Frustrated at being unable to find suitable transport for her 18.3hh heavyweight hunter, Dartford showing rider Katie Hudson decided to set up an online show.

Two months and over 1,000 entries later, she told H&H the idea had exceeded all her expectations.

“I banked on 100 entries for the first show. I had no idea it would be so popular,” she said.

Encouraged by the initial reaction to the idea on Facebook, the first Mane Show was held in January.

The show received 780 entries, helped by a buy one, get one free offer, with the handsomest gelding and prettiest mare being the most popular of the 15 classes. The number of classes was doubled for the second show in February, which had more than 500 entries.

Entries (£3.50 for a photo class and £5 for a video class) open on the first day of the month, closing at the end with the results announced a week later on the Mane Show’s website and Facebook site. Riders are asked to submit one continuous film for video classes to ensure there is no cutting and pasting to get the perfect round.

“The aim is to make showing accessible to everybody. It gives people that can’t manage to get to shows the chance to win a rosette,” said Katie.

The classes are judged by the sponsors, which range from small start-up companies making browbands to well known names like Derriere Equestrian and LessBounce, the sports bra company. If a sponsor is unable to judge the class, then Katie steps in.

The Mane Show Story HHFreja

Each arena has an overall champion and reserve and each show a supreme champion. Freja Noble-Jennings and Rosslayne Gavotte (pictured above) took the supreme title at the first show after winning the junior riding and riding club horse and pony video classes.

This month Concours d’Elegance and Retraining of Racehorses classes have been added to the schedule and in April the showing concept is being expanded to include “everyday dressage” not run under British Dressage rules.

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