I use to think that riding in the snow, rain and hail showed your dedication to equestrian sport, but after our ‘mini’ heat wave this weekend, I’m starting to think it is the sun instead! As all my friends lay around the pool sunbathing with a glass of Pimms, I was pulling on my jodhpurs, long boots, shirt, tie, jacket, hat and gloves ready to inflict sun stroke on myself — I’ve got to admit I was wondering why!!!

At least the sunny weather has made the early mornings a little easier and Sandy, my young section B, has been benefiting well from the extra work I’ve been able to give him. As I had a rare show-free day on Saturday he had his first bath and a tidy up, including a good mane and tail pull — it’s amazing how such a simple trim can really make a pony look so different. It was like a Gok Wan makeover and I’m keeping my fingers crossed he will be ready for the ring during the next few weeks.

On Sunday mum and I travelled down to Thorny Island to ride in the picton and NPS intermediate class. I was very lucky to be offered the ride on a four-year-old section C called Britts DJ (pictured above), who is owned by Aaron and Heather Comley, a couple of weeks ago. I went down last weekend to have a ride before Sunday’s show and fell in love. He is another small, really true to type C.

It was only DJ’s third show on Sunday, but he behaved really well. He ended up 7th in a very big picton class, which I was a little bit disappointed with as he moved down the line after not a bad show. But the judge did have some useful suggestions and said, once a few little issues were ironed out, he would be a great one for the future, which was a very fair comment. DJ has now gone home with Claire for a few weeks of training and getting fit over the downs, but I think there maybe another small section C feeling a little put out over his arrival!

After the picton we waited a very long time for Spuds class, getting pretty burnt in the process; I think went in the ring around half five in the end. Luckily it was cooler by then but Spud had been on the lorry all day so I wasn’t sure how keen he would be to play ball. Despite the long wait, Spud was a good boy and stood top of the line, picking up his intermediate ticket for the NPS Champs, which was a great present for his owner Carol, whose birthday it was on Sunday.

I was pleased to get that win under his belt. Hopefully he has got rid of his case of seconditis and will now be moving up the line, not down. This weekend is set to be a busy one again with HOYS qualifiers on Saturday, my last RIHS qualifiers on Sunday and then hack classes with Toby on the Monday.

Good luck to everyone who’s competing over the Bank Holiday.

Chloe