It’s been a busy couple of weeks, getting the youngsters out and about, as well as contesting the first few RIHS qualifiers with the open ponies.

First of all, I can’t wait to tell you that Jacob (my Welsh C stallion pictured) got his RIHS ticket at South of England Spring show. I was really thrilled to pick up our ticket, after going through a spate of third-itus last year. It’s such a relief to qualify early on as it means I can pick and choose where Jacob goes to avoid bad ground and some early starts!

So with Jacob qualified, it was onto Golden Cross Novice M&M show. I took my young Dartmoor Francis to the show for a ride around as he had never been anywhere bar two farms before. Well he obviously wanted to shift his naughty Dartmoor label as he was very well behaved. He stood on our little lorry, grazed in the lorry park, got ridden around with lots of scary horses jumping and then stood back on Claire’s big lorry, while other certain small ponies tried their best to escape!! Sometimes I really wish all of mine were geldings!

Small but perfectly formed

At the show I partnered Claire and Julia Kerslake’s section A stallion Delami Red Roulette. Having never sat on Roo before, and it only being his second ever show, I thought this was a little ambitious but we managed to hold it together enough to be called in top. Roo is fantastic to ride as he just floats around the ring. At only 11.1hh I was worried I would be pony squashing, but he is like a mini Jacob to sit on — so wide and chunky. I didn’t even realise how small he was until I got off.

Roo won the class with Danny, Claire’s section B partnered by Steven Hulston coming in second, so a pretty good result all round. I then jumped onto Spud the Connemara to do his novice class. The class was huge and Spud was a little bit keen on the go round. He pulled off a good show to move up to 4th place.

Our next show was my BSPS Area show, which is always lovely to go to as I get to see so many people. Again I partnered Roo, as his usual jockey, Sam Roberts, was off at another show. Unfortunately this time round he was a little unsettled and although small in statue he certainly made up for it in noise! He was second in his class but had some lovely comments from the judge.

I took Spud into his class after a good warm up this time and he was much better behaved. We won the class and went on to be reserve champion, which I was very pleased with.

Time to be elegant

After finishing up my classes, eating some great chocolate birthday cake and doing a bit of stewarding for some RIHS classes, I jumped in my car and headed towards Ardingly show ground to ride my hack in the Cherif qualifier.

Keyley had Toby looking absolutely spot on for the show. Having finally lost his winter coat, he is looking very much the part now and I was pleased to see his potential really starting to come through. As the day was so hot it was a shame to be inside as it ended up like a sauna — elegant I was not, but he was a good boy. It was weird to be on an elegant horse again after riding all the ponies and he gave both the judge and I a nice ride. We finished 2nd in the class, collecting our Cherif ticket as the winner was under 14.2hh and went on to stand overall reserve reserve ridden.

So all in all it has been a very good couple of weeks collecting two tickets I really wanted — Jacob’s RIHS and Toby’s Cherif ticket. Let’s hope it doesn’t all go downhill from here…

‘Til next time,

Chloe