Soap wins @ The Royal County of Berkshire Show!

I think I’m still in shock at what happened today so I’ll start at the beginning and maybe by the time I get to the end it will have sunk in! We arrived at Newbury showground and the size of the event suddenly dawned on me! We walked to get numbers and find out where ring 2 was, and generally get my many novicey questions answered by the secretary! We went back to the trailer and started to spruce Soap up, even after his bath last night he still looked dusty, and his 1/4 marks were not turning out well! Feeling decidedly shabby and under prepared I walked over to the warm up. Soap was going reallly sweetly he had physio on Monday and he was feeling in fine fettle, but I was acutely aware we were the only peeps with an orange saddle, white saddle cloth, plain snaffle bridle, and skull cap on!

We went in and started going large round the arena in walk trot and canter then the judge Mr John Conifey pulled us into our preliminary placings and we were lying 3rd! I was waiting for the first rider to start their show when she suddenly got off….hhhhmmmm what’s going on here?… I thought. Then the next rider got off so I followed suit, I had no idea the class included the judge riding the horse, yikes! I put my stirrups down and waited for it to get to our turn. The judge got on and off he went, but I couldn’t watch to see how Soap went because I was thrust into an interview with the class compare which was being broadcast across the tannoy!

The judge came back smiling so I took that as a good sign, and then as everyone else was taking saddles off I decided I should too, ‘if in doubt copy’ was rapidly becoming my moto! We then (I quickly learnt by asking the girl next to me) had to go to the conformation judge Cindy Sims for a trot up, so off we toddled and for once Soap stood nice and squarely and trotted by straight and on the bit, and we seemed to have passed that bit too so back to the line to remount. I got back on and sat there bemused by how the whole thing was turning out, I must have read the itinerary for the wrong class I kept thinking, and why does the judge keep staring at me?…

Soap must have been feeling like a proper goody two shoes today coz he just stood there on the bit looking pretty, and then we were asked to walk back out round the arena. We followed 1 and 2 back out large and I was trying to asses if we would be dropped as many as 4 places which would knock us out of the frillies. I was half way thorough this calculation when they called me in. Awww drat I thought they must be doing reverse order, so I halted and stood there feeling a bit glum until the girl who came in next to me said ‘Congratulations’ and bingo it sunk in, we had won!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and when they came to give us our rosettes and prizes I must have looked like a total wally as I was all kack handed and dopey with surprise so much so that the judge had to put my rosette on for me because I was fumbling so much!

The nicest part of the whole class was when the judge said he picked us to win because Soap had given him the nicest ride, and he was very impressed with his schooling and the fact that he was in a snaffle as opposed to a pelham or double bridle like the rest of the horses! That really made my day. Off we cantered on our lap of honour and beaming and still a little shell shocked we left the ring. It turns out that we have now qualified for the ROR Championships which will be held at the Hickstead Derby fixture in 2011 so I will have to research the dates and get that one in the diary asap! It makes a change to actually win something for once, and I was thrilled with my lovely rosettes, a £50 Tesco gift voucher, and best of all a ROR jacket which just happens to be dark green!!! Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

This showing malarky ain’t half bad, but there’s still not enough xc in it for my liking!

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