Opinion

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I’ve been coming to this show since my pony days when it was at Solihull and I love it. They have good commentators and organisers who create the feel good factor and celebrate the presentations rather than getting you in and out as soon as possible. My son Oscar loves it too — he was sat in the crowd shouting “Welly” at the top of his voice when I won the Pro Challenge.

That was a run of nine wins for us and I knew it couldn’t last. I was trying to repeat last year’s grand prix win and take the £1,000 bonus for winning both the grand prix and the challenge, but it didn’t come off. Welly made up too much ground in the short five strides to the last double in the grand prix and the first part fell.

Congratulations go to Alex Thompson with Cathalina V, a horse he has produced himself. He aimed solely for the grand prix and won it with a fresh horse.

Welly only came for these two classes and travelled in the trailer, but we had a puncture on Thursday night. My stepdad Martin soon changed the wheel, with the trailer hitched up in the air with Welly still in it!

Check-out times

We are three hours away and chose to drive in, rather than stable. We would have stayed over, but the horses have to be out of the stables by 5pm the night you are leaving, which means Welly would have stood on the lorry for more than four hours before the grand prix. It’s my only gripe for this otherwise fantastic show. So please, sort the stables out for next year — especially for the grand prix horses.

Ref Horse & Hound; 12 April 2018