Finally! I managed to spend a sunny day at a show! I feel like the weather has been playing tricks on me lately and every time I venture out to a show, the heavens open.
But we were blessed with a beautiful day for this year’s Longines Royal International Horse Show, at Hickstead.
Courtesy of the very generous Team Colosso, who sponsored an entire day of coloured classes, we were treated to a very comfy sponsors marquee and a yummy lunch.
Other a few little errands I had to run, we rarely left our front row seats. As I always say, I adore all horses (and I truly mean that. One of my favourite things about my job is that all of my equine models are different!) but as we all know by now, I have a humungous soft spot for coloureds.
And there is something incredibly special about seeing so many top quality, beautifully turned out coloureds all in one place, throughout the entire day. I will just never tire of seeing it!
The classes at RIHS are always huge and the ring is packed, from early morning, until evening, with horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes, from dainty little plaited ponies, to hairy traditional cobs, flicky-toed natives, to noble hunters and show cobs with a real leg on each corner. Despite them all being patchy, there’s such a wide variety, which is one of the things I love about the coloured classes!
The day culminated in the Supreme Skewbald & Piebald Ridden Championship, with four stunning animals forward to contend the title. And the overall winner was a horse I knew when he was just born, so that was quite special. The incredibly handsome, Kellythorpes Master Key, or Marley, as he’s known at home. Owned by Lisha Leeman and ridden by Olivery Hood. Congratulations to all involved.
And a special mention to my lovely clients’ horse, the very special show cob, Rockstone Raven. Owned by Eamon and Rachel McCourt, ridden by Jayne Ross, he took the Skewbald and Piebald Ridden Horse Championship and wowed the crowd with an incredible gallop!
The only shame of coloured day at RI is that the shops aren’t open and the show isn’t officially ‘on’. I have no idea why that is. I can only assume that once upon a time, when coloureds weren’t so popular, the organisers deemed it unnessecary to open up the rest of the show. However, with classes of nothing short of 40-50 competitors, I do really feel like it’s a huge shame that we don’t get the privilege of the full show experience. Perhaps this might change with time. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, we still had an absolutely fabulous day, with bubbly, cake, very British finger sandwiches and more coloured horses than we could shake a stick at.
Thanks RI and Team Colosso for another fabulous show! You can see footage from the day on this week’s vlog.