The last few weeks have flown by and it feels like I am midway through the season already! Thankfully the weather has held off at the shows I’ve done so far, bar a brief but inconvenient hail storm at Windsor. However, like many of you I imagine, I’m now praying for rain as the ground is really hard and the grass is hardly growing.

Pop has been out to two big county shows now, surviving both with his brain still intact. His first was South Suffolk show, which is lovely but with children, balloons, flags, a flying motorcycle display and huge show jumping surrounding the ring, we did have visions of him planting his feet and deciding to go no further! Luckily our visions did not come true and Pop won his class, despite having a rather nervous me on board. This was his ticket to the Royal International Horse Show and we were a very happy team.

The week after South Suffolk we headed to one of our favourite shows, Royal Windsor. As we arrived my mum commented on what a lovely show it was and how lucky we were to have it so close to us. I then reminded her that, nice as it is it, was not my luckiest of shows in the M&M classes. Last year Jacob slightly lose the plot at the vital moment ending up at the end of the line, while previous years have involved wrong legs and not actually being entered for the class, so I was wondering how this year would fair, especially as Pop had not seen anything quite like it before.

I was riding Jamie Sheeny’s Dartmoor stallion Foxleat Victory in the class before Pop and had the leisurely start time of 5.30pm, which meant a good look around the shops, a nice lunch and the chance to watch a few classes first. Vic had been reserve champion for the Dartmoor section the day before and had obviously decided Windsor was quite exciting, so we soon realised I would need to get on him and work. After a great go round we got pulled into line in any order. As I headed out to do my show typically the heavens opened and some sort of freak hail storm started. Vic was not so impressed with the weather and are show would be described as slightly hit and miss, however we ended up third, which I was pleased with under the circumstances.

When I came out I jumped onto Pop and we headed into the ring. Poor Pop couldn’t help but stare at everything. He went round the ring without being sharp or spooky, but he just didn’t want to drop and go in the lovely way he can, as he was to busy just taking everything in. When we came into line I decided to do a different show and gallop on the right rein as I was worried about him spooking down the long side, but this did not pay off. As I urged him to go forward, a little too strongly with hindsight, we discovered that Pop could buck! We ended up fifth with both judges saying they were disappointed as they liked him on his go round, so another what if. I couldn’t really be disappointed as that was the first hoof Pop had put out of place and Jacob waved far more feet around the year before! I guess I can safely say my Windsor M&M curse is still in place.

I am looking forward to the next few weekends as Pop is now going to get to do some novice classes as we attempt to get our Picton ticket and I will also be taking Sandy and my Dartmoor out to some shows. Let’s hope the other babies follow in Pop’s fantastic footsteps.

Chloe