May turned out to be a great month with the sun finally shining! Alongside shows I also managed to go on holiday and see my friend get married in Italy. For once, both my mum and I went away at the same time which was nice but meant leaving the ponies for someone else to do. This is something that always makes me nervous, although I came back to a spotless yard, immaculate beds and very happy (although a little fat) ponies, so I am not sure why I should have been worried.
Both of my Dartmoor boys have been on good form — well I say both…
Windy has been busy covering and returned for a total of two days before going out to a show and picking up his Royal International Horse Show (RIHS) ticket, so that’s one show, one win — I am counting that as good form! Windy likes to do very little so it is ideal for him. If only getting a Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) ticket could be that easy.
Leo has been busier and has had a good run of shows picking up his RIHS ticket at the BSPS Area 11 show. I then took him to our local area show where I expected him to be nice and quiet as the show was just in a field, but I guess the thing is to never under-estimate a Dartmoor! After a quick lunge, on I got with my friend leading me forward. Leo decided some airs above the ground were needed and there was a moment of bail or be dumped, so I opted to bail! Thankfully after a little more lungeing he got over himself and went on to be perfect in the class winning a lovely open class and then winning his silver medal too.
The week after that we headed to my favourite show — Royal Windsor. After falling off my ‘veteran’ Jacob last year in the ring, I really just wanted to make it safely round on Leo, which after the week before I was a little concerned about. However, Leo went out and not only stayed in the ring but he even WON his class! I was absolutely thrilled as I have never won Royal Windsor on Mountain & Moorland. The last time I won there was on my old intermediate which must be 15-odd years ago. It was fantastic to be in such a top quality championship — Windsor really does bring out the best of the best and the chance to see The Queen is just the icing on the cake.
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I also was very lucky to pick up a ride on the beautiful Welsh section D stallion, Swchyrhafod Brenin for Megan Hewitt and on my second ride with him we won our RIHS qualifier. What a lovely boy he is. The first time I rode him I’d had an operation two days prior and shouldn’t have really been riding, but I am sure like many of you, it is hard to sit on the sidelines. Thankfully he looked after me and gave me an easy ride around the ring.
Looking ahead, June brings the start of the HOYS qualifiers, although for me it’s a fairly quiet season with just Windy to concentrate on. I am looking forward to some other lovely shows coming up — South of England (our local) and Lincoln, both who have fantastic food tents! I will update you next time on the best cheese I manage to find at each.