Three days of warm autumn sunshine has done the trick to move me on from another column full of pessimism, if not doom and gloom, to one of optimism.

As transitory as it may be, I’ll stick with it and share with you some of the pleasures which have crossed my path during the past month.

Hopefully, they might draw you away from the depressing thoughts of long dark nights, which are rapidly closing in, and the equally dark forces of politics, which currently seem to know no depths.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of this column that I begin with Enable, the remarkable Thoroughbred which is fast becoming my favourite racehorse of all time.

Arguably, the best mare which has ever graced the turf, her win in the Yorkshire Oaks, last month, gave the Gosden-trained wonder mare her 10th Grade one victory and her 12th win in succession.

Equally smitten is her famous jockey, Frankie Dettori, who must face their next race, the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe with mixed emotions as it is likely to signal Enable’s retiral to the paddock.

What a fairy tale it will be if they make history by claiming ‘The Arc’ crown for a third successive year.

It was the BBC’s Red Button service which brought me another recent delight when the European Eventing Championships, at Luhműhlen, Germany, was followed the next weekend by Britain’s famous home 5* international event at Burghley.

What a feast of top level competition was on offer at both with the cross country sections a real treat and the show jumping phase a cliff hanger.

A silver team medal at Luhműhlen followed by top three placings at Burghley said it all for the standard of British eventing, particularly when team members were to the fore at both. Pippa Funnell’s victory at Burghley by a tight 0.1 point margin was especially remarkable as it said everything about the standard at the top.

Matching this top class competition was brilliant coverage of both events by the BBC whose directors, camera men and commentators pulled out all the stops to provide a brilliant account of both competitions.

It goes without saying that Claire Balding was at the top of her game, looking so comfortable in the midst of all her horsey friends. Nick Luck has made a very successful transition from racing to other equestrian sports and worked well as the link man throughout the coverage.

Nick was ably assisted by a wealth of talented individuals. I was particularly taken by Harry Meade, at Luhműhlen and Scotland’s own, Ian Stark, at Burghley. Personal experience and knowledge seems to ooze out of every comment they both make, although Meade’s very detailed and technical observations might not translate well for the public at large – although I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Stark, on the other hand, comes across as a real people’s person who easily transcends all levels. Without any sense of one-upmanship, he knows exactly when to turn on the detail and is happy to add amusing anecdotes and witty comments.

He has done it all himself and finds ease in sharing his expertise with a wider audience.

Staying with eventing, while some of the big names may have been missing from the 2019 Blair Castle International Horse Trials, the event never fails to impress and this year proved to be no exception.

The unique nature and beautiful surroundings of the location are undoubtedly major factors in its crowd appeal, but so too must be the diverse nature of what’s on show which pulls in visitors and participants alike.

It has become an institution, a major player and a focus for equestrianism in Scotland of which I personally enjoying being a part.

To be fair to the organisers, they are eventing people and not events people, so it was no real surprise that the grandstands for the Tummel and Country Fair Arenas were in obscure places, in fact, the latter not even adjacent to the ring.

Despite this I witnessed people sitting in them and appearing to enjoy whatever they were viewing, particularly the working hunter pony classes which are always very popular.

I suspect it’s a combination of the jumping activity, along with the young riders, that creates the attraction although this year onlookers were blissfully unaware of the drama which surrounded these competitions earlier in the week.

It goes without saying that the jumping courses are an essential element of the competitions, so therein lay the problem for the organisers when regular builders in the Country Fair Arena, Paul Baxter and Sara-Ann Stoker, from Consett, Co Durham, had to call off at the 11th hour.

Having found Paul unconscious on the farm three days before the build date, followed by a blue-light run to hospital, Sara-Ann had no option but pull out of their booking in full knowledge of how difficult it would be to find a replacement. Thankfully, Paul has since recovered.

The problem was passed on to none better than NPS Scotland chairman, Fiona Roebuck, who met the challenge but not without a high degree of co-operation from a whole host of volunteers.

Well-known trainer and BSPS course builder, Linda Lucey, provided a set of jumps and built a basic course since she was on other duties at the event; Caroline Nelson, one of the country’s most experienced judges and stewards, brought a trailer load of fillers from Kelso and generally seemed to take control of things as well as judge; fellow WHP judge, Helen Sloan, helped with final build on the Thursday and hunter exhibitor and trainer from Caithness, Russell Skelton, aided by James Munro and David Picken, built the prestigious NPS Scotland WHP Finals on Friday.

Full marks to all the other volunteers, too many to mention; to say it was a team effort is an understatement. At a time when voluntary effort appears to be at a minimum, this story bucks the trend and provides some hope for our equestrian industry.

It lightened my heart and surely has to be welcomed as the ‘feel-good’ story of 2019.

I can’t finish without mentioning the one pleasure which greets me daily – our orphan foal, which we have now named Gladys. She brings a smile to my face every day as she continues to thrive despite her unfortunate start in life.

Suffice to say Gladys is enjoying life in the paddock with her foster mum, who loves her as her own. I’ll save their story for the next occasion when doom and gloom is set upon us be it by weather, season or Brexit.