Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Christys' Hat Factory

Rebecca and I had a very exciting morning last Thursday at Christys' Hat Factory, just the other side of Witney. We were there to have our heads measured for the gorgeous Christy top hats we're lucky enough to have being sponsored for us. The very generous Justin, of hornetshats.com, is providing Jive Pony with top hats for the 2009 season, and the time had finally come for us to be fitted!
We had both been looking forwards to the visit to the factory for a while, and weren't disappointed when we got there. I have never ever seen so many hats in one place, and so many different styles, shapes and sizes! Have a look at christys-hats.com to get an idea of the massive range we saw. There were also stacks and stacks of the beautiful big red Christys' hat boxes, embossed with the gold lettering and towering up to the ceiling. Whilst we were waiting to be fitted we were shown around the factory, which was amazing. The most modern piece of equipment in the factory dates back to the 1950s, with much of it being older - from the 1910s and 20s!! The people working there were so skilled, and showed us how a fur melusine top hat is steamed, waxed and polished up so it shines like glass - Dave we were impressed! We also tried on lots of the hats, which was great fun as each one gave us a different character - click here to have a look at the photo's and see if you can find my Sherlock Holmes and Rebecca's Miss Marple!
It was finally time to choose our very own hats, but we couldn't decide whether we preferred the black top hats or the red ones, both were absolutely gorgeous and looked amazing - the black being more classic but the red being so striking and different - when Justin solved the argument by suggesting we both have one of each! Before we knew it we were having them fitted, which the lovely Steve (Managing Director of the company no less!) did fantastically, steaming and stretching them in no time at all. Having had our hats fitted and told how to look after them properly we were just getting ready to leave when Steve presented us with four of the gorgeous red and gold hat boxes we had admired earlier - one for each of our new hats!
We both had a fantastic day, and were completely overwhelmed by everyone's generosity, especially Justin and Steve. We currently talking about doing a promotional photoshoot with the horses for both Christys' Hats and Hornetshats.com, as neither Tinker nor Ronan want to miss out on any of the action! I'll let you know how we get on.
In the meantime preparations are in full flow for the first show of the season - now less than three weeks away. Hope to see you there!
Lots of love
Rosie xx

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Prince Charming and the Highway Women

It was a while ago now but I spent my time between Christmas and New Year appearing in the Devil's Horsemen pantomime Cinderella on Horseback. I used to work for them full time but as Jive Pony takes up most of my time now I only manage to work for them ocasionally. It was great fun, especially seeing lots of my friends who I hadn't seen for quite a long time. Although I was in the panto last year it was only playing a sugar mouse, and I didn't realise until the very last minute I was going to be Prince Charming this year - with lots of lines to learn! Our first show was on boxing day evening, and as I had only had the daytime to practise all my lines and learn all the routines I was very very nervous. However, I managed to remember most of it and only had to be prompted a couple of times! We did seven shows over four days and I can honestly say I cannot remember the last time my body felt (and looked) so battered! Click here to see some photos from our shows over the Christmas week.

Meanwhile.....Stand and deliver! On Sunday 28th of December Ronan and Tinker did their bit for charity - by recreating a highway raid! Unfortunately it clashed with the last day of Cinderella so I was unable to join in, but here's Becca's account of the day...

Jive Pony supporter Babara Keen and I donned guns, swords, capes and thigh high boots to ride around our local Cotswold villages holding up cars, tractors, bikes and anything that moved really for their money! It was all in aid of the Brooke Hospital for animals in Cairo and developing countries. Jive Pony is an avid supporter of the Brooke as we understand just how important it is to have healthy and happy animals when you depend on them for your day to day work. The Brooke don't just treat sick and injured horses, ponies, mules and donkeys - they also educate the owners how to take the best possible care of them - something Jive Pony believe in strongly. The day was a great success and Ronan and Tinker had a fantastic day. We stopped at all the village pubs and Ronan performed tricks for the customers which went down nearly as well as all the mulled wine we got through!! We couldn't have done it alone though and massive thanks goes to our brilliant foot soldiers Leanne King, Allie Mills and the fantastic Purdy Nicholson who shot everyone whether they gave money or not!!! We raised over £200 for the Brooke which was gratefully received and we even ended up in several papers! Click here to see some of the photos of our adventurous day!

So there you have it - Prince Charming and the Highway Women - just another week in the life of Jive Pony!!

Lots of love

Rosie xx

Lots to talk about!!

Well - it's been AGES since I wrote on here so I've got lots and lots to tell you!
In a nutshell - I've played Prince Charming in Cinderella on Horseback; Becca has played a highwaywoman in a charity event; I am now a qualified massage therapist; Becca has been to Disneyland Paris auditioning for Annie Oakley, and meeting the owner of Cirque d'Hiver about some possible work; I've filmed Warwick Castle's new advert; and Becca has bought two new horses - Navvy and Folly! On top of all this we've been developing aspects of our shows ready for the 2009 season, so as you can tell, we've been very very busy! I'll explain everything in more detail soon.
Our first show is less than six weeks away, so we'll be out and about before you know it! We're off up to Stonham Barns on Easter Sunday for the Mid Suffolk Show - let's hope the sun shines and we look forward to seeing you there!
Lots of love,
Rosie xx