As competitions are set to recommence soon (hopefully), here are 11 familiar sights we’ll probably see in the collecting ring when social distancing rules are relaxed further down the line…
1. The horse at it’s first show
The first competitive outing is a biggie for a horse just starting out in any discipline. You can usually spot this animal a mile off; he’s gangly, his eyes are on stalks and he’s probably snaffle mouthed. And his rider usually looks highly stressed. Give this duo a wide birth!
2. A disgarded grooming kit/basket
Hopefully you realise you’ve forgotten your box of treasures before you leave the showground.
2. Someone arguing
Probably a parent or child, or a rider and their long-suffering partner, bickering about their recent performance (or lack of) or who was meant to put dinner in the slow cooker before they set off that morning…
3. An over-worked groom
Some grooms don’t seem to have stopped all day; a constant cycle of cleaning boots, legging up and primping horses. While your groom is putting their feet up, polishing off the last of the Prosecco and cake…
4. A designated jumper putter-upper
Similar to that person who stupidly places themselves next to the collecting ring enterance gate, the individual stood in the middle putting jumps up and down is probably too polite to just walk away, so it’s their unofficial job until someone comes and takes their place.
5. Many, many trainers
Trainers with all different teaching styles and tones of voice will be seen, and heard. Some use words of encouragement, while others make their clients cry. Horses for course, I guess.
6. The lost stick
Alas, the poor lost show cane or schooling whip is usually found at the end of the day, bedded under the sand. Probably dropped at the side of the ring by mistake and unlikely to be reunited with its former owner.
7. A leg bandage mishap
Watching a leg wrap gradually unravel before your eyes is similar to watching a car crash. A possible disaster if the horse treads on it and spooks. Yikes.
8. At least one spectacular fall
You just hope it’s not you.
9. A lack of direction
There’s always one rider who has never heard of the left-to-left concept, or a pair who insist on riding two-by-two on the track.
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10. The owners
They’re the reason why a lot of horses are at the fixture in the first place. There to be impressed and hopefully leave with a bundle of red rosettes. Why does it feel like there is always added pressure when performing infront of these groups of VIPS, even though you don’t have anything to do with them!?
Include dropped coffee cups, schedules or back numbers. Do your bit and take your litter home, folks!
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