Blisters had formed, grown and popped.
Blood had spilled.
Voices had worn more horse than a sad woman at the races who'd been screaming because she'd lost her big final bet on the final race by a nose.
A horse nose.
Which aren't even cute.
Depending on the horse.
And your personal proclivity toward this particular brand of majestic hoofed animal snout.
Witnessed called it the most epic battle of Ring A'round the Rosie anyone had ever seen.
And now, Roger, legs wobbling from exhaustion, but soul soaring with gloating arrogance, was ascending the winners podium ready to give a victory speech he planned to echo through the valley and vibrate into the already crushed and vulnerable spirit of the loser, Gary.
Yes this had a been a battle fought dirty from the get go.
Skin had been scratched, eyes had been poked, hair had been pulled, and the trash talk was so brutal three spectators had even threatened to intervene with a fire hose.
An unprecedented act on the circuit, but one that many felt needed to happen.
Especially after news had come in earlier that day that the local dam had burst and that residents should try and use as much water as possible 'shower twice if you have to' the news had said.
An unprecedented amount of showering.
But now Roger had won, and was ready to be showered with praise, but more than that he now hoped to take eighteen hours of built up pain and loathing and shove it deep down Gary's losing fucking throat.
Yet Roger knew not yet of the dirtiest act that had been played of all.
A move had been made more dastardly than even the worst move made during the entire horse nose trials of 88.
And who hasn't vomited on themselves thinking about that?
Before the trophy could be handed out, first the official had to test the participants for banned substances.
And at some point during the battle.
Greg had managed to taint Rogers 'pocket full of posies' with a single Daisy.
Enough to have Roger quite definitely disqualified from this match, and possibly even banned for life.
But it was only to get even worse.
It would turn out Greg had only even challenged Roger to a match so his accomplices could use the time to ransack Rogers house.
Also one of these accomplieces was banging Greg's daughter, who'd helped orchestrate the whole thing, and was currently doing it in her dads bed.
Also the 'throb of victory' that Roger currently felt in his chest would turn out to be the start of a heart condition that would traint the rest of Rogers life
Although few people felt sorry for Roger.
Everyone on the circuit thought he was only EVER in it for the money.
And had no real love for Ring A'round The Rosie.
In fact it had been heard that Roger had once been heard to say 'why "Rosie" anyway, it's a rose, just fucking call it that'.
Although this particular atrocity had never been corroborated.
Most agreed that 'if I'd heard him say that, I'd have killed him on the spot'.
I think we all would have.
I know we all would have.
Unless he was wearing his trademark horse head mask at the time.
Who could hurt a horse.
Have you seen their noses?