Monday, 7 June 2010

Hearing Dogs Summer Fair

I can't believe it's been two months since my last post, but unfortunately that's how long it's been since our last show! However, this weekend we were finally back in action with a duo show at The Hearing Dogs Summer Fair in Princes Risborough. It was the first time we'd done a duo since the Midland Gamefair in September, so Rebecca and I were both feeling a bit rusty to say the least! Having done quite a bit of rehearsal on foot we decided we really ought to take the boys for some Roman Riding practice. We took them up to the big school up the road (huge thank yous to Marilyn and Graham!) and just went for it! Much to our relief they were absolutely foot perfect - and Becca and I weren't too bad either! Bryn (Becca's boyfriend) came up too and took some photos - more on those later! Having done a couple of sessions of Roman Riding, and trying out some new vaulting moves we felt ready for the show, although we did get some last minute props and costumes which we didn't get a chance to rehearse with...

So, Saturday afternoon came and Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Alex, Tinker and myself set off for Princes Risborough. It was a lovely hot day and the drive down was uneventful. However, we'd literally just arrived at the showground and put the ramp down when the heavens opened and it absolutely poured with rain. Hoping it was a passing shower we left the boys on board (much to their bemusement!), and thankfully after about ten minutes it eased off enough for us to get on with setting up. We passed the evening by running through both shows, endless sewing (which I HATE!) and playing Aerobie until it was too dark to see it until it whizzed past your head! Soon enough it was time for bed, at which point Tim and Alex enquired as to where the base for their bed was. The seating in the lorry converts into a large bed which they normally share, but unfortunately the one and only thing that Becca had forgotten to pack was the necessary piece of wood to make the bed - oops! They ended up sleeping just on the cushions on the floor, but as there wasn't enough floor space for both of them Tim had to sleep in the back where the horses travel!

Soon enough it was showtime on Sunday, and Rebecca and I were feeling very nervous! We'd changed some costume and music since last year, and we were also hoping that we remembered our lines and cues in all the right places. The audience were really keen and were about six deep around the entire arena - no pressure then! We needn't have worried - the show went well! Becca had a really good show with Ronan performing really well throughout. I wasn't quite so lucky with Tinker, but through no fault of his own. As we went to our corner of the arena for our dance we were mobbed by strange flying beetles. They were bright red and about the size of my thumbnail, and drove poor Tink mad! I actually had to stop the dance about half way through and rake my hands through his mane - there were about fifteen of them all over his neck, mane and face - needless to say he wasn't really concentrating on his tricks! After that he just spent the rest of the show whizzing about - but I don't really mind, secretly I love it when he goes fast! The really strange thing about the beetles was that not a single one went near Becca and Ronan over the other side of the arena - very bizarre!

We didn't have much time between shows and before we knew it we were back on with our second performance. This time we had our new blue and black costume, which I'd already worn at Bexley Heath Easter Show, but which Becca had never worn. We had made some changes since Easter though - mainly four bright blue pom-poms each! We'd not tried them with the horses before but were fairly confident they wouldn't mind them - if they can ignore things like the Red Arrows and White Headed Vultures flying over them surely they wouldn't mind pom-poms? We were right not to worry about the horses - it was us who struggled with them! Try having two pom-poms in each hand, whilst steering a horse and then finding your microphone and talking! Eeek! We just about managed, although we're definitely going to have a rethink before the next show! I'd also drenched Tinker in fly spray to try and deter the beetles, as well as dancing in a different part of the arena, and didn't see a single one throughout the whole show - all very peculiar! It was Becca's turn to have an interesting show - when it came to the roman riding her vaulting shoes were too worn out to give her any grip on our nice new pad covers, so that whole section was a bit dicey! At least she managed to keep both shoes on this time though...

After our whirlwind of shows during the afternoon it was time to pack down and head home - but not before we'd learnt the sign language for 'Jive Pony'! There were some amazing signers throughout the day - and a special thank you to Tom who had the unenviable task of trying to sign our shows! All in all we had a lovely weekend, and were very well looked after by Ruth and the team. We managed to get a few pictures over the weekend (and also some from our rehearsals...), just click here to have a look.

We're off to Giffords Circus for a day next Wednesday! Rebecca has very strong ties with the circus as she performed with them for three seasons before leaving to set up Jive Pony, so is very much looking forward to getting back inside the big top! We're going to be taking Ronan, who started his career there as a four year old with Becca, and who hasn't seen the circus since we did the Newbury Parade back in 2008. We're also going to take Casper and Navvy - it'll be their first official Jive Pony outing! Fingers crossed they behave - I'll tell you all about it next week!

Lots of love,

Rosie xx

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