After last weekend’s slightly disappointing results, I was hoping this weekend would bring lots of red ribbons — well just one would be nice — but sadly we well and truly had the blues.

On Saturday we took Spud (Carol Dutton’s Connemara stallion Hillymead Cabaret) along to the South East Connemara Show to do the NPS intermediate and open classes. After warming up nicely, we stood around waiting to go in the ring and it was freezing! I’m really looking forward to going to a show in the sun again; these last few weekends have been like being back in the depths of winter.

By the time we got in the ring Spud’s mind was somewhere else and he was not playing ball. He managed an okay go round and a reasonable show to stand second, but it was not up to the standard we were hoping. We also came second in the open class where I am pleased to say that Spud did managed an improved performance.

The next day we headed off to South Suffolk, an event that tests the best of ponies with a very hilly ring, flying motorbikes, flags, showjumping and generators surrounding the ring.

I ended up riding Claire and Julia Kerslake’s section A stallion Delami Red Roulette as his usual jockey, Sam Roberts, had broken down on the way to the show. Roo has had his mind on the ladies recently, so we decided to see if he would be quieter without any working in. Sadly it didn’t work at the beginning, although by the end of the class he had managed to stand quietly in line so we are hoping he will continue to improve the more he goes out.

There was one class in between Roo’s and Spud’s so a quick change of boots and I was off working in Spud, who was thankfully in a much more co-operative mood than the day before! He went fantastically with the others, many of whom found it all a bit much with the flying motorbikes in the main ring. Spud also produced a nice balanced show so I was very pleased with him. He definitely redeemed himself from the day before, but when they called us in we were second again. A great result, but sadly just not good enough. Unfortunately when you are chasing qualifiers, it’s easy to feel a little disappointed if you don’t get the ticket, even though the result itself is actually very good!

I’ve also been working hard on my young welsh B Sandy, who is finally starting to mature. We have been having some great 6:30am hacks before work, which is a lovely way to start the day! Francis is continuing his education, but at a slightly slower pace as I am trying to get Sandy out to some shows in June so Francis taking a back seat for now.

This Saturday we are off to Windsor where I can safely say if I achieve any sort of ribbon I will be pretty pleased! Let’s just hope the sun comes out. Good luck to everyone competing.

Chloe