Friday, October 16, 2009

Harry the show cob!

It's our local riding club's Open Show, so I bathe Harry three times in two days, plait him the night before and put on a rug with a neck cover - he looks so cute, he must be in the running in the cob class!

Even better, he is still pretty clean on the day of the show. Then we see 'the opposition' - an immaculate piebald cob and rider, picture perfect and with the manners of an angel (the cob, I mean). However, Harry is really good in the ring, we're pulled in second, and I try to keep some distance between us and the perfect pair - we look so dirty and hairy in comparison (both of us). Harry gives the judge a good ride, so we stay second, and I'm very pleased, especially when I find out later that the winner is a HOYS qualifier.

Next up, working hunter. There's really nice jumping course, including rustics with live tree branches intertwined in the wings and a bank to jump off. This causes some problems, but I warm Harry up vigorously, then do the course in a very smart canter - hunting pace I think they call it - and we actually go clear. Hooee!

There are four other clears, so we enter the ring for the show judging phase, and Harry starts to get bored. Walk and trot, fine, canter – "do I have to keep doing this?" I get very red in the face, and we end up in 4th place, but I am delighted. It's the first time we've ever gone clear and got anywhere near the placings in a working hunter class.

Now if I could just improve my turnout by about 2,000 per cent!!

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