Anyone that knows me or has read my blogs knows that I’m always 100% honest. My social media isn’t always full of great results but it’s full of real ones and I think that is so important. With social media today, so many people will only show you what they want you to see and that’s usually only the good bits. I personally feel that by being real, I can encourage more people to have a go at showing and let them know that if it doesn’t go well, then they’re not alone.
We took five horses to The Showing Register show last weekend and I had one of the best days out showing that I’ve ever had. Did the horses all go well? No! But I had so many of my friends and family there that it didn’t matter.
Saucy (Broadshard Simplicity) was my first ride of the day and he went beautifully for me in the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) large riding horse class. I was pulled ninth and moved up to seventh, which I was delighted with. Did I want to win? Of course I did, but I was just pleased to have moved up and that my horse went well. We had another horse in the large riding horses, Archie (Agher Vectra Clover) owned by Sally and Greg Williams (we are pictured top with me on Broadshard Simplicity and Shelley on Archie). They aren’t actually my parents, we just have the same surname. They do however always bring the prosecco! Archie was piloted by my very talented yard manager, Shelley Harrington. As much as I would love to ride two in one class, I’m no liberty rider so I had to pick one. Again, Archie didn’t have the pull we hoped for after last week’s incredible pull of second at Kent County Show, but he also moved up into the ribbons so we were thrilled to both come away with top 10 placings.
As we came out of the large riding horses, the championship started as did the Countdown theme tune. We had less than five minutes to get back to the lorry, get Otis (Chriskells Otis) off, tacked up and into the ring. Otis had been worked in before we went into the riding horses, so he headed down and had a quick trot around before going into the small hunter class. In true Otis style, he decided it wasn’t a day for showing and proceeded to act like a circus horse, showing the crowds all his favourite tricks. The photo of his gallop sums up his feelings about showing that day. We very nearly bought a photo of the gallop where you can see me stood in the background, looking furious as Otis launches into the air, because you have to laugh at these things! Of course it’s annoying when you’ve spent all that time and money getting them to the show, but getting annoyed or upset isn’t going to change the results. It should be fun and Otis had a great time! Even Shelley and I did. We had a good laugh in the ring and we got some great photos that we can look back on and laugh. Life is too short to be serious all of the time.
The most disappointing part of the day was missing the in-hand class with my parents’ new three-year-old, ASF About Reward. The classes clashed and as his class went in, I was stood in another ring, waiting for the judge to ride Saucy. It was Vogue’s (ASF About Reward) first show and my parents had driven up from Hampshire to see their new horse strut his stuff, but he still made me feel like I had made lemons into gin that day… maybe that was actually just the gin though. Vogue loaded and unloaded from the lorry several times as we swapped horses around, stood on the lorry all day like a pro and even came off and had a trot around outside the rings. He wasn’t fazed by anything at all so it was easy to brush off the disappointment of missing the class and focus on how amazing he had been at his first ever show. Granted, I doubt I will hear the end of this from my dad as he wasn’t best pleased, but I’m sure he will forgive me when we have our first win together.
Article continues below…
You might also be interested in:
Dan has endured a disaster of a week
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
We have a busy few weeks coming up with three horses out this weekend and then one day to prepare everything for a week at the Royal International Horse Show. I would love to make the top nine in one of my classes but if I don’t, I’m still going to have a great time. I have plans to meet friends for drinks, do a bit of shopping and I am going to enjoy my week at Hickstead because I have worked hard all year to qualify all these horses. It’s not always the best that win, it’s the ones who take the rough days and refuse to give up that win in the long run. I have previously only ever managed to qualify one horse every year for the Royal International Horse Show, but I worked harder than ever this year and my hard work paid off.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.