Well the last few weeks have been jammed pack with two summer championship shows and the remaining HOYS qualifiers.

I took the two less experienced ponies up to NPS Summer Champs to compete for a few days and I was thrilled with how both coped and went. Sov (Pennway Sovereign, Welsh Sec B, pictured) was a very good third in a large Picton final and Windy (Shilstone Rocks North Westerly, Dartmoor) was 5th, 4th and 10th in a huge HOYS class after a change of legs in his show.

And Justin bought Jacob (Welsh C) up for me to ride in the HOYS class, which made my week! Although we didn’t end up placed, I had a fab time riding him again and he behaved brilliantly, even managing to do a bit of a gallop in his show. It is hard to believe he will be old enough to do veteran classes next year.

After a week’s ‘break’, which included a morning at Ponies(UK) and a long, long drive down to the Dartmoor breed show, Mum and I packed up for our ‘holiday’ to Equifest. This time we took Pop and Francis for the five days.

Francis never really gets to see other ponies or jump unless he goes to a show, yet he was brilliant. He was placed in all-bar-one of his classes and jumped round both the novice and open M&M working hunter pony courses.

Pop excelled himself once again coming up from third from bottom to win the amateur class — a lesson there to never give up no matter where you are pulled in at first! He was also fifth in the open class and second in his huge Equifest final — I couldn’t have asked for anymore from him, he was perfect every time.

We had a great time at Equifest with the ponies and our friends, and I also judged a few classes as well. It was fun driving the lorry around in my evening performance dress and heels(!) but at the same time it was also sad, as this was my last ride on Pop, who has now gone to his new home.

I was so sorry to see him go — he is a pony in a million and I have been so lucky to have him. We have achieved so much together and I’m sure he will be spoilt rotten and go on to achieve great things in his new home too.

With Pop gone, I just had the last HOYS qualifiers to take Windy to. So off we headed to Monmouth, along with what seemed like the whole country who all had the same idea. When you’re pulled into line in any order, you really don’t have any idea how well things have gone, but after a good show I hoped I would get placed. As my number was called forward, I couldn’t work out if I was first or last and it was so windy I couldn’t hear! It was a huge relief when I realised that we had won and booked our ticket to Birmingham — we had done it!

With Windy now qualified, I headed off to Derby to ride a Welsh section B for the Moleview Stud. I had only sat on Chiefy (Moleview Chieftian) for the first time at Monmouth, so I went to Derby just hoping we would do a good show and not show ourselves up. Again we were pulled into line in any order, and the classes were huge so there was a long, long wait before they called the numbers forward.

Then, 1144, hang on that’s me! I couldn’t believe it — this time I knew I had won. Two HOYS tickets from the final qualifiers. What a fantastic result. So now I have two lovely ponies to ride at HOYS and I cannot wait.

I had promised Windy that I would lose half a stone if he got me that golden ticket, so on that point, I better get off to the gym…

See you at HOYS,