I have had the boot on the other foot a couple of times in the past few weeks with a couple of very nice judging appointments. I always think competitors make good judges and it certainly is good for competitors to judge. Seeing everything from inside the ring is a different perspective all together. It is a privilege to be asked to judge top horses and I thank the show organisers for the invitation.
I have ridden some lovely horses, some less lovely, some exuberant and some that look like they don’t want to be there at all. I am definitely a fan of the more forward-going horse. I love a horse to look like he is enjoying his job. As my co-judge John Harvey at North of England said: “We don’t ask very much of them, so the least they can do is prick their ears!”
I am not usually a great one for chatting in the ring, but I found the amateur classes at Keysoe intriguing. The riders were keen to hear what we had to say and how, perhaps, a small tip may help them for the future shows.
I very much enjoyed getting my four-year-old hunter Jackpot (LVS Jackpot, pictured top) in the ring for the first time at the BSHA Grassroots show at Addington. The sun shone and the hunter classes were extremely well supported so I was delighted to come away with the championship and very encouraging comments from the judges. Jackpot is a delightful horse very easy to produce and I look forward to Windsor with him this week.
The ponies and Alice have continued their winning ways with Maria taking the show hunter pony championship at Area 5 and Area 7. Poppy (Crafton Queen of Pop) won her novice show pony class at both shows too and we had another win for Iris (Wynnmere Good Vibrations) in her novice show hunter pony class. I am hoping our good run is not about to end at my favourite show this week.
I am grateful to have had some rain and get the horses and ponies back riding in the fields. Our ground had got so hard and I was getting so bored of being in the arena. Imagine the excitement recently on a windy day cantering up the hill on the babies. Hang on to your neck strap!