Tag Archive: HOYS

  1. Debate rages over new children’s class at HOYS

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    A much-trumpeted new class for children at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) has been greeted with dismay by some competitors.

    The junior mountain and moorland ridden pony of the year championship is open to children aged between 10 and 14 competing on small breeds — Welsh section A, section B, Dartmoor, Exmoor or Shetland.

    The reason given for the new class is that “many of the small breed M&M classes are dominated by senior adult competitors, which is potentially stifling young riders from progressing”.

    But showing competitors are unimpressed by this addition to the already-packed HOYS showing schedule, saying the new class is “ill thought-out” and simply there to raise “even more revenue for HOYS”. They are also angry that some qualifiers for the open small breeds classes have been lost.

    India Latter, who has had a superb season with the Welsh section A Powys Sprite, said: “In theory it’s a good idea, but it seems to be so limited. What is most disappointing is that the open classes are losing a number of qualifiers to this new section, which is going to make the job of qualifying a small breed to a person like me, a full-time working amateur, a much tougher task.

    “My nearest qualifier — which is still two hours way — has now lost ‘my’ classes to the juniors. This show is run on a weekday in school term-time, meaning children will have to have a day off school to attend the junior qualifier anyway.”

    Sam Roberts, who produces M&M ponies, concurred: “I think most of the M&M enthusiasts are delighted that the popularity of the classes has been recognised, but why should the open qualifiers be cut for this new class? HOYS didn’t cut the show pony classes when they brought in the part-bred championship [in 2014].”

    She also queried the wisdom of making riders who qualify for the first ridden M&M class and the new junior section choose which one they compete in, as they are not allowed to compete in both, although the qualification stays with the pony.

    “If it is to encourage juniors to make the transition [from FR], why make them choose if they qualify in both?” she said. “Surely that’s silly if you want to encourage them out of first ridden and into juniors?”

    Other exhibitors wondered why stallions are excluded, as in open classes they can be partnered by children aged 12 and over, and why there was no equivalent class for the larger M&M breeds.

    “The transition from first ridden into small breed classes is far less daunting than a 13- or 14-year-old having to ride in an open Welsh section D class, so why are the large breeds not even being considered?” asked Becki Penny. “If you look at the Royal International M&M young rider qualifiers, the small breeds section more often than not has the fewest entries, so how many people will actually benefit from this new class?”

    However, Jacqueline Howard was enthusiastic about the new championship, saying: “I think it is a good move by HOYS. For many years, I have felt sorry for young children on small breeds in open classes. When my own daughter was that age, it was a rarity to see an adult competing on a small breeds pony and the children had far more of a chance, but that was pre-HOYS M&M classes. Now that there is a mad scramble for HOYS tickets, people will ride in as many classes as they can and this has seen more and more adults on small ponies.

    “I am not against adults riding small breeds provided the picture is right — there are some wonderful adult and small breeds combinations out there and I applaud them, but many of those small adult riders are also professional producers. What chance does a 10-year-old child have against them? If a young teenager is capable of riding a large breed pony, this new class is not for them for, as I read it, it is a transitional class for smaller children from first riddens to opens.”

    A suggestion that found favour with many was that a separate championship were held at HOYS for the top two junior riders in each open flat M&M section to encourage younger competitors.

    Image: Shetland pony by Joanne Goldby via Flickr, CC BY SA 2.0

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  2. Winning at HOYS – from the horse’s viewpoint

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    What does it feel like to win at HOYS? Billy tells it all….

    Billy is just, like, whatevah! Since he got back to the yard after his triumph at Horse of the Year Show, the other ponies have been really mean to him. Billy can hardly believe he went champion at HOYS — it was the best day of his entire life.

    He can still recall that amazing feeling of galloping down the centre line, with Amy holding the reins in one hand as she fist-pumped the air with the other, and everyone around the arena clapping and cheering. And then afterwards, when she dismounted and hugged his neck really hard, and he felt her warm tears in his mane. It was the best moment ever.

    But now, every time he tries to talk about it, the other ponies either jeer at him or ignore him. It’s not fair. Don’t they know how special it was? This morning when they were turned out he tried to talk about it again, and Badger actually nipped him! Didn’t he know that if he left a scar it could ruin Billy’s showing career?

    “What’s the matter, Billy?”

    Billy is jolted out of his sulk by Lola, the dear old thing in the next stall. He puts his head over the door.

    “The other ponies are being mean,” he tells her. “Every time I say anything about having been champion at HOYS, they tease me or run away. Nobody knows how special it is.”

    “I do,” says Lola. “I was champion at HOYS many years ago, and there’s nothing like it in the world…”

    For a moment, her eyes look into the distance as she remembers, and Billy can glimpse, just for a second, the beautiful, well-bred filly she once had been.

    “I had no idea,” he says, wonderingly.

    “No,” says Lola, snapping out of her reverie. “I don’t talk about it much, Some memories are like rare jewels, which we should take out only once in a while to appreciate their glow, in private, so that it doesn’t dim. Do you see?”
    And Billy does.

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  3. Broadshard Simplicity is Supreme two years in a row at HOYS

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    In what is thought to be a HOYS first, the same horse has won the supreme accolade two years running. Broadshard Simplicity, owned by Carol Bardo and ridden by Jayne Ross, was foot-perfect in the Andrew Bowen International Arena at Birmingham’s NEC to win the title for the second successive year. While the same horse has won this ultimate award twice before, it has not been done in consecutive years.

    “This is up one of the best results of my career — I don’t think it’s ever been done before,” said Ross.

    And Broadshard Simplicity, at seven, is possibly one of the youngest horses to take the title. The gelding, by Llanarth Alleycat, made his first appearance at HOYS in 2013 as a hack, but as he grew and furnished, he found a different niche.

    “After that first year, we had so many people saying, we don’t know if he’s a hack or a riding horse,” said Ross. “So having been champion at Windsor as a hack, he became a riding horse. He bulked up a bit and we would be hard pushed to keep enough off him for him to be quality enough to be a hack.”

    It proved the right decision, as Simplicity still has quality to burn, but the bone and substance needed for a riding horse. He effortlessly took the riding horse championship again this time and, despite the strength and depth in the 2015 supreme horse of the year, was in a class of his own.

    Image: Broadshard Simplicity and Jayne Ross at HOYS, by E.S. Photography, courtesy of HOYS

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  4. Sarum Rembrandt wins Pony Supreme at HOYS

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    For the first time since 2012, a mountain and moorland breed landed the supreme pony title at Horse of the Year Show. Sarum Rembrandt, a Welsh section A stallion, painted the perfect picture under the Birmingham spotlights to land to the top accolade — the last M&M to do so was the Highland Stirlingdene.

    The eight-year-old Rembrandt, by Heniarth Quinnell out of Cledwyn Red Rose, was produced to perfection by native pony specialist Sarah Parker. While Parker has been in the final several times before — including last year with Rembrandt — this was the first time she has won this prestigious accolade.

    “It was nerve-racking waiting,” she admitted. “But Remi loved it — the more the crowd cheered the more he showed himself off.”

    The line-up for the HOYS finale was as strong as ever, including the show pony champion, Rhos Exception; the mini M&M Thistledown Van Der Vaart; the consistent working hunter pony Freckleton Maximus; show hunter pony Valentine Dignity, and mini show pony Woodview Ianthe, among others, coming before Jinks Bryer and Brian Williams.

    Meanwhile, in what is thought to be a HOYS first, the same horse has won the supreme accolade two years running. Broadshard Simplicity, owned by Carol Bardo and ridden by Jayne Ross, was foot-perfect in the Andrew Bowen International Arena at Birmingham’s NEC to win the title for the second successive year. While the same horse has won this ultimate award twice before, it has not been done in consecutive years.

    “This is up one of the best results of my career — I don’t think it’s ever been done before,” said Ross.

    And Broadshard Simplicity, at seven, is possibly one of the youngest horses to take the title. The gelding, by Llanarth Alleycat, made his first appearance at HOYS in 2013 as a hack, but as he grew and furnished, he found a different niche.

    “After that first year, we had so many people saying, we don’t know if he’s a hack or a riding horse,” said Ross. “So having been champion at Windsor as a hack, he became a riding horse. He bulked up a bit and we would be hard pushed to keep enough off him for him to be quality enough to be a hack.”

    It proved the right decision, as Simplicity still has quality to burn, but the bone and substance needed for a riding horse. He effortlessly took the riding horse championship again this time and, despite the strength and depth in the 2015 supreme horse of the year, was in a class of his own.

    Image: Sarum Rembrandt by E.S. Photography, courtesy of HOYS

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  5. Starry Night takes Maxi-cob class at HOYS — then retires from showing

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    When Vicky Hesford claimed the hack honours at Horse of the Year Show on Thursday night with the former Royal International champion Whalton Forgery, it was the beginning of a remarkable run for her and her connections. Forgery, an elegant large hack by Kilvington Scoundrel, claimed the accolade at Hickstead as a five-year-old in 2012, ridden by Hesford’s brother-in-law, Robert Walker.

    On Friday afternoon at HOYS, Walker had the final say in the season-long battle of the maxi cobs, when Starry Night (Basil) bested arch rival Hallmark IX to take the title. And for good measure, Walker added the hunter title on Friday evening with Jill Day’s lightweight Vantage Point. It was, as the showman commented, a “red-letter day”.

    It is safe to say that the celebrations would have gone on long into the night, because Basil was retired from the show ring after his historic victory. Walker dismounted, ran the stirrups up, and led Camilla Neame’s grand 11-year-old from the arena.

    The cob had measured out last year, hence the change to maxi classes, but has an excellent HOYS record, winning the heavyweight section five years on the trot. He was reserve (to Hallmark, then campaigning as a lightweight) in 2010, going one better the following year to stand champion. He stood reserve in 2013 and 2014.

    His performance at HOYS this time was sublime, including a superb extended trot and stirring gallop — exactly what you would expect from a maxi cob. But who’s to say — after the battle royal all summer with Hallmark — that a little luck wasn’t involved? Walker, a joint-master of the Cheshire Foxhounds, was riding in a borrowed coat and remarked: “Note to the Cheshire masters, you can buy Shayne Francis [huntsman] another hunt coat. Thanks for lending it to me but you are not getting it back!”

    Reserve in the hacks went to Jordan Cook’s Fleetwater Xecutive, who had so impressed at the BSHA National Championships the previous month, while Jayne Ross took the hunter reserve with Carol Bardo’s 2014 Dublin purchase, Bloomfield Tetrarch.

    Image by E.S. Photography, courtesy of the Horse of the Year Show

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  6. Tynwydd Good Friday takes M&M working hunter title at HOYS

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    Tynwydd Good Friday made it a good Thursday for the Darlington family, when Georgia Darlington partnered the Welsh section C to take the mountain and moorland working hunter pony championship at HOYS.

    The 12-year-old mare, by Tynwydd Cardi out of Menai Lady Charming, headed the 133cm section from 16 other contenders, adding another feather in her cap to victory at the Royal International earlier in the season.

    “The course was trickier and bigger than last year, and quite spooky,” said Darlington, 16. “But she knows her job and a spooky track keeps her awake.”

    This victory must be all the more sweet for Darlington and her mother, Sam, after some spiteful unpleasantness on social media earlier in the week. As the quote goes, “Living well is the best revenge”.

    Reserve here was the evergreen Chetwynd Caspar, owned and bred by the Countess of Shrewsbury and partnered by the very capable Charlie Oakes.

    The flat mountain and moorland championship at HOYS went to Sarah Parker and the Welsh section A Sarum Rembrandt. Reserve was Alice Barr with the consistent Dartmoor, Okeleat Navigator.

     

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  7. Triumph over adversity at HOYS

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    When Alkan Dervish rides into the Caldene Arena at HOYS on Sunday morning, it will be the culmination of a five-year journey with her horse, Chorleys A Touch Of Class.

    “I bought him from Terry Clynes five years ago to do intermediate show riding type classes with,” recalls Dervish, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. “But he outgrew them, so we ended up doing riding horse classes, which are very hard to compete in at my age and being home-produced.

    “Every year, ‘Derek’ seems to injure himself — it’s his tradition — so we never seemed to get going. Last year I was pregnant so I gave hime to a friend to look after, which was a hard decision as I don’t really like anyone having him. Then they told me they’d had to call the vet out to him and he could never be ridden again.”

    Heartbroken, Dervish took the horse back, just four weeks before she gave birth to daughter Sofia (October 2014). She took Derek to her local vet and he was gradually brought back into work.

    “Then, in March this year, we were ready for our first show of the season, the BSPS Winter Championships, and I was hoping to get our Royal International ticket. Surprise, surprise Derek became ill once again and was out of work for another three months.”

    Despite this setback, Dervish persevered and she and Derek managed another two shows.
    “Then I thought, why not just take him to the BSHA Championships [in September] as it’s my favourite show and at least I haven’t missed another season on him,” recalls Dervish. “Our HOYS qualifier was on the first morning of the show and I was standing outside the ring looking at all the beautiful horses going in the large riding horse class. I thought I had no chance, because you never hear many home-produced people who get their HOYS tickets all by themselves.

    “When I found out I had actually qualified, I was so in shock that I was trying not to cry in the ring. It was so amazing to know that over the past five years, after all the knock-backs and all the people telling me to give up on him, we have proved them all wrong and finally qualified for HOYS. Derek is my horse of a lifetime and he will stay with me forever.”

    Dervish is very excited to be competing at HOYS, but I suspect she won’t mind too much if she’s not placed — getting there with her horse of a lifetime is a major achievement.

    Image: rosettes by Amanda Slater via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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  8. Tim Gredley rides to Horse of the Year Show victory

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    Show jumper Tim Gredley claimed the spoils in this year’s Cuddy working hunter title at Horse of the Year Show when the former Junior European Championships gold medallist partnered Grand Conan to victory.

    Gredley, who was capped for Great Britain 13 times, including for the 2006 World Equestrian Games, manages his family’s Unex Competition Stables, based in Newmarket in the summer and Florida in the winter. He and Grand Conan produced one of only six clears — from 38 finalists — to land the top accolade.

    Judges Beanie Sturgis (ride) and Chris Hewlett (conformation) gave them the highest style mark of 19.

    “It was a tricky course,” conceded Gredley, who took the ride after his sister Pollyanna, the owner of the nine-year-old Grand Conan, injured her knee in a fall. “It didn’t need to be any smaller, but it was a decent enough.”

    Faults were fairly well spread around David Cole’s suitably testing 12-fence track, with only one obstacle, the tractor at 10 remaining intact. The most influential proved to be the oxer at 3 and the hedge topped with white poles at 8. There was one elimination — Portphilip CE refused at the first fence, which appeared fairly straightforward, then ran out at 5 and 6.

    Andrew Williams riding Bodieve Toyboy was second, despite ballooning over the water tray at fence 5, with Fiona Hirst on Dartans Barrack third — both achieved clear rounds.

    Gredley, who was returning to the show ring after a gap of 10 years, was due to jump in Portugal the day after the working hunter final. He was busily checking flight times to see if he could return to partner Grand Conan in Sunday’s supreme.

    Image: Tim Gredley by AiluraCC BY-SA 3.0

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  9. Romanno Royale wins the Cuddy supreme in-hand at the Horse of the Year Show

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    The owner of last year’s Cuddy supreme in-hand championship completed what’s thought to be a unique double when he also bagged the 2015 edition at Horse of the Year Show. This year, Martin Wood took the title with Romanno Royale — a three-year-old by the Oldenburg Rubin Star N — who qualified at Newark and Notts back in May, his only other outing this season.

    “Winning two years in a row is just unbelievable — I don’t think it’s ever been done before,” said Wood, who won last year’s Cuddy final with the pony Rendene Royal Charm, and showed Royale here as a yearling. “I’m so proud of him. Simon [Charlesworth, handler] showed him absolutely amazingly. I love the horse and Simon for showing him.”

    Charlesworth, more usually seen in the saddle, added: “This is what everyone in showing works for all year round — it’s the best thing in the world. This horse has everything: he’s a great mover, he carries himself, he’s a lovely balanced horse and he has correct conformation.”

    Judges Matthias Werner, of the German Trakehner Verband, and Chris McGrann obviously agreed, and it was a popular decision. Wood is great supporter of showing, with both his own horses and those of his daughter, Michaela, who is competing at HOYS this week.

    Also popular was the choice of reserve, Lisha Leeman’s Kellythorpes Ooh-La-La, second to Romanno Royale in the horse section. Leeman’s Kellythorpes Strike A Pose headed the Cuddy supreme Pony of the Year class. In what is thought to be another HOYS first, the Kellythorpes pair were shown by twins Dain and Frazer Atherden.

    Image: Romanno Royale by E.S. Photography, courtesy of the Horse of the Year Show

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  10. Carnsdale Dreamcatcher takes the first title at the Horse of the Year Show

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    The first championship of the 2015 Horse of the Year Show has gone to Chloe Vaughan’s Carnsdale Dreamcatcher, who claimed the hotly contested Irish Gateway small hunter title.

    Produced by Melanie Booth, the gelding has previously been campaigned as a show hunter pony and a riding horse, but seems to have found his niche as a small hunter.

    Small he may be, but he did a bit of giant killing en route to the top of his class at Birmingham, for which 28 had qualified. Among those he vanquished were Hello Dolly, who had landed the supreme honours at the British Show Horse Association Hunter Show last month, and Pearl Underwood’s consistent campaigner, Mr Socks.

    Sally Ann Cowley’s Miracle Mickey, a former intermediate hunter champion at HOYS, was second, with Hello Dolly third.

    “Dreams really do come true,” said Vaughan after her win, while producer Booth added: “I’m in total shock. He went mega — huge well done, Chloe.”

    Another popular win was that of Lisha Leeman’s Kellythorpes Strike A Pose, who headed the pony section of the Cuddy in-hand supreme. “Phoebe” is out of Meacham Mambo No. 5, whom Leeman lost to colic last weekend. Leeman’s Kellythorpes Ooh-La-La was runner-up in the horse section to the Wood family’s Romanno Royale.

    Image: Carnsdale Dreamcatch in the small hunter class at the Horse of the Year Show, by ES Photography, courtesy of the Horse of the Year Show

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  11. Why there’s no show like the Horse of the Year Show

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    It’s HOYS time again. Ever thought what horses think of it? After Oscar the hunter, we ‘interviewed’ Lola the mare….

    Lola has never known the yard so quiet. All the children have gone to the Horse of the Year Show — honestly, you’d think it was a royal visit or something, they were all so excited.

    What’s so wonderful about Birmingham, Lola snorts to herself. She’d been loads of times, it wasn’t that great. Not like the old days… Lola’s days of horse shows are long gone; she’s an old lady now, but she can still remember the frenzied preparations for HOYS (as those in the know call it, of course).

    Lola dozes a little… and dreams of that magical day so many years ago when she trotted down the centre line at Wembley Arena, with her tiny foal dancing along beside her. She had won something called the breeder’s supreme. Lola didn’t really know what that meant but she knew it was good because her human was quite overcome with delight. She can still feel the heat of the spotlights on her back and hear the crowd whooping and cheering.

    That foal had grown into a strapping hunter and he’d felt the spotlights on his back, too, when he won the hunter championship a couple of seasons ago. Lola was proud of him, as she was proud of all her babies. Her last one was competing at HOYS this time. Lola jolts out of her daydream.

    Her baby, her last baby, was competing today! Lola is so excited — she can’t wait for the children to get back to tell her how it went. There is nothing quite so wonderful as the Horse of the Year Show…

    Image: Bright eyes, by Lali Masriera via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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  12. Kellythorpes Stud mare dies of colic

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    Lisha Leeman’s Kellythorpes Stud has suffered a major blow in the run-up to the Horse of the Year Show with the loss of the marvellous foundation mare Meacham Mambo No. 5. Leeman bought the papered Dutch Warmblood to start her breeding operation and the 16-year-old bay had done her proud — her first four progeny for Leeman all qualified for the hugely prestigious Cuddy in-hand supreme at HOYS.

    Mambo, heavily in-foal, succumbed to colic last weekend and died on the operating table at Rossdales. Team Leeman has been devastated by her loss.

    “My heart has been ripped to pieces,” said Leeman. “No one will ever understand just how much love we all have for this very, very special lady. She was my best friend and made us what we are today. Mambo, you have left us a legacy to carry on your good name.”

    That good name will be showcased in the Cuddy at this year’s HOYS on Wednesday, October 7, when Mambo’s daughter by Kilvington Scoundrel, Kellythorpes Strike A Pose (Phoebe), competes in the pony section.

    In 2012, Leeman’s first two foals from Mambo — Kellythorpe Don Diamonte and Kellythorpes Moulin Rouge — finished fourth and fifth in the horse section; in 2013, Moulin Rouge won the horse section, while Kellythorpes Master Key was fourth last year in the horse section and Strike A Pose was second in the ponies.

    The many friends and supporters of Leeman and Kellythorpe will be rooting for Phoebe this year, as well as Kellythorpes Ooh-La-La, another by Scoundrel out of Cherwell Abacus, in the horse section.

    Image: Hooves by S. Carter through Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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  13. Getting ready for HOYS — the horse way

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    Ever wondered how horses get ready for HOYS? Oscar the hunter tells it like it is….

    Oscar the hunter is not amused. Not only did they leave before second horses, they hadn’t jumped a twig! Ella, his human, wasn’t usually so lily-livered in the hunting field, but apparently they’re going to something called “hoise” in a couple of weeks and she wants to “keep his limbs clean”. Pah. Oscar is a very good jumper, never touches a stick, and besides, there’s been precious little rain in this part of the world for a while so he’s hardly likely to get grubby.

    Apparently, keeping his “limbs clean” also means he can’t go out in the field for more than a couple of hours a day. Ridiculous! All right, he might enjoy a bit of a kick and a leap, but he’s not stupid, not like that flighty chestnut bit who’s always getting ponced up with baby oil and coloured ribbons for “the hack class”, whatever that may be.

    Oscar snorts. The flighty chestnut is very pretty, but honestly, hacks? Sounds like they go round coughing…

    Then there’s been all this walking in-hand around the lanes and lots of lungeing, which is as boring as watching barbed-wire rust, and he’s ashamed to admit that he’s been hamming it up a bit, bouncing around and larking about.

    And Ella shouted at him! Called him a “great big, stupid lummox”! How dare she — him, who’s never let her down, ever, in the hunting field.

    Oscar eyes a soiled patch at the back of his stable. So she wants “clean limbs”, does she? Well, she didn’t say anything about any other bit of him being clean…

    Image: Working hunter (cropped), by S. Carter via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

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