My first outing back in May was a very last minute decision on 6th to whizz off to Netley Hall for their BS show, which proved to be a good decision. I hadn’t jumped a twig on Florence since I came off at the Bluechip Champs and I wanted to take her out for a nice play. She totally loved it and flew round double clear in the first 2 BS Amateur classes for 2nd and then 1st.
On to 18th where…OMG…again I just don’t know where to begin…Arrow almost left me speechless. We went to Somerford Park Horse Trials for her second BE Event. In her third ever test on grass she behaved beautifully and was very relaxed for a 24!!! Which put her into the lead. We had straight 8’s in our collective marks. On to showjumping where there was plenty to look at but she rose to the occasion and skipped round just rolling the first part of the double. And finally on to the cross country where she looked at some of the beautifully dressed fences but kept sailing on to come home about 4 seconds under the time to finish on a 28 and in 2nd place only 0.5 behind the leader, so a very expensive 4 faults picked up in the showjumping cost us the win but I could not be prouder of my little lady. I think she has a very bright future.
On 19th at the early hour of 4am I was up, all bright eyed and bushy tailed or possibly more like baggy eyed and bad bed hair, but I was up and getting ready to go back to Somerford Park with Elfie for the BE100. I was walking the course by 6.30am. I thought for a BE100 there was plenty to jump and enough questions but with alternatives where necessary. And a long course at nearly 6 minutes. So off we headed for the dressage. He warmed up nicely and I thought did a nice calm and correct test so were somewhat disappointed with a 35.5. On to the Showjumping which was a good full up 100 but he pinged round clear. Then on to the cross country where he answered all the questions and came home with another good clear under his belt, with just 4 seconds over the time for 1.6 time to put him in 16th position in a strong field of 38. Clever boy Elfie.
On 26th May it was another one of those proud mummy type of days. Nancy, my homebred Amiro Z two-year-old out of Florence, went to her first show of the season. It was only a little local show for the youngstock class but her attitude, manners and the way that she showed herself off to the judge was superb. She tied up at home for a little bath and to be plaited, loaded straight on the lorry and was just an angel all day. I know I may be a little bias, but I think she’s gorgeous. We came home with 2nd place.
We were back out on 26th which was a fun day at The Cheshire Horse Show. First up was Florence and I who popped round the 90cm open for our first outing on grass of the year. We jumped a steady double clear for 4th place. Then next up was Harriet and Mr Pegs in the fancy dress. She was loving it until the excitement got to her and she drifted off in to the land of nod for the entire class…in true Harriet style. I think the spectators thought it was hilarious, it was said that she looked like she was shot down in battle as she looked pretty lifeless lay in her plane. We took 2nd spot behind Toy Story which consisted of 2 ponies and lots of people. When Harriet finally woke up she was delighted with her blue rosette. Mr Pegs was a little star.
On to June we headed, and it was another day out for Arrow. A very positive step up to BE90 at the lovely Brand Hall for her third event. Not quite sure where we went so wrong in the dressage for a 35.8, it felt fine but the outcome was a long way from her 24 last time out, the judge just took a disliking to us. But we got all the other phases right. She jumped a super confident Showjumping round for a clear. And then sailed confidently across the country clear just one second off the optimum time for 0.4 time penalty. This put us in 14th out of 31.
On the 8th May we headed to The Derbyshire Festival with Nancy, she did look a bit like a whippet against the other sport horse 2-year olds and she took 4th place but she behaved and trotted up beautifully. And I haven’t produced her like a show horse, so she doesn’t have the top line like the others and she is a lot lighter in the frame but it’s all such good experience for a baby to go out in hand. Hopefully her time to shine will be on the Eventing circuit in a few years’ time
On Friday we had quite a long day at Eland Lodge with Florence, I even had to pick Harriet up from nursery in Queen Wendy the Wagon on the journey home because the day took a lot longer than I anticipated, but we had fun. In the 90 open she was double clear for 5th. She then did an even better, quicker double clear in the 95 amateur class for 4th.
Our next outing came on 18th, if Carlsberg made fun days out with your pony this day would be it!! Frankie and I headed to the Royal Cheshire County Show early last Tuesday morning with our Irish friend Aobhin for company. Our whole day couldn’t have been more perfect. The traffic was ok, we didn’t have to get towed on or off the field despite torrential rain in the week leading up to the show, the food hall was amazing, Betty and Dolly behaved at Ciara Doone Rush Photography stand whilst we grazed said food hall and to top it off my boy is bloomin’ awesome!!! We jumped round the Cheshire Workers, which isn’t for the faint hearted, and he was incredible. He hadn’t been to a party since September last year and he just popped round making nothing of it. We just about managed to keep a lid on him for the go round and I closed my eyes whilst the lovely judge rode, and she got off smiling which was a relief. And quote of the day goes to her “Did you say he was 6?”….”Uuuummm no, he’s 20!!” I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone look so shocked. She just said “WOW he loves his job doesn’t he” On to the confirmation where he took the highest mark in the class and again amazed the second judge with how clean his legs are for his age. Then to put the icing on our cake he was pulled in 2nd out of 12. What a total super star. In pure Frankie style he got a little frisky in the prize giving so I apologised for his behaviour only to be told by a giggling judge that “Never mind, he’s only a young boy, he’ll get better with age!!” I think she was still shocked by his 20 year old status. I was one proud owner that day, he was a real dude.
On to 23rd June which was a really super day at Field House BS Show with Princess Florence. We jumped the 95cm Amateur class to get our 5th double clear to qualify us for the Amateur Champs at Aintree. My aim was to go for a steady double clear but I couldn’t help but get a little excited in the jump off and get a wiggly bum and did put my foot down a little bit and despite having a blank moment half way through and forgetting where I was going we managed to jump into 4th place. She gave me a super ride even though we did chip in one related distance. So nice catching up with so many fellow eventers who took 4 of the top 5 places in the class.
On 29th we had a lovely day, if not a little hot, at Eland Lodge with Arrow. We were doing our second BE90 together. I had tried to sneak out of the house at 4am but HRH heard me and insisted that she was coming with me so big change of plans at 4.30am. Pony was on great form, rider not so much; in fact I’m surprised Arrow hasn’t sacked me, she did a beautiful dressage test, in fact she did everything exactly where she was told to, it’s just a shame I didn’t ask her to do things in the right place, not once but twice!!! We came away with 29.8 after 2 very costly satnav errors. Note to self….I will read my test properly from now on!!! On to showjumping where we were a little distracted by a poo picker coming to the first fence, should have circled but didn’t and wobbled in to it having it down and just flattened over a small upright for 8 faults in total, but the second half of the round was much improved. Onto xc and I decided to sack my watch off as there was no point chasing the time as I wouldn’t be placed with 2 down, and it was nice actually to ride without a watch as less to think about and we just went for a schooling round and I let Arrow take me in her time, only to come home bang on the optimum time. I should have let her take control for the rest of the day!!! Super confident round. Clever pony. Useless jockey.
And my final adventure of June was on the 30th, we had such a fun day at the Charity Horse & Dog show for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Harriet was having her first ever show in proper attire. She behaved beautifully even if Bun-Bun (her comforter bunny) did have to come in the Best Turned Out with us, and Mr Pegs was a total legend. They were 3rd in that class and got the sash for the youngest competitor. She also did the Fancy Dress which we were 2nd in. She then went on to get the 2nd Reserve Champion for the Fun Ring. So 2 rosettes, 2 sashes and 4 bags of sweets!!! I rode Frankie in the 20+ Veterans, we had good moments and explosive ones for 3rd place. Then in the Open Working Hunter he jumped an easy clear but in the show was still slightly objecting to being in the golden oldies class earlier and had a brief naughty moment, so were 2nd and went on to be Reserve Champion. A long tiring day but very much worth it and Harriet loved her time in the saddle.
Roll on the rest of summer!!!