Gromet's PlazaPonyGirl/PetGirl Stories

Human Interest

by Cardman

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© Copyright 2011 - Cardman - Used by permission

Storycodes: FM+/fm+; F/f; ponygirl; display; public; bdsm; flogging; piercing; race; chariots; paintballs; climax; cons/reluct; XX

(story continues from )

Part Five

Chapter 8: Chariots and Fire!

Ella was chatting with Master Fredricks as they stood in the serving line while Irish half talked with, half interviewed, his ponygirl wife, Windsong. A few moments later, Irish was holding Windsong in her arms as she sobbed softly. Finally, Windsong regained her composure and thanked Irish for being so understanding.

“Chicken or beef?” the chef asked Windsong, breaking her somber mood.

“Chicken, please,” replied Windsong, holding up her plate.

Ella and Irish had just finished going through the line when they spotted Christine seated at a picnic table near the vendors’ tent. “May we join you?” asked Ella.

“By all means, Mistress Ella, you are always welcome. I’m just not so sure about that kinky ponygirl with you,” Christine quipped. As they sat down, Christine turned to Irish and asked, “I saw you comforting Windsong in the food line. Why was she crying?”

“I don’t feel that I am at liberty to say, Mistress,” replied Irish.

“It’s okay, Irish, the Fredricks are not keeping it a secret,” Ella volunteered, “I’ll fill Christine in on the details. Eight months ago, Mrs. Fredricks lost her baby at 7 months pregnant. The miscarriage was so bad it has left her barren. They were both devastated by the loss and were searching for some new activity to occupy their time and their minds while they consider other options like adopting or finding a surrogate. Someone told them about our spa and for the last five months it seems to have been just what the doctor ordered. They come here every weekend that they can and Windsong has truly blossomed by surrendering to her pony persona.”

“Christine, there are so many different human interest stories out here, how can we possibly distill them all down into one 5-minute segment?”

“Well, Lindsay… .sorry, …Irish, we can’t. If the segment I have in mind goes well, we may be able to follow up with more stories as time goes by and help grow more business for the ranch and spa as well.”

“There’s Twilight,” said Ella. “Over here, dear, you can sit with us,” shouted Ella over the chatter from the tables around them.

“Thank you, Mistress Ella, it’s really crowded here today,” said Twilight as she plunked herself down next to Irish Rose. “Hi, Irish. Hi, Auntie Christine.”

“Auntie Christine?” Irish almost choked on her Coke. “Come again.” She looked right at Christine.

“Well, technically I’m her aunt by marriage. She is Master Tom’s older brother, Don’s daughter. Don is the chairman of the foundation that helps the families of the consignment ponygirl volunteers.”

“How does that make you her aunt though,” query Irish.

Christine laughed, “See, Ella, we fooled another one. Irish, Cyndi and I are sisters, identical twins in fact. She has always worn her hair short and mine has been long. She has lived here all her life and has a slight Southwestern accent but I went to college in Syracuse and have picked up a typical TV announcer’s Mid-western accent. She almost never wears make-up, but for TV I practically live in make-up. Very few people pick up on us when we are together. Didn’t you think it was a little strange that Cyndi’s English riding outfit and boots fit me so perfectly, especially since my shoes are size 11?”

“Hey, wait a minute. You set me up. You and Mistress Cyndi knew all along that she didn’t have a set of ponyboots that would fit you so you could trap me into volunteering for this.”

“Aren’t you glad I did? Look at all of the new things you have been introduced to, things you never would have tried on your own. Like you said, there are hundreds of different stories walking these grounds and you might have the chance to bring pony play into the mainstream. Besides, I hear you’ve had some extra special attention since you’ve arrived.”

As if right on cue, Ella hit the button and a quick B-U-Z-Z-T caused Irish to lurch forward on the bench almost dropping her fork. She glanced over at Ella and then they all burst out laughing.

“Sorry, I let the cat out of the bag, Auntie Christine.”

“That’s okay, Twilight dear, Irish had to find out sometime.” The rest of the meal, Ella and Christine chit-chatted while Twilight and Irish discussed the whys and wherefores of the pony culture.

“What happened to your latex body suit?”

“As much as I love wearing it, I had to help the chef turn the meats over the barbeque pit so I took it off right after class. It’s also a little too hot today to wear it for a long period of time. In the winter you’d have a hard time getting me to take it off if it wasn’t for classes.”

“I love your piercings but don’t they hurt, Twilight?” asked Irish.

“Oh, no, not at all. I love my piercings too. I would never give them up. They are removable though, see,” and Twilight unscrewed the little ball on her left nipple ring and slowly slide the ring around and off, accidently dropping the little jingle bell in the process. They banged heads as they both reached to pick it up and then they laughed. “It stung a little bit when they were done but in less than two weeks time, they had completely healed around the rings making it totally painless to change them out.” Twilight slid the bell on the ring and replaced it. “I really love the extra sensation when someone plays with my tits.”

Irish couldn’t resist the temptation and reached over and fondled Twilight’s right breast.

“What a sweet talker you are,” smiled Twilight as she pushed her breast firmly against Irish’s palm and wiggled it around. They both giggled. “My nose ring is the thing that really gets me into character when I want to be. Mine is very special and would have been unbearably painful if they hadn’t numbed me up first. Let me take it out and show you. Look up here,” she said pointing with her finger, “there is a grommet permanently set in my septum that the ring goes through. Sometimes I like to be a naughty ponygirl and get dragged around by my nose ring but I didn’t want to risk accidently having my ring ripped out so Auntie Cyndi installed that stainless steel grommet.”

“But this is the first day I’ve seen your nose ring.”

“Like I said when we first met, today was the first day I was allowed to wear all of my gear as Master Tom didn’t want to shock the newbies by exposing them to too much, too soon. I have about an hour before I have to help get the corral ready for the show pony competition. Would you like to visit the vendors?”

“I’d love to,” replied Irish.

“Mistress Ella, Auntie Christine, may I borrow Irish for an hour. She’d like to see inside the vendors’ tent?”

“Certainly, dear. Could you please bring her to the equipment barn when you are done, I am going to sit in on Master Tom’s leather working class.”

“Yes, Mistress. Come on, ponygirl,” said Twilight picking up Irish’s leash, “Let’s put our trays away and head inside out of the heat.”


The highly reflective coating on the outside and big air chillers inside the tent kept it a comfortable 75oF. Irish was amazed at the diversity of products. There were headdresses, bits and bridles of every imaginable design. There were hoods, blindfolds, gags, shackles, chastity belts and cuffs to suit all of your discipline needs along with paddles, crops, quirts, floggers and whips. There were lots of sex toys too, dildos, clamps, vibrators, violet wands and machines that seemed from outer space with their reciprocating motors and long rubber shafts. There were several cart makers showing their wares as well but the display that stopped Irish dead in her tracks was the whipping post.

The really amazing thing to Irish was that the ponygirl padlocked to the post seemed to be enjoying the flogging she was taking. Her master gave her three hard whacks with the flogger and then gently ran his fingers over the spot he had just hit. The ponygirl squeezed her thighs together and stood on one foot oo-ing. She tossed her head back and he began again. Irish swore that the ponygirl came right there in front of everyone.

The salesman stepped in and asked, “Well, what do you think?”

The master hesitated and his ponygirl chimed in, “Please, Master, please.”

“Okay, I’ll take one and one of these big floggers too.”

“Thank you, Master,” she said as he unlocked the padlock holding her wrists to the post and then her ankle cuffs from the platform.

“$457.89 with the tax. Will that be cash or charge, sir?”

“Cash. Boy, the government has to get a piece of everything, don’t they.”

“I’ll have my assistant load a new one into your car if you will just show him where it is. Do you want your flogger in a bag?”

“No, I’ll just clip it to my belt. I have a feeling I’m going to need it later.” Hearing this, his ponygirl danced excitedly and then they headed off to the next exhibit.

“Who’s next?’ asked the salesman.

“She is,” said Twilight.

“What?” said Irish as her mouth dropped open.

“No more questions just get up here ponygirl,” said Twilight as she stepped onto the 6” high platform that held the post in place and tugged on her leash. She locked Irish’s wrist cuffs to the post which was only waist high and then raised the T-bar which forced Irish to back up and bend from the waist until the T-piece hit the top of her thighs. Twilight quickly chained her ankle cuffs to the rings in the platform, stepped back to admire her work and whispered something to the salesman. Kneeling in front of Irish she said, “You know I would never hurt you, right? I know you want to please me, don’t you now?”

“Yes, Mistress,” she panted nervously. She knew right then she wanted to please Twilight more than anything in the world but still didn’t understand this whole flogging scene.

“Good girl,” said Twilight and kissed her full on the lips. Irish almost fainted in ecstasy.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a rare treat for you today. Show Pony Grand Champion Twilight Girl and staff member here at the Pampered Pony has offered to give a demonstration of some of the various flogging techniques and the safe and proper use of the ‘single-tail’ whip. Please gather around.”

Christine and Mistress Ella were still sitting at the table outside the tent when they heard the announcement. Christine grabbed the video camera and said, “Let’s go in. I have got to get this.” She got the camera recording just as Twilight picked up two floggers and stepped behind Irish.

Irish was straining her neck trying to see what was coming but Twilight gently turned her head away and said, “Don’t look, don’t worry just relax and enjoy all the attention. Close your eyes, now.”

Twilight started softly and slowly, explaining how to work up to that special moment. The blows came faster and harder and then they stopped. Irish could feel Twilight’s hand gently rubbing her buns and caressing her thighs and then the blows began again. Irish could feel a warmth in her bottom and thighs but realized that it really didn’t hurt like Lilith’s crop. It was more psychological. The loud slapping noise of the flogger just added to the illusion of helplessness and punishment.

The flogging stopped again but Twilight continued to talk as she caressed Irish’s cheek and then tugged at her ponytail, pulling her head back and planting a big kiss on her lips. Irish tried to kiss back but Twilight was too quick. Oh, how Irish was aching to hold and be held by Twilight. She was beginning to drip from her nether region with anticipation. Her mind was slipping into subspace and she didn’t even know what that was.

The flogging came in a rhythmic flurry now and then stopped again. Irish’s eyes flew wide open at the sound of the crack of the whip. Now she was scared. What was Twilight talking about? Never do this… never do that… always try to do this… help your pony deal with the pain… breathing is most important. A moment later there was Twilight’s face in front of her, her hands were caressing Twilight’s cheeks. “Oh, this is going to be bad,” thought Irish.

“The cracking is just for show, Irish. I would never hit someone with that much velocity on the tip. It would rip their skin wide open. I am only going to hit you three times to demonstrate the dos and don’ts of using a single-tail. The other strokes will be in the air not on you but you will hear them so don’t be scared. After each hit, take two or three quick short breaths and then blow them out slowly, like this. It is going to sting but it doesn’t last long.” Twilight kissed Irish long on the lips and Irish desperately tried to suck Twilight tongue down her throat.

Twilight stepped back, grabbed the floggers and proceeded to warm Irish up again. The pause was less than two seconds when… CRACK!..... swoosh… . FIRE!....

“Breathe, breathe, breathe,” Irish told herself. Her ass was aflame. Sting was an understatement. “Let it out slowly.” She eased her stomach back down onto the T-bar that held her mid-section horizontal. She could hear a couple of more cracks as Twilight was demonstrating some other finer points and then she realized that the sting was gone and she relaxed.

… swoosh… . more stinging… ” What happened to the CRACK… wasn’t there supposed to be a crack before the pain?” Irish wondered as she gasped repeatedly for air then let it all go. Subspace came rushing at her and all of a sudden she was freely floating, detached from her own body which was causing her this pain.

The third swat brought a soft moan from her lips as her body was producing a rush of endorphins to protect her from the outside forces assailing her. Suddenly, something felt wonderful… there it was again… Twilight had just licked her right thigh and then her left… the picture flooded into her mind as clear as crystal… that’s definitely what it was… then Twilight licked her nose and Irish went over the top… trashing and moaning against the restraints hold her in place… .”How can this be,” Irish wondered, as wave after wave of pleasure surged through her body.

It had to have been two full minutes that Irish was locked in the throes of her orgasms. The crowd applauded, whistled and cheered both for Twilight’s brilliant manipulation of this ponygirl’s experience and Irish’s total, unashamed surrender to the power of her own sexuality. The salesman took full advantage of the situation and several Masters and Mistresses stood in line to order the complete set-up.

Twilight saw Christine in the crowd and waved her up to the platform. Christine knew the ‘cum drunk’ expression on Irish’s face and held her steady while Twilight unlocked her from the post and platform. Twilight grabbed a chair from the back of the booth and Christine gently steered Irish into Twilight’s waiting lap. Both of them were fully aware of the importance of “aftercare” when a scene was over and it took almost 20-minutes for Irish to return from her first venture into subspace.

Several newbies had crowed around to discuss what they had just seen and why aftercare was important. As soon as Irish was able to focus again, Christine handed her a bottle of water which she drank readily. She turned slightly on Twilight’s lap, wrapped her arms around her, said, “I love you” and gave her a long hard kiss.

Christine helped her to her feet and said, “It’s time for you to join us now.” Irish looked totally confused as Christine buttoned her blouse. She opened it just far enough for Irish to see two beautiful, golden nipple rings. Irish’s jaw dropped again as another secret had been revealed right before her eyes. “All of the female trainers here have to go through the complete ponygirl training. It is the only way the ranch can insure that the trainers will understand and have empathy towards the ones they are asked to train.”

“Auntie Christine, since you are here could you please get Irish back to Mistress Ella after her piercing. She seems to have gotten lost in the crowd and I have to go set up the corral with Mistress Lilith and Master Tom.” Twilight never made the mistake of referring to him as “Uncle Tom”.

Irish raised her eyebrows and got that scared look again.

“Now, Irish, I know you want to please me and I promise it doesn’t hurt that much. You will thank me for requesting that you do this. Now be brave and go with Auntie Christine and I’ll have a treat for you later.”

So far these ‘treats for you later’ had been really good so Irish forced the bravest smile she could muster and blew Twilight a kiss as she left. “Okay, Christine, let’s get this over with. The longer we put this off, the more it is going eat at me.”

Christine took Irish by the leash and led her to the side door of the west wing of the lodge. Above the door was a blue sign with a big white cross on it. “All of the piercings are done in the infirmary by Mistress Cyndi or Mistress Lilith. Hi, Sis,” said Christine as they came through the door. Cyndi looked startled. “It’s okay; we don’t have to pretend to be strangers anymore. Twilight accidently let the cat out of the bag a couple of hours ago.”

“Is Irish okay? Did she get hurt or is she sick?”

“Nope, she has come to get nipple rings.”

“Oh, that’s wonderful dear,” said Cyndi opening her blouse to proudly show hers which were twice as thick and a half inch bigger in diameter than Christine’s. “We’re not quite identical twins.” She said jokingly in Christine’s direction. “Sit on the edge of the table here Irish and pop your tits out over the top of those semi-cups a little more, dear.”

Irish hopped up on the table and Cyndi started swabbing her down with alcohol and then a betadyne solution. Finally, she wiped away all of the orange residue left by the betadyne with a strong, topical anesthetic. “It will take a minute for the numbness to set in. Now sit perfectly still while I measure and mark you. You are going to love having pierced nipples but we have to be careful not to hinder your ability to breast feed if you have children someday so these piercings have to be very precise. Cyndi flicked Irish’s nipples with her index fingers and Irish didn’t even blink. “Perfect. You’re ready.”

The piercing took less than a second on each side and Irish barely flinched. Cyndi wiped away the slight trickle of blood and threaded the tip of the ring into the hollow rear of the piercing needle. As she pulled the needle through the nipple the ring was dragged along until it emerged out the other side whereupon Cyndi separated the two and pulled the ring around so that the opening was at the six o’clock position. She quickly did the same with the other side and cleaned all of the blood off the stainless steel rings. She then put the needles in the autoclave to sterilize them for the next time. Turning back to Irish she asked, “Before I close them and show you how to take care of them for the next few days, would you like a couple of bells like Twilight?”

Irish had never even considered that but quickly answered, “Yes, please, Mistress Cyndi.”

“There you are, dear, all done. They may throb a little later when the numbness goes away so here are a couple of sleeping pills to help you get some rest tonight if you need them. You will have to sleep on your side or your back tonight. Slide the rings a few degrees clockwise and counterclockwise every hour or so before bed and then again tomorrow to help the skin form around them. Take these packets of alcohol wipes as well to clean up any drops of blood that might ooze out.”

Irish stood up and look down, jingled her bells and smiled. “Thank you, Mistress Cyndi.”

“Your welcome, Irish, no charge.”


Christine lead Irish back to her stall so she could drop off the supplies that Cyndi had given her and use the bathroom. Christine suggested that she rinse off her mouthpiece while she was in there before she put it back in as the solution tasted really nasty. In the bathroom, Irish took advantage of the large mirror to check her bottom. It was barely pink unlike the beating she took from Mistress Lilith. It was then she saw the three red stripes from the whip. She gently ran her fingers over each one recalling the sharp stinging sensations that had pushed her into subspace and the image of Twilight licking her came flooding back causing her to clench her thighs together and moan softly. When she emerged, she put her mouthpiece in and Christine twisted the cam-locks to hold it in place and then reattached her chastity belt. Irish looked down at her breasts, jiggled a little side to side causing the bells to jingle and then gave a happy whinny at the sound they made. Christine’s tug on her leash meant it was time to go reconnect with Mistress Ella and she clip-clopped along behind.

The leather workshop had just finished and people were coming down the stairs as the two of them entered the equipment barn. Irish was staring at the rows and rows of chariots and sulkies completely oblivious that the people passing by were pointing at her nipples and talking about her new rings. Ella was one of the last to come down and Irish felt a strange sense of completeness when she caught sight of her. Irish practically dragged Christine across the floor of the barn to hurry and show Ella her new rings. She jiggled excitedly and Mistress Ella smiled, “Oh, did you miss me, my pretty pony?”

Irish nodded and whinnied and stuck out her chest.

“Why look at the pretty nipple rings, you decided to become one of us did you?” Ella softly stroked Irish’s cheek and then her hair. “Let me straighten your bridle at little and fix your ponytail.” Irish just closed her eyes and enjoyed the attention and softness of Mistress Ella touch. When Ella finished, Irish gently rubbed her cheek on Ella’s shoulder and Ella playfully flicked Irish’s rings making her bells jingle and said, “It’s time for the show ponies, let’s go get a good seat.”

Christine put the video camera in her bag as the three of them got to the grandstands as she knew she wouldn’t be able to film during the show. The pony teams were beginning to line up with their sulkies and Irish could hear the clatter coming from the barn as more sulkies were being brought out. Some judges were fussing with their paperwork and testing the sound system while Lilith and Twilight were setting the last obstacles in place. Twilight waved to the crowd’s applause as she passed by and joined the other judges in the booth.

The first order of business after the national anthem played over the grandstand loudspeakers was to explain the rules and get the contestants in the right order. The first class to circle the ring was the Novice class of both ponyboys and ponygirls. As they pulled their sulkies around the announcer would call out different gaits and the judges would jot notes about how each team performed. The drivers then dismounted and presented their ponies, one at a time to the reviewing stand and they were evaluated on posture, poses and proper etiquette. The final part of the competition was a blindfold run through a smaller obstacle course than the one that Irish and Ella had set the record on. All of the drivers mounted back up and waited for their run at the course. The whole thing took just under an hour and then there was a ten minute intermission while the judges tallied up their scores. There was an air of excitement as the teams waited nervously and then the announcer stepped to the microphone.

“This year’s winner in the Novice Show Ponyboy category is Folsom’s Pride driven by Master Henry.” There was much cheering and applause. It was a popular win as these two had done everything they could to help the others in the division with their equipment, encourage them and to get them to relax and to enjoy the experience. If they had a congeniality award, this pair would have won that too.

“And now, I present to you this year’s winner in the Novice Show Ponygirl division. Out of the fourteen entries, your judges have chosen……(for some reason they always make a bigger deal out of the ponygirls than the boys)…… Windsong driven by Master Fredricks! The crowd showered their approval on them as Mr. Fredricks jumped out of the cart and ran to embrace his ponygirl wife. It was a shared moment in time that they would never forget as it finally appeared that God was in his Heaven and all was right with the world. Dan Fredricks took a half of a step back and looked his wife in the eyes and said, “I think we should try to adopt a little girl and maybe someday she’ll grow up to be a Champion Show Pony just like her mom.” Dan hugged Windsong again as she broke out in tears of joy at the thought of possibly becoming a mommy after all.

After all the other ribbons were given out and the novices had cleared the arena, the Open Class took its place in the ring. Class is the word. This was a whole different level of competition here. These ponies were all elegantly arrayed. Their carts were all decorated very stylishly without being gaudy and their drivers just reeked with an air of confidence and complete control. Irish looked on in amazement at the beauty and artistry displaced by every team on the field and then looked over admiringly at Twilight in the judges’ stand wishing she could have been there to see her top this whole field last year. “Grand Champion, what an accomplishment,” thought Irish.

There were thirty-two teams lined up two by two, sixteen rows deep and then a whistle blew and they all came to attention for two seconds and then music started playing over the loudspeakers. At the very first beat, each of the ponies stepped off, starting with the “Spanish Walk” in perfect unison. As they paraded around the ring at pre-determined intervals the style of music changed and so did their gaits. Sixteen different gaits in all were completed in eight circuits around the ring. Irish whinnied in excitement, she had never imagine such pageantry on displace. Ella and Christine watched her delight and then winked at each other knowing she was completely hooked.

The presentation of the ponies to the judges moved smoothly along and then it was time for the obstacle course but something different was added. The side gate of the corral was opened and tied back. The announcer explained that each team would run the obstacle course and then exit the corral, complete one full lap, re-enter the corral and pass through the last obstacle gate to stop the clock, all while blindfolded. There would be a two-second penalty for any obstacles hit and the time would be 50% of their final score.

The crowd had their favorites and shouted encouragement as each contestant made his or her run at it. The competition took almost two hours and Irish could not imagine how the judges could possibly pick a winner as these ponies were all magnificent. She was on the edge of her seat as the teams lined up in front of the judges for the decision.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I think you will agree with me that we have seen a truly great spectacle this afternoon so how about another hand for our competitors.” The stands exploded in wild applause and cheering once again and then he motioned for them to settle down. “The winner and this year’s Grand Champion in the Show Ponyboy division, coming all the way from Milano, Italy is Apollo driven by Mistress Gina.

“Apollo, what an appropriate name,” thought Irish, “He looks like a Roman god in a Fabio kind of way.”

“Please take a circuit around the ring to the cheers you so richly have earned.” Gina shook the reins and whistled and Apollo took off at a gallop and then slowed and stopped at the judges’ stand where they received their ribbons.

A fanfare echoed throughout the canyon and everyone stood in anticipation. “Now the moment you have all been waiting for.”

“Get on with it already,” thought Irish Rose impatiently to herself, “The suspense is killing me.”

“This year’s Grand Champion Show Ponygirl is…drum roll, please… .Bronze Lily driven by Master Ramirez! Master Ramirez clicked his tongue and Lily stepped proudly out of the line. For a moment, everyone was awestruck at the sight of this gorgeous creature in all of her leather finery and then the applause was thunderous as they pivoted to the left and paraded majestically around the ring. She truly was the class act of the whole show. A garland of roses was placed about her neck as she stopped at the reviewing stand and then the ribbons were presented to the rest of the top contestants as well.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the show pony competition for this year. Please take time to congratulate all of our winners and stick around for the final event of the afternoon, the chariot race, which will begin in about fifteen minutes. Thank you.”

“Okay, Irish, we have to go get our chariot and get you two hooked up,” said Mistress Ella. Irish pawed the ground and looked quizzically at her. “Oh, are you wondering who is going to be the other pony, are you?” Irish nodded and whinnied. “Twilight Girl, of course. You two are a perfect pair.”


Twilight had just finished putting her voice converter back in her mouth as the other three rounded the corner of the equipment barn. Master Tom and brother Don had already pulled out the twelve chariots and lined them up for the teams to choose. Four of them had already been chosen and the drivers were hooking up their ponies. This was an open event for both ponygirls and ponyboys and it seemed that the ponyboys were always the quickest in making up their minds about which chariot they wanted. Irish pulled Mistress Ella over to where Twilight was waiting and happily jiggled her nipple rings at her. Twilight whinnied and smiled and the two of them rubbed cheeks for a moment.

“All right you two, that’s enough ‘Pony Express’ for now,” prodded Ella.

Irish looked at Ella with a totally confused look on her face while Twilight laughed a whinny.

“What, you’ve never heard of ‘Pony Express’ Irish? It’s just like playing ‘Post Office’ but there’s more horsing around,” joked Ella. Irish just giggled, “N-n-n-g-g-h-h.”

Christine made an executive decision and a couple of minutes later Twilight Girl and Irish Rose were hitched up side by side to the bright red and black chariot. Christine and Mistress Ella climbed onto the chariot’s platform, Christine shook the reins and they started for the track. Irish grimaced back at Christine as if to say, “How much barbeque did you eat, Christine? This chariot is heavy.”

Christine caught the glance, chuckled to herself and gave Irish a swat on the rump with her crop.

Once all of the chariots were lined up, the announcer introduced the teams and explained the rules. Masters Tom and Don went down the line handing out goggles, paintball guns and shields. Each of the drivers, after donning their goggles, stepped off their chariots and put goggles on their ponies, opaque ones. Even though it is against the rules to shoot at the ponies, there is always a chance that a stray round might hit one so they have to be protected. Besides, how difficult could it be to race around the track if you could see where you are going or where the other chariots are? Once again it was going to come down to trust between pony and driver.

Christine got back in the chariot and grabbed the reins. She had opted to drive because Ella was a much better sharpshooter. Twilight whinnied and Irish whinnied back as they waited for the signal to go.

Mistress Ella held her shield in her left hand and paintball gun in her right and looked over at Christine and said, “Do you think it will be the same as last year?”

“Of course,” she replied, “Just remember, it’s not whether you win or lose……”

“Horse manure!” responded Ella and they both laughed.

“Drivers to the ready!.....” BANG went the starter’s pistol and they were off.

Christine whistled and Twilight and Irish tried to pick up the pace a little but the track had just been scarified and dragged to smooth it out and the soft surface made it more difficult to pull the chariot. Down the front stretch, Christine had to carefully keep pulling the reins to the right as Irish had a slightly longer stride than Twilight even though they were the same height. The problem was that Twilight had on her show pony thigh-high boots while Irish had her calf-length racing boots on.

Two chariots had gotten tangled up before they even got to the first turn and were lagging way behind the rest. Coming out of the first turn all hell broke loose. Pop.. PopPop… Pop. Paintballs were flying everywhere. Mistress Ella skillfully deflected one away from Christine’s backside and Christine whistled again but she may as well have been whistling ‘Dixie’ as they were already at top speed in this soft dirt. Twilight and Irish strained against the tow bar and Irish wondered how much further do we have to go. She whinnied at a sting on her rump as if to say, “Christine, I am pulling as hard as I can!” but then she felt something ooze down her leg and realized it wasn’t Christine’s crop, it was a paintball.

It seemed a lifetime to Irish but it was only four minutes when they dragged the chariot across the finish line and were brought to a halt. Christine removed Twilight and Irish’s goggles and they both squinted as their eyes tried to adjust to the light filtering through the camouflage netting. Once they could see again, they both whinnied in hysterical laughter. There stood Christine and Ella plastered all over with multi-colored paint.

“It’s the same thing every year,” volunteered Mistress Ella, “Ever since we won the inaugural event six years ago, they always gang up on us. I did manage to take several of them out though.”

“You both did great and we did cross the line first,” gushed Christine, “So I think we should celebrate tonight anyways. Champagne for all. Ella, it looks like we’ll be doing laundry again later tonight.”

It was just about that time that the next to last team crossed the finish line and was declared the winner. Apparently their early crash with the other cart put them so far behind the leaders that not a single paintball had been fired at them and they escaped unscathed. All the other teams had disqualified each other. It was all in good fun and everyone congratulated the winners on their ‘brilliant’ strategy.

Christine and Ella helped the two ponygirls drag the chariot back to the barn and wash it off. Tom and Don were already waiting to restage the chariots in their proper storage spots. Master Don said, “Great race, ladies. Better luck next year. You’d better hurry as dinner is ready for all of the ponies.”

“Thanks, Dad,” said Mistress Ella as she gave him a big hug. She then put her arm around Twilight’s shoulder and turned to a very stunned Irish and teased, “Yes, Irish, Twilight is my baby sister and we are so proud of her, aren’t we, Auntie Christine?”

Twilight stamped her foot and glared at Ella. “N-n-n-g-g-h-h N-g-h N-n-n-g-g-h-h!” which probably meant “Three years does not make me your ‘baby’ sister!”

They all laughed and headed for the stables.


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