Monday, 21 September 2009

Midland Gamefair

Our 2009 season is over! We finished it off with one of our very favourite shows, the Midland Gamefair at Weston Park in Shropshire. Last year we had a fantastic time at this show, so we were really looking forward to going back. We were there for a two day duo so on Friday Rebecca, Ronan, Myself, Tinker, Tim and Alex set off on the relatively short journey (only 70 miles this time!) and arrived a couple of hours later with no mishaps on the way - hooray!

One of the main reasons we love this show is that we get to see so many friends, and sure enough the first person to greet us when we arrived was the lovely Robin Gee! Last time we saw Robin was at the CLA Gamefair back in July, when he was our knight in fluorescent armour after the lorry blow out! We caught up with loads of other people too, including: Willowe, who always looks after us so well; Paul (Cyril the Squirrel); Gus Dermody, who is retiring from the show circuit to concentrate more on trialling, and will be much missed along with his fantastic dogs; John Lamb, the main ring commentator, who along with promoting my blog by describing it as 'a wonderful dissertation' also managed to embarrass me by announcing I would be signing on at the Job Centre after this weekend! And not forgetting Tom and the rest of the Dubarry team for their excellent customer service and free champagne! Becca and I both have a shiny new pair of boots now, so big thankyous to Dubarry for Becca's and Becca for mine!

There were also lots of other things going on in the ring including displays by some gorgeous heavy horses and some tiny miniature horses, falconry, terrier racing and the fantastic Ghurka Band who always impress us with their style and precision. There's quite a few photos from the weekend (lots taken by John Lamb - thankyou!), just click here to have a look at them.

As per last year the weather was glorious all weekend, and all our shows went well. We did have one slight problem though - we managed to forget our roman riding strap - oops! Luckily we realised before the first show otherwise it would have been a disaster! We used my belt in the end - not ideal but a good substitute! The boys were fantastic (apart from Tinker deciding to engage his turbo boost gear at the end of the first show - soooo fast!!). The crowds were also amazing, especially Chris and Mike, who had a clothing stall next to the arena and stood on the tables during our strip and ROARED their encouragement!! We also saw a lot of Grease arms which always makes us smile, so if you were there - thankyou for making our last shows so memorable!

When we came out of the arena for the final time on Sunday afternoon both Becca and I felt quite emotional. We've had an eventful year this year starting right back in April at the Mid Suffolk Show, and some days have been harder than others. Overall though it has been fantastic. Becca and I are so lucky to have Tim and Alex, who work together so well and really are far more than just our glamourous assistants - monkeys we salute you! And of course Tinker and Ronan. They are just the most fabulous horses and we really couldn't do any of it without them. They keep us sane when things are crazy and always try their utmost and give their all, even after spending hours on the lorry being driven for miles around the country. They make us laugh, and sometimes cry, but they are always there, always willing, calm and patient, and I cannot express how much we love them both, they really mean the world to us. Boys - thankyou.

Whilst Tinker and Ronan are having a well earned rest, Becca and I will still be keeping busy. We both have young horses, Casper and Navvy, who are learning the ropes. They should both be ready for next year so hopefully not only will the show be able to grow, but Tinker and Ronan may be able to have a weekend off! However, it will be scary bringing out a novice horse - neither of us have done it for quite a while now, as Tinker and Ronan are both such old hands!

Becca is off to Paris tomorrow to reprise her role as Annie Oakley in Disneyland's Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and will be back and forth there throughout the winter. She also has our 2010 season to organise - which looks like it could be very very busy! Whilst I am officially unemployed (but won't be signing on, thankyou John!) I have a number of things to keep me busy. I am now qualified as a massage therapist so will be trying to pick up a few more clients over the winter - so if you'd like any treatments get in touch! I'll also be doing a bit of work for the Devil's Horsemen, and possibly Tinker will too - just so he doesn't forget everything! On top of that I'm planning to run some trick training clinics, to teach people how to teach their horses some of the things our boys can do. The first one will hopefully be at the end of October, in North Oxfordshire so, again, if you're interested get in touch!

So, although Jive Pony may have packed up it's kit for 2009, Rebecca and I certainly haven't. We're going to turn the blog into a 'Rebecca and Rosie Blog' for the winter, so you can still see what we're up to and how we're getting on.

All that remains to be said is a great big thankyou to everyone who has supported us over the season - you make it what it is. Thankyou!

Lots of love,
Rosie xx

Monday, 7 September 2009

Moreton Show

Moreton Show - tick, done it! (Finally!) And what a brilliant day it was! It started a little unconventionally though. We were told on Friday that we either had to have the lorry on site before 5pm that day, or before 7am in the morning - and as we didn't fancy getting up at 5.30 to wash the horses and get everything ready when we weren't performing until 1.45pm, we decided to set up on Friday afternoon and then ride the horses there in the morning. So, come Saturday morning, Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker and I set off for the three mile hack to the showground! The boys seemed a little confused as to what was happening - they don't normally have a full bath just to go for a ride! Realisation dawned on them though as we approached the showground - they're not stupid those two! It was reminiscent of our approach to the CLA Gamefair, although this time wasn't quite so stressful! Both Tim and Alex were there to meet us, so we had the full team present! Have a look at the video below to see us arriving in style!

We'd been there about five minutes before we bumped into the first people we knew - and it didn't stop there! Everywhere we turned there were friends, family and acquaintances - all wanting to know what time we were on and saying they couldn't wait to see us perform! So, needless to say we were very nervous! The first show couldn't have gone better, the crowd were about four or five people deep around the entire arena, and they really got behind us - clapping, cheering, whistling, and doing the Grease arms alongside us during the roman riding! I can't describe the buzz we all get from having the support of a large audience, it really does make you feel amazing! Practically everywhere we looked around the arena there were smiling faces we recognised, so if you were there - THANKYOU!

The second show didn't go quite so well, but it was good fun nonetheless! My microphone didn't work for the initial introduction, so Tim raced over with Rebecca's but managed to spook Tinker nearly making me fall off - now that would have been embarrassing! Next Alex did manage to fall off during the volunteer part, and then Ronan had the longest wee just before the final vaulting part of the show! However, we had a good laugh at it all and the crowd reactions were still fantastic - so I don't think any of the hiccups mattered in the end! And it turns out we weren't the only ones with problems. The Kangaroo Kid managed to misjudge one of his jumps and land on one of the Mitsubishis, winding himself and damaging the roof of the truck - oops! It did make him one of the main talking points of the show though so it's not all bad!

We had such good feedback from everybody, it really made it worthwhile. We've worked very hard to get Moreton Show and the overall feeling we got was that people couldn't understand why it has taken so long. We also had two of my most favourite comments from organisers all season: 'Whatever, they're paying you, it isn't enough', and; 'When can we book you again?' In answer to the last one - NEXT YEAR!!

I can't believe it but our season has nearly come to an end. We've got one more show left - a two day duo at the Midland Gamefair, in a fortnights time. This is a lovely show that we really enjoyed last year, so it'll hopefully be a good one to finish on! I'll let you know how we get on, but in the meantime have a look at the photos from Moreton by clicking here.

Lots of love,

Rosie xx

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Eye Show

We've just had a fantastic bank holiday weekend at the Eye Show - our fourth one of the year in Suffolk! Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker and myself set off on Saturday for the journey up the A14, and met Tim at one of the junctions. However, Tim had been standing on the windy motorway bridge waiting for us for a while, and his hair is quite long at the moment, so by the time we met him his hair was exceptionally big - as you can see from the photo above he truly looked like a mad professor! We arrived and set up with no problems at all, except that the ground was so hard we could barely get the stakes for the tent in!

We were really looking forward to the show as their arena programme was packed with loads of different acts, some we'd seen before such as the Sheep Show and the Vander Brothers Wheel of Death Extreme, and some we hadn't such as the Red Arrows and Icelandic Beer Racing. There were also dog and duck displays, dressage displays, rugby demonstrations, tree felling competitions and all sorts - we were in for a busy weekend!

Sunday was a lovely day and both our shows went really well with no mishaps - which was a nice change from our last attempts at Tysoe and Cheshire! Having turned the boys out in the arena for the evening we entertained ourselves playing bat and ball and juggling - all with limited success! We'd been warned that there was going to be a 'rather noisy' party in one of the marquees in the evening so off we all went to investigate..... and found out that it was a foam party! When they started the foam machine everybody crowded around and was soon immersed in it, before coming out looking rather bedraggled! However, because of the warning signs saying the foam could cause damage to skin and clothes, and should be showered off as soon as possible we decided to avoid it - as although our lorry does have a shower we haven't worked out how to use it yet!
Monday was another gorgeous day, and as we weren't on until 1.45 we spent the morning wandering around the showground. We watched the Vander Brother's act, and instead of being scared of the wheel we just wanted a go ourselves! Maybe if we could teach the horses to do it.... We also saw the Icelandic Beer Racing which was quite amusing. The ponies have their own special gait, called Tölting, and to demonstrate how smooth the gait is they race around holding glasses of beer (or cold tea!) - whoever has the most left at the end wins! Have a look at the little video below to see some racing!

Monday was also the day for the Red Arrows - which we were really looking forward to! I'd just got on Tinker to start warming him up when all of a sudden WHOOSH!! They appeared as if from nowhere, nine of them and extremely loud! I needn't have worried though, Tink didn't even bat an eyelid - I think they made me jump more than him! They proceeded to do the most amazing display of air acrobatics, twisting and turning, doing tight formations, and painting the sky with their coloured smoke trails. I think every single person at the show had their eyes trained to the sky for there whole performance, it really was amazing. Have a look at the videos below to see what I mean - I couldn't decide which I liked best so I've put them all up! We also took some pictures over the weekend - though unfortunately we didn't manage to get any of our shows! Click here to have a look at them.

Our shows went well again, and then it was back down the A14 and home. We're doing a duo show at Moreton Show on Saturday which we're very nervous about. It's the biggest one day agricultural show in our area and we've been trying to get it for five years, with no luck until now! So we really want it to go well, and lots of our friends and family are coming too - more pressure! I'll let you know how we get on!

Love Rosie xx