So it’s my first week back from holiday, and I’ve been straight back into it — no rest for the wicked, as they say. I’m not sure riding in three classes in the baking heat on Saturday was such a good idea though — I’ve just about recovered from my heatstroke!

So we started the weekend by heading to the Thames Valley HOYS qualifiers where I was riding Spud, Major and also Claire and Steven Hulston’s section D Abgervanny Nobility in the soaring temperatures. When we arrived Claire had already claimed the section A ticket with Lauren (her niece) and Delami Red Roulette, which was a fabulous start to the day.

Spud’s class was up next; it was a huge class of some lovely ponies. The judge asked us to do an individual show with a halt in the middle, which Spud managed quite well. We ended up 3rd and were the top Connie in the class, but once again it was near and yet so far! Lauren was just below me in 4th on her Connie, Glencarrig Duke.

I swapped onto Major, who put in a lack lustre performance to come 10th. I don’t think I have ever had to work so hard in my life for a rosette! I felt like I had run a marathon, and the halt in the middle of the show was a very welcome breather. I do wonder if I got 10th simply for trying so hard!

Nobby’s (section D) class was later on so I had a break before working him in. I had never ridden him in the ring before, and the D class is certainly different to the Connies and hairies. He was a very good boy and I was a bit disappointed to not get placed, but that’s showing.

My mum and I then dashed home to Kent as the classes had run late and I was suppose to be on a boat in London for a party at 8pm. I entered my house at 7pm, left six minutes later with a shower included, dressed for my black tie do only to miss the train by one minute. To cut a long story short, I did manage to get on the boat, but if anyone saw a girl running along the embankment with shoes in hand on Saturday evening, that would have been me!

The next day we headed off to Stoneleigh for the HOYS qualifiers at The Festival of Horse with Spud and Duke. After the initial go round, Spud was pulled in 2nd with Duke in 4th. The judge asked for a really good gallop so I decided I had to go for it. Spud was doing a lovely show and set off into a fantastic gallop, then just as I thought about pulling up he tucked his nose between his legs and bucked. Then he chucked a head toss into the mix, just to make sure we really blew it! I was totally gutted. Why do horses always choose the worst times to do stuff like this?? Spud has been so close so many times and I knew we had just blown a good chance, so I was really gutted.

Thankfully, Duke went out and did a fantastic show and got pulled forward first to claim the ticket. It was good that one of us managed to pull it out the bag and two tickets in one weekend for Lauren was pretty good going. As her mum hadn’t come to either show, we have decided she is now banned from attending any further qualifiers!

We only have two HOYS qualifiers left with Spud now. I am really hoping he can pull it out the bag somewhere and doesn’t just keep missing it like he did with his RIHS tickets!

Until next time

Chloe