Well, since my last blog we seem to have been to a lot of shows — just like buses, there are none for ages and then loads at the same time!

Toby and I decided to be grown up and head to the British Show Horse Association for their championship show at the lovely Addington Manor. I always love going to this show to gawp at the beautiful horses and this year was no exception — although I have decided I prefer going to judge than compete.

Toby behaved like a little star for all of his classes and you would have thought he had been doing it for years. I am always pleased to get any rosette up at the championships and, although our first day fell short, our second day made up for it with a fifth and a seventh placing. Toby really couldn’t have tried any harder, even in the pouring rain. We also had some lovely judges on the last day in the restricted and amateur classes who took the time to give comments and offer advice — something that I really appreciate in the hack classes.

Getting better and better

After arriving back from the BSHA championships on the Saturday, I did a quick turn around to take Sandy out to a winter qualifier. It was his first time indoors, but he didn’t bat an eyelid and went on to win both his classes and take overall reserve champion. He really is coming on in leaps and bounds and getting better and better.

I had the Wednesday off work, which would have been lovely if I wasn’t up at 5:30am to head back to Addington — this time for the Cherif championship, another lovely show with some beautiful horses. This time, unfortunately, Toby had a small spook with the ride judge. With the standard so high, it was enough to push us out of the top ten — we came 11th!!

With Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) fast approaching, we decided to take Jacob along for an outing to the Great Chart Showing Final to give him a bit of indoor practice. We also took Sandy and Toby, who had both qualified for the show.

Sandy was up first in his mixed breed novice class and he was pulled top. Unfortunately, jockey error (me!) meant that we struck off for a couple of strides on the wrong leg. We quickly corrected it, but rightly ended up second — however, I was pleased as he was still top small breed and it was great to get pulled top.

Practising for HOYS

Next was a quick jump on to Jacob, who was pleased to be out. We used his class to practice the HOYS show as much as we could, although I know all too well that when you hit HOYS all the practice in the world can make no difference. He won the class and put in a nice show — one that I would be very pleased with if he repeated it at HOYS.

Toby then did his two classes and went the best he has ever gone, winning both. With it being a Sunday and already a long day we decided to not stay for the evening performances, but to get the ponies and ourselves back. If only I didn’t have to work on a Monday…

Sandy and I have both had a couple of days off while I move house, but Toby’s season has more or less drawn to a close apart from the odd winter qualifier, which seems sad as he seems to have just started looking great and going really well.

Jacob’s preparation for HOYS still continues, with not long to go now, which makes me both sad and excited. I’m actually getting goose bumps already, although I am still having reoccurring nightmares that we don’t make it there… I’ll be keeping everything crossed for the next few weeks!

Chloe