Loraine Homer’s showing blog: summer champs and new rules

  • THE BSPS Summer Championships was a whirlwind of emotion. The show didn’t start well on Wednesday and Thursday, with a few mistakes and upsets. Our fairy godmother must have looked down on us and decided to change our luck on Friday and from then on we just could not go wrong.

    There were too many wins and highlights to bore you with, but the image of my daughter’s face when they announced her as supreme on Friday night will live with me forever. We left home with one ambition — to bring home with us the Cefyn Charmer Trophy [for the best overall cradle stakes pony].

    I only learned about it around three years ago from my friend Polly Eddis. She made it sound so special that I have wanted it in my sideboard ever since and I am glad to say it now takes pride of place in our hallway.

    The show was magical yet again, with so many friendships and such fun being had alongside competition. What better way to bring up your children? The spirit wasn’t even dampened by the mud on Saturday after torrential rain. I know my camp would have been happy in any conditions.

    There is always a busy end to the season for me and thankfully, where we live, a lot of the shows are not too far way, otherwise it would be even busier. Bucks County and Moreton-in-Marsh are lovely, proper country one-day shows and, even with the hard ground, every effort had been made to make the arenas lovely to compete in.

    I have managed to pull off all the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) tickets I wanted and look forward to the preparation for HOYS now. Except for the rugs and coats issue, of course…

    Addington’s Autumn Show [10 September] was the final chance for hunter HOYS tickets and contenders for them were out aplenty. I am glad to say one was awarded in every weight class. I took my lovely young horse McNamara in his first open class, which he won, so I was doubly excited and the response from other competitors made me very excited for next season with him.

    There have been some BSPS rule changes, which I’m glad to see. I made a comment in a previous blog about the jump from nursery stakes to open 133cm being huge — the gap has now been reduced [the age of riders eligible to compete in nursery stakes has been raised to 13].

    But I hasten to add this will only help if children use the two classes at the same time, if they just wait another year to move up it won’t help them at all.

    The 50/50 marks system is now across the board, which will please some and not others. It’s down to judges to make marks work by using the full range of marks properly.

    The opportunity to jump two ponies in an open working hunter class has been introduced although, unlike horse worker classes, the first pony must be the competitive one. You are unable to choose after the jumping section. This will be great for bringing on novice ponies if some competitors are lucky enough to have two.

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