Wednesday, 23 September 2009

August and September

Dolsey and I went to Denbigh and Flintshire County Show in August for a Horse of the Year Show qualifier and another Coloured Horse And Pony Society Championships qualifier. We went all the way to Wales; Denbigh and Flint County is a lovely little county show and is My Mum/groom/chauffeur ate an Ostrich burger whilst we were there, which shows you how very country-fied it is...
We did the HOYS qualifier class first and it went OK, Dolsey was a little bit unsettled in her show and went into canter for half a second which was quickly corrected. Otherwise it was an OK show. Conformation went badly as usual lol!
To my surprise we were called out 6th out of a lot of ponies so I was thrilled!
We then did the CHAPS class in the afternoon and came 2nd. Conformation was even worse but somehow, by some miracle she managed to get a mark of 48/50?!

September brought the CHAPS (UK) Championships, which was very exciting! The Wednesday before the event me and Dolsey stayed at my friends house as we were travelling down together on the Thursday. Dolsey settled in straight away and loved her new 'house'; she quickly found that the feed room was behind her stable and was soon happpily kicking the doors when she didn't have enough attention. Dolsey was ridden by my friend in the menage and then put to bed. We then went inside for a lovely roast dinner as it was the last proper meal we could have before 3 whole days of camping in tents!
Thursday I got up early, mucked out and then had breakfast. We then began preparing the ponies - they both had baths and were wrapped in bandages and lycra! Then the fun part - fitting 2 ponies, show grooming stuff for 2, tack (at least 3 bridles and a saddle each), rugs for every occasion (in case it rained or was hot, or snowed, or was just normal), mucking out tools, feed, water and skip buckets, 2 bales of haylage, feed for the ponies and us for 3 days, an 8 man tent (even though there were only 3 of us in it), tables, chairs, 3 suitcases, show riding clothes and other miscellaneous items that we might have needed but probably didn't need into a 4x4 and a trailer. Oh, and we also had to fit the people in too. When we had squashed all of this in we had to fit the ponies in the trailer. The only problem was that we had packed the front full of stuff so there was nowhere to go once you had led the pony in. I put Dolsey in first and then had to pass her to my friends Mum to tie up (she had to squeeze through the jockey door) whilst I had to breathe in very much and go back past Dolsey to go out through the back! We then foudn a better way of putting Harley in - put his lead rope round his neck, and send him in at the bottom of the ramp with nobody to lead him in, LOL. We then ha to grab him at the front of the trailer and find somewhere to tie him up.
When this ordeal was over, we got in the car (me sat with my knees under my chin because we couldnt fit a grooming box anywhere else apart from under my feet!!) and set off for Lincolnshire.
After a few hours, a few wrong turns and missed directions (don't read Horse and Hound whilst you are supposed to be navigating!!)we arrived and found our stables. We put the ponies away and then before it got dark we had to put up the 8 man tent. In gale force winds. :|
At one point it looked like the 3 of us were going to go paragliding with the ground sheet but thankfully we managed to hold it down and get the pegs in. I had the job of bashing tent pegs in, which I think was better than trying not to be blown away with different parts of tent. We eventually got it up in a fashion, then realised that the ground sheet was wonky and had to rearrange everything. We then had to put bedrooms inside and it was finally done!! Then was the part of furnishing the tent with air beds and camp beds and tables and chairs, and it was done. It was now dark, and then my Mum, 2 sisters and another friend appeared with their tents that they had to put up. By then I was a tent expert and so they were up in a jiffy. We were all quite exhausted and had to go to bed.

Friday was the first day of competition and I had the CHAPS Factor final to do as well a dressage test. The CHAPS Factor is a class to find a future star and involved going through preliminary judging where the 4 top exhibits perform to music in the evening performance. Dolsey was included in the top 4 and so we were through to the evening performance!
Next we changed clothes and put on out stressage tack and did prelim 13. Dolsey pulled my arms out as usual in a snaffle! We managed to get through the test and ended up a creditable 9th out of more than 20 exhibits.
We then waited for the evening and did out preformance to 'Candyman' - video evidence is here! - - see stewards in the corner LOL, I think everybody enjoyed the performance, which is good because after this the audience votes for the person they want to win!
After a wait whilst results were counted we were called back in for the placings. Dolsey and I won! We won a big rosette, sash and a CHAPS UK Champion rug! Video evidence again here
Friday night we went partying at the CHAPS Disco and drank far too much and danced far too much. Saturday came far too quickly and I was so tired that I was a complete numpty rider! We did the native ridden finals and got through to the evening. We then did the junior ridden class and were pulled in 2nd, Dolsey was super in her show and then REFUSED THE JUMP so we were dropped to 7th! She was however absolutely super dooper in the conformation section which was really good, and we got a fab mark of 38/40.
Saturday evening came and we were 8th in the Native Open Ridden Final.
Went to bed early on Saturday (think it was about 9 o'clock!) because I was so tired. Sunday came and we did the HOYS class but got nowhere because Dolsey had tucked up and didn't look her best for the late nights, early mornings and lots of riding!
All in all we had a very fun but very tiring weekend at CHAPS and it is definitely something you can only do once a year! But I can't wait to do it next year!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

2009 season so far!

OK so I haven't been updating my blog, I was never good at new year's resolutions!
I've been that busy showing basically every weekend that I haven't given a second thought to my poor old blog. So here it is, 2009 shows in a nutshell (a big one!).

BSPS Winter
In April we went to the BSPS winter champs that we qualified for in March. Dolsey decided that this would be a really good time to come into season and was a naughty mare all weekend - she pulled a big strop in the restricted class in her ridden show. She threw a tantrum in the corner into canter and so the ride mark was not that great! She did however get a good conformation mark which was pleasing.
In the next class, the HOYS qualifier she was good in her ridden show and got a good mark, however after the long journey was tired and feeling quite uncooperative. We went for our in hand strip and Dolsey showed me just how annoyed she was at the whole thing by leaping in the air and cantering the trot section. Marks were the other way round in this class and she got a good ride but bad conf! So the whole show was a bit of a waste of effort!

At the end of April we went to the NCPA Open show at Uttoxeter Racecourse. We went for some in hand practise as well as trying to qualify for the CHAPS championships. Dolsey was better in the in hand but a bit lazy and didnt really see the whole point of trotting around being led. We came 3rd. We did the CHAPS ridden class and Dols wasn't very happy in her mouth and so fussed quite a bit. We were pulled in 2nd initially and after the ridden show where she was still a bit 'funny' we stayed 2nd.

Chapel RC
In May I took Dolsey and Jodie to a local riding club to try to qualify for the UK Showing Premier Champs in July. I swapped Dolsey's metal curb chain to an elastic one and she went a lot better in it, much less fussy. She came 1st in the coloured class, 1st in the cob class and overall ridden champion, therefore qualifying for UK Showing.
Jodie also went and did the veteran and coloured class as well. He came 1st in the veteran and 3rd (highest plaited pony) therefore also qualifying for UK showing in both sections. He came reserve champion to Dolsey with my sister riding him.

NPS Area 5
Nps area 5 was a HOYS qualifier at Warren farm in Formby, near Liverpool, it's actually nearer Southport I think, but we went via Liverpool! The weather was lovely and the show ground is really nice, the ground was perfect. Dolsey was back to her good behaviour! I entered knowing that one of the judges didn't like Dolsey, however didnt know the other one and so went along for the experience. Dolsey did a nice show and was rewarded well in her marks, she has one of the best scores. Conformation wasn't as good but I knew that anyway, so wasn't too bothered. It was a nice day!

Midlands County Show
I went back to Uttoxeter Racecourse for this show, however the weather couldn't have been more different! It was absolutely torrential rain, and in between the torrential it was the rain that you don't really notice, until you move and realise it's soaked you to the skin. All of my stuff was saturated - my jacket, waistcoat, shirt and tie and the top I had on underneath all that was even wet! My jods were wet, leather boots had given way to the rain and so my socks were wet - it was horrendous. The ground wasnt too bad for my class at it was one of the first. Dolsey usually copes well with bad ground as I ride her on grass at home anyway. She was good and had a great initial pull in of 4th out of loads of established ponies, which was FAB. We went out to do our show and were told to do a show of our own choice. I decided that as it was a HOYS qualifier I would try something different and did a simple change in the middle of my canter loops. The strip for the in hand was OK, better than normal! Waited for the final results and to my surprise we were called in second!!! I was over the moon and so happy to have finally been placed after spending my time right in the middle of the results normally. Dolsey got the highest ride mark not only out of my class but out of the whole CHAPS HOYS section including the plaiteds and horses. I was made up and now don't care if I dont have another placing!

Derbyshire Festival
Went to Derbyshire Festival for the HOYS class and the CHAPS Factor class. The CHAPS factor went really well, we did more simple changes in our show and came 2nd to a big hogged cob. 1st and 2nd qualify for this final though and so we qualified, which I have been wanting to do for ages so very pleased! We did the HOYS qualifier and there were hundreds in there, and it was REALLY hot. Dolsey switched off a bit due to the heat and wasnt her normal pingy self. The marks weren't brilliant but we were still in the middle! So back to normal then, haha!

Beaver Hall EC
Took both of the ponies to this show to try to qualify Dolsey for the ridden finals at CHAPS and the junior ridden finals, again at the CHAPS champs. Dolsey was perfect if a little hyper and won the coloured class, qualifying for both of these things!
Jodie was a little star and won the veteran class and came 4rd in the coloureds. He really is fab!
Dolsey also came reserve champion to a riding horse so was very pleased. Had loads of compliments, someone came up to me and said 'Was your's the PINGY pony? I LOVE it' LOL!

UK Showing
We went to UK showing which is normallya fab show with an evening performance.
Jodie went in the coloured non native under 148cms first. I didnt see him and my sister perform as I was warming up an extremely exciteable Dolsey (had to do a fair few laps of the warm up field in canter!) but was told that they went well and got through to the evening performance.
Then it was Dolseys turn to go into the coloured traditional pony class. It was HUGE, absolute mayhem! She was really, really hyper. I think I needed to do a bit more galloping in the warm up as when I asked for it she shot off like a bullet and was very difficult to stop! The rest of the show was OK but not very polished! We went through to the top ten anyway which was good.
Then Jodie did the veteran class 21years +. It was a massive class and he was such a star! He got through to the evening again so I was very pleased.
We Waited ages for the evening and it started raining so the indoor collecting ring was packed. Jodie has never done an evening performance in his life and can sometimes be a bit 'special' at home so we thought he was going to be mental - but no, he was amazing and didnt bat an eyelid and anything, not even the noise. He was such a good boy. They did the go round and he was pulled out 3rd in the coloured non native! (See a bit of a theme going on here?)
Dolseys turn again and she was still mental, spinning around and not standing still in the collecting ring, we went in to the ring and she was much better but I had NO BRAKES at all and so we whizzed around, LOL. She did some nice trots though! We were pulled out 5th in the end which was good considering my show and the general whizziness of Dolsey!!
Jodie went back for the veterans and was again a star, could not fault him one bit. He looked amazing. He was pulled out 2nd!!!
All in all it was a really long, busy and stressful day!

So that's the end of my mammoth update, well done if you read it all! Will try to update it more often show so that I don't have to do any more mammoth posting XD