We have had a very busy month here with lots of shows. We have been gearing up for baby Benji’s first show. We broke him this winter and we felt he was ready for a show. He’s been to lots of different venues to work and see the sights. He’s not a sharp or spooky horse and he has a great, easy attitude to life. We decided to do a class at Cheshire Premier Show at Somerford Park in Cheshire on the 6th May. We knew there would be lots of room to work in and although the class was an Open Royal International qualifier, we chose it as Simon could do an individual show in this section. If he were to do a novice cob class, he would have had to carry a ride judge and we just didn’t think he would be ready for that yet.
Benji went fantastically on the go round and coped with lots of other horses working in a large group. He was totally unfazed. We were thrilled when he was pulled in second out of 15 horses on the go round. Unfortunately, when it came to him coming out to do his individual show, he lost confidence and found it difficult to go without the support of all the other horses. No matter how much preparation you do at home, nothing quite prepares you for the real thing! However after a sticky first walk away and a hesitant first trot, he seemed to realise all was ok and finished well. Understandably he dropped down the placings as it was an open class and there were other more established horses that were much more polished in their performances. However, his behaviour was impeccable and he stood like a rock throughout the class. We were thrilled with him! He even had a cheeky roll at the lorry while his owner Hayley was holding him on the lead rope. Talk about laid back!
We also took Carnsdale Graffiti (Albert) to this show and piloted by his owner, Rachel Cooper, he won the coloured horse section and went overall coloured champions.
Next stop for us was Royal Windsor. Holbein (Ginger), owned by Debbie Harrod was second in a ginormous novice cob class. We were thrilled how he went and he went even better in the main ring for the championship. It was great to see Simon and Ginger all dressed up, a very proud moment.
Albert also contested his first Ladies side saddle class and was 5th with Rachel and also 6th in the Amateurs. Albert really looked the part in the side saddle and pinged round as if he’d been doing it for years! Windsor is a very special show to compete at and the class numbers and quality were the best I think we’ve seen.
We carried on working with Benji at home and spent more sessions out on the field working and improving his canter transitions. This type of work really freshened him up and he was a lot more forward. His next show, on the 19th May, was Lincolnshire 4B at Newark Showground, another Royal International qualifying Open class. He was like a different horse at this show, so forward and enthusiastic. He pulled off a fabulous individual show and gained second place in a big strong class and qualified for the Royal International. The improvement in him was amazing. He’s really starting to find his feet now. Good boy Benji!
The next show was a Horse of the Year Show Coloured qualifier, CHAPS South East on the 27th May. It was the turn of Churchtown Minstrel (Sidney) and Simon to compete. They finished second in a very strong class. So close! These classes are not easy to qualify for. Sidney was third last year at The Horse of the Year Show.
The next day was a quick turnaround to go to Warrington Horse Show in Cheshire. Here Max (The Ringmaster) won a huge class of 15 maxi cobs. It was a Royal International qualifier, although Max had already qualified, so the qualifying place was awarded to the second place.
Next month we start to head into lots more HOYS Qualifiers and fingers crossed the team keeps performing as they have. We are so pleased with all the horses and we also have a few new exciting faces to introduce to you next month.