Well, the weather was nice, but the judge didn’t like us. I think we came bottom in each class we entered but, as my dad said, at least we performed consistently.

In hand showing can be absolutely heartbreaking because it’s purely about whether the judge likes the look of your pony. It’s not about how well they perform, or behave in public, or have lovely paces or are smart enough to learn any task you set them to. You could be bottom of the line because the judge thinks they’ve got too much feather, or not enough bulk, or too much bulk… even though you think you’ve got the most perfect pony imaginable.

But anyway, all three behaved pretty well. Jack the stallion had a bit of a jump around at one point, but seeing as last year he mucked about so much by the horsebox that he bust his harness and didn’t even make it into the ring, we were very pleased. Jack was a late foal – he’s not five for another couple of months – but as he was a 2003 foal he had to go into the five years and over class, so he did look young compared to the senior stallions he was up against. I’ll post some pics of him another time; they’re on m’husband’s camera. Here are my shots of our day:

That’s Jasmine, with Kizzy behind her, waiting by the trailer.

Gordon takes Kizzy, aka Rosebarr Sara, into the ring.

This isn’t one of our ponies. It’s a Dales gelding called Highcroft (I think) Merlin, and the most beautiful pony with bags of presence. He won his class and the gelding championship. 

M’husband sets up his stove in the back of the Volvo and starts cooking, with ‘helpful’ comments from my brother. Actually, I shouldn’t be sarcastic. Jims did a lovely job of slicing the hot dog rolls and dispensing ketchup, all without dropping a thing. The dogs were most displeased.

I was a bad auntie. I introduced my nephew, Lars, to the delights of a Swizzle double lolly. The red hair in the front corner belongs to m’mother, who was standing by with a wet cloth for the drool.

That’s one good lolly.