I don’t know what it is about Royal Windsor, but it has been a big deal for me to ride there, ever since I was small. For years and years I was showing ponies, but I never got to ride at Windsor. Then one year I got to ride a section B in the Olympia class. I came no where, and we had to do our shows in pairs as they over ran, but it still seemed like the biggest ride of my life.
Today Windsor still has that special air about it and I was really looking forward to riding Spud (Carol Dutton’s Connemara stallion Hillymead Cabaret), Major (Sophie Cumbers’ Highland stallion Major General of Whitefield) and Jacob (my own Welsh Sec C stallion) in the Olympia classes. I had no big expectations as the only pony I have ever done well on at Windsor is Snip, my old intermediate who won the class three years in a row. Normally I come away with nothing but a hefty shopping bill!
The day started well with Spud being pulled in a fantastic fifth. We had to do a complicated show and he managed this with no major hiccups. We stayed in to be stripped and then were pulled forward. I actually felt quite nervous sitting in the line up and was thrilled to keep my position in such a huge and quality class. I did my lap of honour with many cheers from his camp and it was great to see his owner Carol so pleased with his placing. It was her first time having a horse competing at Windsor and she was thrilled with the result.
I jumped straight onto Major, who was pulled in as the top Highland in sixth place. Having not been out much this year, I think he was feeling quite pleased to be at such a fabulous show and he got a little strong and over bent — quite unlike Major who you usually have to kick along. Sadly we didn’t get stripped, but we were still really pleased and it was great to see Sophie riding him back to the boxes. I think she maybe stealing him back soon.
Next it was onto Jacob’s class with 30 section C & Ds in together — I was preparing to be squashed as Jacob doesn’t even reach 13hh! However the judge obviously wasn’t fazed by height (or lack of it) pulling section Cs in to the top three, including Jacob in 3rd. We managed to do a nice show and get stripped, which was great as Jacob’s breeder Justin was also at the show.
As we waited for our final placings, the judge called the ponies forward from the left and right of me and Jacob was not happy! He does not like to be left in line — he thinks he should be always be either first or second. I blame Justin for making him such a prima donna, thinking he should always win.
Needless to say, after a few acrobatic displays, we ended up ninth. The funny thing was, after always being so into Windsor I didn’t actually care — I was too busy laughing at Jacob as he had his hissy fit and just enjoying being there in the ring on my pony, although I do think my mum wanted to kill him. Let’s hope he redeems himself soon!
Until next week