So as I am finishing this blog I am staring down the barrel of a week at HOYS. In fact I am sat in the Birmingham NEC car park enjoying the sunshine as I wait to do my first working in.
I didn’t want to send this blog too early as I always panic about jinxing things but fingers crossed everything is okay and today I will be going into the ring at HOYS (in fact I will have started competing by the time you read this).
I am in extremely early on Darcy the New Forest – we go in at 7am and then I quickly follow this on the Connemara Casper. I am riding both of these ponies for their owners who are injured this season and I am keeping all my fingers crossed I can do a good job for them.
It’s funny in the run up to HOYS you always find yourself running through a million scenarios of what could happen and what you should do and what bit to avoid and so on, but when you are in the moment it all happens so quickly. I just hope I don’t have any “if onlys” and the ponies perform as well as they can.
I have only ever ridden these boys once which was when they qualified so I hope we can keep the luck going! I feel very privileged to have been asked to ride them so let’s hope we do our best.
Bam is also on today. This will be her second trip here. Last year she went brilliantly and ended up top mare in seventh position. I was so thrilled with her — I am not sure we will be able to top that this year but she looks great and hopefully she will go as well.
In the run up to HOYS I have been really busy as I have had both Windy and Flute to get ready from home as well as Jacob to do and because I am mad I also thought it would be a good time to get Jacob’s son back from the Popsters Stud.
Picasso, as he is known, arrived nearly two weeks ago and has already settled himself in. He is only three-years-old and has been out in the field his entire life but he has taken to being at mine like a duck to water, a noisy duck to water seeing as banging for food is his new favourite past time!
So I can’t lie, I have been flat out with four at home and I have been praying for HOYS to come around so I don’t have to worry about rugs anymore!
Before the HOYS panic I decided to take Jacob out for a last hurrah to the senior showing and dressage championship show. We could only go one day as I was heading off on holiday (for five whole days!) on the Monday. We opted to go for the in-hand day and had a lovely time. Jacob hasn’t managed want outings this year as our HOYS qualifiers always seemed to clash with his shows but every time we have headed out we have either had a diversion or got stuck in traffic. This show wasn’t any different and after a diversion we finally arrived.
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Jacob went onto win his class and go reserve champion meaning he could compete in the Olympia qualifying class. This was right at the end of the day and after a long wait we entered the ring with all the other lovely champions from the day. It was a really big class filled with beautiful animals all looking amazing for their respective ages. Although it was the end of the day Jacob was still quite lively and he strutted his stuff around the ring and in his show. As usual they called us in reverse order and it was a long wait to hear we had won! (Pictured top). I couldn’t quite believe it — Jacob and I were off to Olympia for the third year in a row. It was amazing! What a one in a million pony he is. So my thoughts of a quiet winter are now all on hold. It will be rugs on, rugs off until Christmas!
Flute and Windy are in good form and are ready for their performances on Thursday for Windy and Sunday for Flute. I am most nervous about Flute as I am not riding him so it is all out of my control, something I am not used to. He is only a baby so I hope he copes with it all. Keep your fingers crossed for me and I will update you soon.