day?”

“In my youth”, said the rider, to all those who asked
“I thought you need brave pants and speed
But now with experience and technical grasp
I have all the tools that I need.”

“You are old”, say the youth, “as we mentioned before
And have got most unreasonably fat
And yet you just turned back from nine, straight to four.
How on earth did you get to do that???”

“In my youth”, said the sage, “giving his old horse a pat
I learned all about balance and rhythm.
I practiced my turns, and worked hard on the flat,
As results, without work, aren’t just given!!”

“You are old”, say the youth, “one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever.
But you always come down on the most perfect stride:
Are you magic, or lucky, or clever??”

“In my youth” said the man, as he went to untack
“it was drilled into us right from the start:
You get the right canter, the horse jumps the track.
It’s all hard work and effort, not art.”

“You are old” say the youth, with respect and with awe.
“Should have hung up your spurs long ago.
And yet many of us still are losing to you.
Pray tell us how this can be so?”

The old rider smiled, as he turned to go home,
Thanking his horse and his stars that he’d won.
He was tired, and hungry, and chilled to the bone
But he’d shown all the kids how it’s done!!!

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The Eventing Vet