We have had a busy year so far with shows and events all starting back.
Our first show in over a year was a Costume Concours D’Elegance show put on at the Knights of Middle England in Warwick. It was so strange to finally be back in the ring. I was so nervous and almost forgot what I had to do in my individual show. We did the side saddle class and the open class and we finished second in the side saddle and then went on to win the huge open class, riding astride. Going into the Championship, we were pulled Reserve Champions and got a beautiful rosette and trophy.
Our first Side Saddle show of the season was at the H.O.P.E show at Weston Lawns, our first time at this venue. We were second in a strong equitation class, and went on to be Reserve Side Saddle Champions. Tilly was certainly very excited to be back with lots of horses.
We have also continued to do more trips across to Naseby English Civil War battlefield for more filming and rides.
We have also made time for some fun as I attended a lovely fun ride with friends. We had a brilliant time and did lots of jumping.
If you have never attended a training camp as an adult, I highly recommend it. I never got the chance as a child, so when friends said there was a space still left on the training camp with the Staff College Draghounds, I took the opportunity. It was a wonderful few days of camping with my horse and training with friends. It started with flatwork and ground poles to get our horses going in a good rhythm, then we progressed to out on the cross country course. By the end Tilly and I were feeling so much more confident, and I have jumped my first “tractor”.
We had a good play through the water, getting splashed a lot, but as it was so hot, this was a great relief. At the end of the days, we were also able to hack a short distance to a ford where the horses could have a good leg wash off and splash.
The camp ended with a working hunter show, using a mixture of working hunter jumps and cross country jumps, which we were delighted to win as it meant that all our hard work of schooling through lock down had paid off.
We had a fantastic weekend of tent pegging and training with The Mercian Meteors at their midsummer melee weekend at Plum Park Farm Riding School. It was a brilliant location for it. We came second in the individual Lance class, much to my shock, and also placed in all, bar one, of my other classes. Many thanks to my team members Simon and Claire. For those of my friends who are unaware, these classes involve the cantering/galloping in a straight line while trying to pick up pegs, slice apples and take hoops with very sharp lances and swords.
Another new location for a Side Saddle show, this time for the Atherstone and District RC Summer Show. After thinking I was getting lost, we found the field and I must say, what a lovely bunch of people and showground it was. We won the equitation class and survived the jump in the riding club class to come third. We are very out of practice with our side saddle jumping but we then went on to be awarded Side Saddle Reserve Champion.
After missing a year, it was fantastic to be back competing at the Side Saddle National Show. We didn’t do any jumping classes this year as we have had to go up a level and the jumps are more than we are comfortable with at present being so out of practice over the last year.
We were thrilled to get through to the evening championship of the Horsemanship class and finished fourth. We also finished fifth in the cob class after moving up three places after our individual show and second in the Champagne Challenge. Best of all was winning the versatile horse/pony class and bringing home the beautiful wooden horses head trophy. This class involved rope gates, tarpaulins, umbrellas, watering cans, road works, bending poles etc.
Lastly, but by no means the end of this years events, we attended the Victorian Horses at Audley End event over the bank holiday weekend and had great fun jumping and racing in the gymkhana relay. Tilly liked to show just how fast a cob can go, then putting in sliding stops at each end, often while I was carrying a polo stick, or glass of champagne!!
More photos from this event will be shared onto Tilly The Cob‘s Facebook page as they become available.