My trip to Balmoral Show (15-17 May) was made worthwhile with a super win in the ladies’ hunter class. Side saddle in Ireland is struggling, with the ladies’ hunter class being taken off at Dublin show, so I was delighted to see plenty of entries and a good number forward.
The ring was buzzing on the new show ground and it took plenty of skill from the lady riders and the judge to negotiate. Well done to all who took part. I was lucky to be riding a smashing horse belonging to Alison Kirkpatrick called Good to Go. He was bought from me as a four-year-old and he has been a huge success for her. Balmoral is a super show and I couldn’t have been more delighted to see Lindsey Wallace take the supreme champion award on Redemption Ground in the main arena with a great gallop.
We have been concentrating on some novice classes the past two weekends at local shows, with horses and ponies having their first couple of outings. I have been delighted with them. It gives me as much pleasure to see this as it does winning the major titles further on in their career. We have won with a novice small hack, novice 12.2hh, novice 153cm SHP/WHP and four-year-old hunter. All are for sale, so it is a great start for them. It is all to easy to get caught up in winning tickets and I am as bad as anyone! Taking showing back to basics is good therapy and great fun.
A definite life highlight happened when Alice rode side saddle for the first time at a show. It was actually only her fourth ever sit on (right). Gingerboy was a little star. We need some finer tweaking with saddle and habit (if anyone has one to lend or sell, please contact me), but the combination showed masses of potential and enthusiasm. We will prepare now for the NPS summer championship show where there is a class for them.
I am now having a few family days in Cornwall. The weather is patchy, but I tell everyone it is hot sun to increase their envy of me having a few days away! Especially those showing in the pouring rain. Dad is holding the fort at the yard and we will be heading back on Friday to prepare for Midland Counties on Sunday. It’s great to see the children rock pooling and playing cricket on the beach, and I enjoy a glass of rosé at lunchtime! We’ve even managed to achieve another family record — 196 crabs caught off the pontoon at the Pandora Inn.
I have had a lovely task to do while here in Cornwall — judging the online horse show with T.E.N. and Horse & Hound. There were lots of entries and some photos of a very high standard. However, some entrants perhaps needed to read the small print to get more of a look in. The winner had to be one from the top 10 in each class, so you should all have got your picture voted for to get into the final for me to judge. Attention to detail goes a long way in showing whether online or in real life. Please look at the championship photos on the H&H website and vote for your favourite to find the champion.
Main picture courtesy of Tweed and Taffeta