I went to meet Kingsdown, then named Bazil, on a search for a new trekking pony. It can only be described as love at first sight. He had only been backed for 2-3 weeks before he came to me as a four year old for the summer. The idea was that he would spend the summer with me then become a fully-fledged trekking pony. I remember the first day I sat on him. I had Sam, my boyfriend, hang on to him until we reached the track and then said in a moment of madness "oh, he seems fine" so off we went on our lonesome for about a 30 min walk, trot and canter round the fields. He didn't put a foot wrong, was very forward going and didn't blink an eyelid at anything. Nothing has changed four years on!
My other memory from my first days with him is the fact that on the very first night, the riding school owner said to me "does he know about electric fences?" "Yes, well I think so…." I replied. The next morning he had utterly trashed the place and had wrecked every fence in sight in a quest to say hello to everyone! It was a sign of things to come as he has been a regular escape artist ever since and has even been found munching his way through an allotment.
As there was already a Bazil in the trekking herd a new name had to be found. Whilst we were trying to think of one my mother nicknamed him 'Becks' because of his spiky mohican which was very similar to the hairstyle at the time of a certain footballer. It stuck and he was to become 'Becks' forevermore.
After we had had a wonderful first summer together, Becks joined the trekking herd. His fabulous forward going, excitable nature meant he always believed he should be at the front and wouldn't settle in behind. So he went to a friend of mine in Lancashire for the next summer for schooling. This is when he showed us that jumping, fun and galloping were more his thing and I realised I never wanted to be separated from him again so he didn't return to the trekking herd.
Jo Gingell who bred him tells me he had quite a difficult childhood as she discovered his mum was completely blind before he was born - mum was only 4 and it happened quickly and quietly. Mum wouldn't let him out of her 'sense', and if he tried to wander off she would wildly circle round him to keep in contact. She managed pretty well in her own field, so they were there for the duration. When it came to weaning time, unfortunately Jo had to have his mum put down.
He has proved to be a bit of a lovable disaster on legs. The very first summer he was kicked in the field and had a nasty wound on his leg, which saw him out of action for a good while. The next summer, he had a nasty (and very expensive!) foot abscess that wouldn't go away. Then the next summer, he was kicked in the field again. This time he had a fractured splint bone. Unfortunately, he has never realised that not all horses want to be his friend and still always wants to say hello! During his recovery from the fracture he had a nasty bout of diarrhoea and ended up very poorly in hospital. Last summer, thank goodness, was trouble free and we had a fabulous time! All his troubles just make him extra special, as I value every day that he is
well and sound.
He is a fabulous pony to have. He is extremely friendly and always pleased to see you. He is always happy to be out and about and makes a thoroughly fun and exciting pony to ride. He can always put a smile on my face and the days are always brighter when I see his cheeky face. More than one in a million, he is utterly unique!