The week started with filming for Meridian television. The news team approached us to be part of a short piece for the local news about the preparation needed to compete at the Royal County of Berkshire Show. We were interviewed along with other livestock owners to show the effort that goes into preparing the animals for a big event. It was great fun and certainly something different to look forward too; I only wished I had found time to dye my hair! Nevertheless when the cameras started rolling I was more concerned about the questions I might be asked and how best to answer them. I’m not quite a film star yet but really pleased with the finished result which aired on the Friday evening before the show.
Mid-week we competed at the Thame & Oxfordshire County show. In the past we’ve taken our horses for the show jumping classes however this was the first year they have held classes for Miniature Shetland ponies. To show our support, we made the fairly easy hour-long journey with two ponies, Snelsmore Jasper and Snelsmore Oasis. The classes were well attended and the competition strong. Mr R Marks from Worcestershire was our judge and he placed Oasis third in the three year-old and under class. Jasper was chosen as his winner in the four year-old and over class. No Shetland championship for us this time but we look forward to more classes and a separate Shetland championship in 2015. Next time we must remember not to park so close to the loud speakers though!
The Royal County of Berkshire Show on the Sunday has always had that special buzz for us. We often have show jumping friends to stay in the few days prior and it’s our last and nearest county show of the season. Despite only being ten minutes around the corner we still had an early five o’clock start.
There is always a feeling of autumn at Newbury Show thanks to a chill to the air, dew on the grass, wet bottomed trousers and ponies with slightly woolly coats; this year was no different. Our busy day started with Snelsmore Nevada coming second in the stallion class, not a bad start. Thanks to Gemma and Stuart we not only had family cheering us on but also helping hands to hold our ponies in between classes. Sarah and Mel were brilliant, reacting amazingly as we threw them in the deep end showing Kindy Heidi and Snelsmore Quedesha at a moment’s notice when we didn’t have enough handlers; this dream team managed to keep the ponies moving on time.
Sarah and I made a good partnership and won the Brood Mare with Foal at Foot class with Heidi and Snelsmore Roxanne. Snelsmore Lalique and I performed next and even though she was a little over excited, she added a third win for team Snelsmore. Four down, two to go. With not much between our two yearling fillies we decided to show them both, so Cliff and Mel took to the ring with our last pair in a strong yearling class. We had a fantastic result and were delighted as our two fillies were placed first and second. Thanks Mel for beating Cliff, we’ve got to keep him on his toes!
The main classes were done but the day wasn’t over yet for us. All four of us had a pony in the championship so we lead our Snelsmore ponies in the ring to battle it out against strong opposition. This time our judge, Mr Bailey, chose my favourite pony Lalique to come out on top and take the Miniature Championship. Our strawberry roan filly foal Roxanne also took a busy week all in her stride, one minute a TV star and the next Reserve Junior Champion at Newbury Show; what an experience for our little baby girl.
Thank you to everyone who helped us out, I think it’s time we slow down and look back on one of the best showing years we’ve had.