I’ve got lots on my mind so let’s start with the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) Winter Championships.
We only took one pony so had plenty of time to look at the new ponies and new combinations for 2015.
I am looking for a 143cm show hunter pony and working hunter pony so particularly watched those classes. There were some exciting new ponies on view from the top producers.
It is noticeable how much a pony matures from four to five years of age — the five-year-old ponies make perfect novices in these showing classes.
There are all ages of novice working hunter ponies and I always find it disappointing when you hear over the microphone that the winner is a considerably older novice.
Checking out the opposition
I also wanted to check out the new show ponies to see the opposition for my new 13.2hh.
The show pony classes are never as popular this early in the season as the other classes. There was lots of chat about it being too early in the season for the novice championships to be held indoors — it’s a lot for true four-year-old novices to cope with and ponies’ careers could be left behind as a result.
Would more show ponies be forward if the championship was outdoors I wonder? We saw one show pony unable to cope with the supreme atmosphere. They are, by nature, more highly strung and I hope it has done the pony no harm.
Read more of Loraine’s blogs
March is our showing blogger's favourite month of the year, with Mother's Day, Cheltenham and of course lots of showing
Loraine Homer reflects on the benefits of winter shows and reports back on recent showing conferences
Too many championships?
On the subject of the indoor evening performance, I’m afraid I feel it goes on too late. Is there a need for all the final 10 classes? What does everyone think?
I feel with small novice and restricted show hunter pony classes, perhaps just their championship would be enough? I know there are lots of children delighted at the chance to dress up for the evening, but I see these mostly in the working hunter pony sections.
Nougat (pictured top) was once again a fab boy. Driving to the show Alice and I decided if we could only win one class it would be novice gold cup champion so after achieving that on the first night, the other successes were a massive bonus.
Having worked hard with her dressage and showjumping lessons over the winter, I was delighted for Alice that her hard work paid off.
What’s in a name?
Does anyone else find naming horses a problem? The societies seem to have got increasingly difficult with allowing names.
I am not a fan of names with II or IV afterwards and does it have to be used by the commentator or corespondent? Do the societies check if the other horses with that name are even still in existence?
There are a lot of Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) qualifiers now and many have been poorly supported in horses and ponies so far this season.
Is the RIHS qualification getting devalued? It would be a shame if it is. I know when you get there the standard is extremely high, but I remember the days when this qualification was as prestigious as the HOYS qualification. I’m not sure that’s still the case.