The crowds for the Burghley Horse Trials, the flagship event of three-day eventing, were always big but they have never approached 170,000 as they will this weekend.
If this really is an elitist sport, an accusation levelled at eventing every time it seeks funding, then the elite stretches further than we could possibly have imagined.
I know they will go on to help each of their new owners reach their goals, just as they helped me reach mine.
Amid the brass bands, the hacking jackets and the stalls purveying Purdey "shooting wear" and Pimm's comes the realisation that you are at the biggest sporting event in Britain.
There are country house settings – this one is in Lincolnshire – and, most importantly, easily identifiable characters.
This is what made snooker such a success when David Attenborough, then the controller of BBC2, decided to screen it.
He has 4 star potential written all over him and is still young enough.
Leon will continue to compete with Andreas and later become a schoolmaster for his daughter Alina.
Stanford starts in a week and though I can’t wait to get out to California, I’m sad to leave Eventing behind.
The two years were necessary for me to compete safely and successfully at the 3* level, but I’ve postponed academics and Stanford long enough.
I believe this is the perfect situation for Leon, as he is returning to the family that raised him and I can be certain he has a loving home for the rest of his life.
Fernhill Fearless is now with Nat Varcoe-Cox (Will Faudree’s groom) in Southern Pines.