So last week I was off work for the week to give OH and I plenty of time to get ready for the Royal Highland Show.
So I was meant to attend a cousins wedding in cumbria on the Friday, unfortunately I came home to find L colicing in the field
ended up taking him through to work and he stayed over night and I
slept in the lorry so I was already there for Friday morning! Was much
easier than going home as it was after midnight before we finished
scanning him. Turns out he had a left sided dorsal entrapment which
thankfully was a partial one and it had resolved through starvation by
Friday – think he just didn’t want to be lunged myself but anyway he
spent the day staring people out in the hope of being fed. So I
unfortunately missed the wedding
Anyway L came home on Saturday and has been fine ever since, rode him a
couple of times over the last week and he was pretty good – until a jet
plane flew overhead – had a brief moment where I could see it coming, he
jumped on the spot as it went past then stood like a lamb, phew! Set
off to do a bit in walk and trot when he decided to leap sideways and
bronc – totally took me by surprise and I nearly came off! When he
stopped he just calmly carried on quite the thing. Cheeky boy
Getting onto the RHS:
The Royal Highland is the first show of the year for us to show our
sheep. Last year we had amazing success with Rudolph winning breed
champion but this year the small number of sheep we have to choose from
didn’t really give us anything we expected to do well with. We have one
tup who is lovely but since fighting over winter he has a scar on his
nose so decided to leave him behind and take the other two shearling
tups. So with two shearling ewes and two tups for the classes we loaded
up and took them to the showfield.
As I had entered Jack in the working hunter class we also had a look at
the course. Most years the WH course is a bit lower due to the weather
and ground but as the ring had been returfed and the weather was lovely
it was maximum height!
Having had a glass of pimms when I walked it, I decided to get my brave
pants on and give it a go, cue getting up at 5am to bath, plait and get
to the showfield by 7am. Walked the course again and didn’t feel any
better in the cold light of day! Tacked up with the help of John and Helen
and headed over to warm up.
At this point I felt better, Jack was jumping well and felt like he had
loads of energy. Went in and jumped an alright round – The first fence
was away from the collecting ring right next to the crowd. Turn back to
a set of planks which several people had sliding stops at it and one
came down, around to the first full up height fence, along the
collecting ring fence (which has a wind proof sheet along it so you can
really only see bobbing heads!). After fence three it was a curved
related line to a treble (two strides each part) and onto another
parallel on a curve which was facing into the grandstand at the top end.
Once over that you turn to the middle to jump the 'bushy, treey complex'
which involves a skinny curved gate into a beech tree area, then four
or five strides on a left curved through trees and back out over a
skinny curved gate, turn left and head down a narrow alleyway of bushy
branches (and over a few strategically placed for you to jump over) and
over a style, then three or four strides to some extremely flimsy
planks. right turn over a night upright, then onto a white gate and
down to a double - parallel going in, upright out, and left turn round
to the last fence near the entrance which has a water tray underneath.
There were alot of problems with half of the class retiring or being
eliminated. in fact there was only one clear round and one on four
faults by the end of the class - sadly I wasn't one of them!
However we didn't disgrace ourselves too much! we had the skinny gate
going in, the flimsy planks coming out and the white gate, so ended up
on 12 faults. all rider error - I managed to get him too deep to them
all, but he jumped all the big fences and came out of the ring with a
smile on his face.
Sorry about the photo size - they were given to me by a friend who used a posh camera - not sure how to resize!
Last part of the treble
First part of the double
Last fence - showing the bushy fence decorations!