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(on his dumpy grey cob) was instructing us to keep
the red flags on the right and the white flags on the
left (which we already knew) I noticed Pomfret,
(on a well-bred, excitable brown) and Brownrigg
(Groplady's bright chestnut looking very compact)
already stealing forward on the side furthest from him.
When he said "Go", I went with the others; albeit
with no sense of initiative. The galloping hoofs sound-
ed strange. But Gockbird felt strong under me and he
flicked over the first fence with level and unbroken
stride; he was such a big jumper and so quick over
his fences that I had to pull him back after each one
in order to keep level with Jerry, who was going his
best pace all the way. One of the soldiers (in a top-
hat) was making the running with Brownrigg and
Pomfret close behind him. At the awkward fifth
fence (the one on a bank) Pomfrct's horse jumped
sideways and blundered as he landed; this caused
Pomfret to address him in uncomplimentary lan-
guage, and at the next obstacle (another awkward
one) he ran out to the left, taking one of the soldiers
with him. This, to my intense relief, was the last I
saw of him* I took it at a place where a hole had
been knocked in it in the previous races. The next
thing I remember was the brook, which had seemed
wide and intimidating when I was on foot and had
now attracted a small gathering of spectators. But
water jumps are deceptive things and Cockbird shot
over this one beautifully: (Stephen told me after-
wards that he'd "never seen a horse throw such an
enormous lep"). We went on up a long slope of firm
pasture-land, and I now became aware of my respon-
sibility; my arms were aching and my fingers were
numb and I found it increasingly difficult to avoid
taking the lead, for after jumping a couple more