Everybody has a list of dream achievements and two have just come true for us: champion show hunter pony with Annandale Maria at Royal Windsor Horse Show, followed by the front cover of the Showing Journal. Wow. Alice has become the fourth generation of the Tatlow family to win a Royal Windsor championship — this will be a lifetime highlight for her.
After Windsor we enjoyed a few family days in Cornwall where my son Harry mastered mono skiing. I think he was very brave even getting in the water! Alice and Harry also passed their stage four sailing certificate. I believe it is important to keep a wide variety of hobbies going for the children, so we don’t get too obsessed with the shows.
I had a lovely trip to Devon County with my four year old hunter, LVS Jackpot. It is such a super big county show and we had a lovely day for it. Coming home with a win made the journey feel a lot shorter too, despite the heavy traffic.
HOYS fever has gripped the showing circuit with large producers starting to count their tickets. We were delighted to pick up our 133 WHP ticket at our first attempt with Lemington Nougat at Midland Counties. It is such a tough one to gain, so there was serious delight in the camp. There were lots of ponies forward at this show. I did not go on the horse day, but I hope it was similarly supported.
Onto Three Counties Show where Maria picked up her HOYS ticket going very nicely. A rather exuberant gallop in the championship may have cost her that, but you never know as it was full of extremely nice ponies. This was also true of the show pony championship, which we were delighted to be involved in with our four-year-old 13.2 Poppy (Crafton Queen of Pop). She finished second to Broadgrove Only You in her class giving me a huge amount of encouragement for her future. She is receiving super comments from the judges about her potential to be a top pony in 2016.
The clash of Derbyshire Festival, Three Counties and South of England last weekend was most unfortunate. I hope all the shows got plenty of support. We only did one of them, but I know many showing teams split up so they could show for several days running despite a lot of travelling.
My father [David Tatlow] very much enjoyed his judging of the Cuddy qualifier at Three Counties. It was won by a stunning Connemara and reserve was a Dartmoor. This competition provides such high standard and there were plenty of people round the ring watching.
We have a couple of weeks without a show now while Alice takes on the lead role as Little Red Riding Hood in her school play and I attempt to get my son to learn his dressage test to some sort of standard for the pony club one-day event. This will be my biggest challenge to date this year!