Already I am only days away from Olympia and I haven’t even managed to write my blog up from HOYS (Horse of the Year Show) so I hang my head in shame!
After last year’s success, HOYS was pretty quiet in comparison. Bar Bam I had a team of first timers so I was really just going hoping they would have a nice experience.
My perfect princess Bam was her usual star self and for the third year running she made the top line — this year ending up just out the rosettes in 10th.
Moonie (Moelview Moonstruck) headed to HOYS for the first time and he lapped up the atmosphere. Totally unfazed by the crowds and arena, he just went slightly green in his show but I was extremely pleased with him and look forward to hopefully taking him back again as I know he has more to achieve.
Leo on the other hand was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience. We had great fun in the lead up with him falling out hacking and cutting his knees, to getting cast and then finally at HOYS itself, he had an impromptu vet call out in a last ditch attempt to avoid the ring! Thankfully there was nothing wrong with him and he was given the all clear.
Bless him, he tried to cope with the class but he seemed to find everything to claustrophobic and just couldn’t stand still at all. HOYS can be funny like that — some seem to cope and others just find it too electric. We stayed in which was an achievement and actually we only just finished out of the placings, but I am not sure he is one who will ever cope with the situation. He came straight home after HOYS breathed a sigh of relief and has since been enjoying a holiday!
After HOYS we headed to the Heritage championships with Bam and this time Windy to compete in the Olympia classes.
We had an amazing time up there with Bam winning her semi-final class and qualifying for Olympia on the Saturday and then Windy pulled it out the bag on the Sunday picking up his ticket to Olympia too. I couldn’t quite believe I would be so lucky to qualify two although it does mean I am faced with the really tricky decision of who to ride!
Since the Heritage championships I have finally managed to move house, much I imagine, to my parents’ delight as they no longer have to deal with me waking them up at six in the morning to do the ponies!
With Olympia only just around the corner for us, Windy is poised for his third visit while Bam is ready for her first. Sadly this will be Bam’s last show as she returns to the Popsters Stud for mummy duties. I’ve had Bam for four years now and we have been out competing for three. I can only think of one time when things when slightly wrong and that was jockey error really. She just loves her work and loves to please and I feel incredibly proud and lucky to have had her. She is the only mare to have qualified in the Welsh section C class but I am sure she will show the boys how it is done.
As much as I love Olympia, I am ready for it to be here now. The past week has been really difficult with the snow, ice and rain and I feel Windy is probably a little behind where I had planned, but hopefully riding in the snow has kept him fit — they are all natives after all! It takes me about 20 minutes to ‘dress’ him in all his rugs yet it only takes me 10 to dress myself before I head to work. Plus his hair gets far more attention than mine.
Fingers crossed the weather is on its best behaviour until tomorrow as I definitely have a lot to get done. Olympia is always such a tough class to compete in with all the natives in the ring together and some truly beautiful animals, but it would be fabulous for one of my ponies to achieve a best of breed. Olympia always has such a special atmosphere with it being so near to Christmas and with everyone stabled together. The decorations are up all around the stables and we always seem to crack open some bubbles early. Riding back into the arena for the presentation is such an electric moment — I am just keeping everything crossed I might even get to do a lap of honour this year!