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31 May 2008 – Sun Shines At Somerford

Saturday 31st May

I have been out competing a lot with the young horses recently, so it was high time to bring out my old pair of slippers and see if they still fit! I have had Forrest Fire for nine years now and I think it is safe to say we know each other inside out. Because of this I tend to only bring him out for the big competitions. We entered the PSG at Somerford Park Premier League and scored a whopping 69.25%. I was thrilled with the way he went and couldn't have asked him to go any better. We ended up 3rd with Marcus Gribbe claiming first place on his wonderful stallion and Daryl Thickett just pipped us on Rex with 69.4%. I was now facing a huge dilemma - because we did so well in this Senior PSG, the U21 selectors asked me if I would run in the Young Rider class the following day! I have not campaigned this season to do young riders because of my up and coming young horses and new advanced horse. I decided, after much thought that if I ran in the class, I could consider all options. Last to go, in a big class it was a bit nerve-wracking! Chunky again was a star doing a very good test gaining 69.13% and winning with a good margin over the rest of the field. After an agonising couple of days we all decided, as grateful as we were to be asked to run, we would stick to my original plan for this year and carry on with the young horses and in senior classes.

24 May 2008 – Show Boy at Richmond

Sat 24th May

After all the antics at Addington, I was a little relieved to be taking Show Boy to a local competition. In the hope of getting the second half of his Novice Regional Qualification, my aim was to win this qualifying class. When we pulled up into the car park it looked a lot busier than usual and I was very surprised to see over forty people entered in my class. Fantastic support for this local show, although not so fantastic for my cunning qualifying plan. I rode the test and was very happy with Sunny. He is starting to carry me a lot more forward in the tests and generally feeling a lot more like a horse to ride and lees like steering Bambi on Ice around the arena!

As he was very early to go in the class and there were so many entries, we decided to go home rather than have him stand on the lorry all day. Mum is the heroic driver of out 39 foot, 18-ton lorry and boy, do we feel for her how heroic she is! It is a huge lorry to commandeer through the tight squeezes associated with Equestrianism and we have developed a name for the disease we have diagnosed her with from driving this huge beast. Wobbly-Gob. This surfaces most often turning around in very small car parks, passing other lorries on country lanes and most recently sat at the wheel with two tractors attached and the wheels almost entirely submerged in mud! This regularly produces sentences similar to - 'you want me to put that, (points at lorry) in there' (Points at field only access through a tiny gate on awkward angle)? Followed most usually by at least half an hour after performing the manoeuvre discussing exactly how it was executed!

Anyway, back to the competition result. Having got home safe with relatively little Wobbly-Gob attacks, I rang the show after the class had finished. To my ecstasy, I heard he had 75.4% and won with a clear 4% lead over the rest of the class. Job done, ticked and a big gold star for my beautifully behaved and relaxed boy. Take note Royal Alliance its your turn again next!

16 May 2008 – Royale At Addington

Friday 16th May

I decided to enter Royal Alliance, a young mare owned jointly by myself and Mrs Susan Soley in the five year old class at Addington Manor Premier League. Had I realised when writing her details on the entry form, the chaos and not to mention noise she would cause during her five-minute test, I may have reconsidered my well thought out plans! I have competed her at local shows and taken her on road trips around the country previously giving her plenty of low-key experience. I think what I am about to tell you just goes to show that for a young horse, no matter how well you think you can prepare, nothing beats the experience of competing with the atmosphere of a 'real' Premier League Show.

As we live so far north, near Hartlepool we normally travel the night before. This was especially important for Royale as she is only a baby, to recover from the journey. She settled in well and bar me almost decapitating mother throwing bales of hay off the lorry roof rack, we all settled in for an early night, mum somewhat appreciative of having her whole head still in tact!

We fed as normal and I plaited her up, as her time was quite early and my time keeping a little late, combined with my need for perfect plaits I rushed to get changed into my competition gear. I allowed half an hours warm up as she tires quite quickly, though not anticipating a good ten minutes of this spent doing one-time tempi changes! Fabulous talent shown, although at the level not required quite yet. This hurdle overcome I set off for the competition arena with a surprisingly relaxed horse, or so I thought?

Flower pot: "AARGH its going to bite me! Funny looking Wendy House at the end of the Centre line? Whoever would want to live there! Another horse in the arena next door? No definitely never seen one of those before!" I'm sure these are only a few of the thoughts running through my horse's mind at that moment. It was at the point when her shrieks and cries set virtually the entire showground off whinnying that I could not help but laugh and hold her hand the whole way through the test. With exception of a couple of unexpected one-time changes in the Counter Canter it was a relatively mistake free all be it tense test, though the noisiest I have ridden by far. As she has quite freaky hind legs in the canter we had rather hoped this might go down well with the judges, needless to say we were a little disappointed to hear the judges comments of this being due to 'tension'. I can't wait to hear the comments on it when she is relaxed!

11 May 2008 – My 21st!

My 21st birthday! I took the day off as and had a party. In the afternoon I had a barbeque with friends and family. It ended up bigger than I expected with fifty people coming and all having a great time. Later on, more than thirty of us went out on the town! I had a fabulous time though am slightly worried now as the next notable birthday will be the big 30?

News Archive

Latest results

  • Feine Dame: 1st / 69.45
  • Divine: 1st / 72%
  • Aristo: 4th, 6th, 4th / 70.4% (music Final)
  • Aristo: 2nd overall / 72.9 + 70%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 68.92%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 68.88%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 72.07%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 71.47%
  • Aristo: 1st / 70.38%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 72.8%

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