From racehorse to dressage diva to eventer to show pony!

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I love thoroughbreds! I am pretty sure I have said this several times before but they really are my favourite breed of horse. For all their high maintenance ways, and occasional histrionics I wouldn’t swap them for anything else. They aren’t easy and Dustry has by far been the most challenging one I have owned to date, but he’s maturing into the most versatile and useful little horse now. He’s become my ‘Bird’s Eye Potato Waffle Pony’ because he’s ‘waffley versatile’

Our last few competitions have seen him making his eventing debut, strutting his stuff at BD, and attempting his first ever Working Hunter show class!

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Whilst we have been out chasing points to try and qualify for BD Winter Regional Champs we have consequently qualified for Petplan Area Festivals 2014. Our last 3 BD scores of 65.22% 68.64% and 71.09% earned us our entry and so we are going to try our hand at Areas for a 2nd time hoping for a top 10 placing and an improvement on our first Areas attempt in 2012 where we score 62% and came 14th/24. I think we are going to aim for Wellington Areas in September as that’s fairly near me and a venue that we’ve never been to before so fingers crossed for that.

Quite out of character for me (because I am not a fan of showing) and on a bit of a punt I entered D into the Intermediate Working Hunter class at a local show this weekend. It was just 10mins down the road, set in gorgeous parkland and I thought we could jump a round on grass which would be good practice for eventing and if he was a total terror in the class I could just retire.

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I tarted his lordship up, plaited all the frizzy bits, scrubbed all the white bits, wiped all the black bits and quarter marked all the brown bits until he looked like an overgrown show pony. He was not impressed with this make over at all, and proceeded to try rub his plaits out and poo green ectoplasm down his white socks at every opportunity, the rotter!

With both of us done up like a couple of kippers we warmed in for our class, and D was being suspiciously well behaved. The course of rustic fences we had to jump was quite hard despite only being 2’9” there were some dodgy dog leg lines and a skinny style to negotiate. We went in and D jumped round clear, he was a bit star struck which resulted in a rather massive leap over the last jump but he was bold and clear so I was very pleased.

We then had to go in and walk, trot, canter round the ring as a ride, this was the bit I wasn’t looking forward to as I thought if anything is going to bring back memories of racing and set him off this will!!! Thankfully he was pretty well behaved, just being a little fussy in his mouth, and shaking his head at the odd persistent fly. We stood in the 1st line up as everyone did their show and we did a simple figure of 8 with a simple canter change for ours then I thought let’s give the gallop a go and we kicked on large round the ring then came back to collected canter, a lovely transition to trot and then walk in a straight line and halt for the judge. I was very pleased with this and sat in line for a 2nd time boiling to death but very happy that he was behaving.

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We then all went out large again whilst the judge made her decision, and this took forever. She was finding it hard to chose between D and a lovely big chestnut which she eventually placed first. I think he was a worthy winner he looked like an actual hunter and much more the part in his Pelham and straight cut saddle etc. So we pulled in 2nd and slightly gob smacked! This did qualify us for the Championship but with a few classes to wait before that got under way and me melting in my tweed I decided to call it a day there.

Rosette on we did our lap of honour then returned to the lorry for a wash off and lots of carrots.

I am very pleased with how he went and most happy with his clear round. I have to say that despite coming 2nd and it being a glorious sunny day and fabulous picturesque location showing really isn’t for me, it requires the same degree of prepping and preening as eventing but there’s no xc at the end! 😉

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