It’s so weird to be in September already having just about survived August — the month of endless shows!
August seems to me to mark the end of the main show season as people pack up their horses to head off to week after week of summer championships around the country. We decided to limit what we did with the youngsters this year, so we just headed to Equifest. There was a really good group of us — I was taking Pop and Sandy, as well as judging at the show, which I was really looking forward to. The classes are always great with some lovely horses and happy competitors.
To stop this blog from turning into an essay, I won’t go into every class in detail, but I will say that Pop and I had a great time. He qualified for the evening performance and behaved like a pro, until the all-important championship. After being pulled in top, the excitement clearly got the better of him and he reminded me he is not always perfect by putting in a buck and change of legs in his gallop! He was swiftly moved from first to seventh!
Sandy, on the other hand, kept his halo polished throughout, even if he was a little shell-shocked to be in the ring with around 25 other ponies in most of his classes. He was placed in them all and behaved impeccably, even when I had to find him a substitute jockey at the very last moment.
Equifest is always such a great fun show to go to; it was lovely to be back at Peterborough and to see such huge entries. I didn’t judge last year so it was nice to be back ‘in the saddle’ judging with some lovely classes and two super evening performances as well.
Almost a week later, (having been back at work in between) my judging commitments took me a little further up the M1 to the prestigious BSPS summer championship show, where I was really honoured to judge intermediates, horses, lead reins and show hunter ponies. I have not competed at the BSPS summer champs for many years now and it was lovely to be back.
I particularly enjoyed judging the Blue Riband hunter pony classes. It was an exciting process to be part off as you really could not be sure what would win and we had to hold up the ‘skating marks’ so your points are immediately seen by the audience. I really enjoyed the experience and as ever felt honoured to judge such lovely ponies and riders.
With August over I have taken a big sigh, tried to catch up on some sleep and get myself organised for the oncoming dark morning and even darker nights! We did attend Edenbridge and Oxted Horse Show, taking Sandy along who demonstrated his lovely nature by coping with the dog agility, guns firing, trade stands and carriage driving to be 5th in his small breeds class after not being ridden for a week. But the big highlight was seeing my Auntie Julie qualify for HOYS for the first time in the private driving class — it’s great that someone from our family will be competing in Birmingham this year.