Since arriving back from judging in Australia, life has been busy catching up on the time lost while I was away. Speaking with other people in the showing world, there is a feeling that a lot of horses will be produced a little later this season, due to the terrible weather this spring.
The pony scene gets going earlier than horses and so we headed straight to winter champs the day after landing at Heathrow. That’s one way to make sure you don’t have jet lag! And what a show we had. My 11-year-old daughter Alice did four classes, winning three of them and finishing second in the other, collecting two Royal International tickets along the way. We didn’t show on the sunday as the weather was very cold and I needed to get home to see my son, who I hadn’t seen for over two weeks. He had been to Venice with the school and sung with his choir in St Marks Square, something I will always regret missing.
The following weekend we had the fabulous opportunity to be guests of Aston Martin through my husband Tom’s work at Silverstone. It was a really great day out for all of us — I enjoyed the champagne lunch and the boys enjoyed the cars! There was something for everyone. To keep my daughter happy, we called in at the stables on the way home for her to sit on a novice 12.2hh show pony I had on trial and how delighted I was with him. I have now bought him and look forward to seeing Alice on him in the ring later this season.
Then it was time for me to dig out my show kit again after the winter and I have to admit I was really looking forward to getting back in the ring. I had chosen the Grass Roots show at Addington for the novices’ first time out in 2013. It’s a lovely quiet venue, run professionally with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I was not to be disappointed,as my novice hack Pink Floyd won and went champion and my four year old hunter McNamara won and stood reserve champion. A super start in their preparation for the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
I may have over done the celebration wine a little, as getting up to go to Hereford marches with the ponies the next day was not easy! On arrival I found the biggest 122 SHP list of entries so far this season with many of the top ponies competing, so I was delighted when Hightopps Jazz (Gingerboy) topped the line continuing his winning ways from Area 7 and the Winter Champs. Alice also picked up a win in the open nursery stakes with the ever consistent Tynymor Twm Sion Catti (Shaun, pictured top).
So it’s great to have kicked off the season so well and I am now tackling entry forms and planning where to go next. I wish you could enter all shows on the day. Now the children are back at school it’s a job to see the kitchen table between schedules, timetables and homework. I have written more lists than you can possibly imagine. I do like a list!