Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Late reports sorry! - RHS Working Hunter!

Hi all

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

Style fence

First part of the double

Last fence - showing the bushy fence decorations!

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