Tuesday, 27 July 2010

CLA Game Fair

We had a fantastic weekend at the Game Fair, but we definitely worked hard over the three days with three duo shows, six solo shows and a parade - phew! Becca, Ronan, Tinker and I set off on Thursday for Ragley Hall, a nice easy drive of only twenty-five miles. Alex was going to meet us there, and Tim and Rachael were due in the morning, so there was going to be plenty of us! As soon as we arrived on site we turned the boys out into a nearby small arena whilst we waited to be sited before setting the tent and stables up. We’d nearly finished our set up when we were approached by a very officious steward (with a golf buggy and walkie talkie no less!) and told that we needed to move our horses ‘within three minutes’! So we leisurely finished what we were doing before wandering up to collect our horses, who both had the audacity to be quietly grazing! Luckily we'd been sited right next to an area which had been fenced off with 'Danger - Overhead Power Lines - DO NOT ENTER' signs, which made an ideal turn out paddock for the boys over the whole weekend!!

Friday was fairly hectic as we had a duo show in the main arena at 12.30pm, followed by Tinker’s solo show in the smaller hooked on horses arena at 2.05pm, then Ronan’s solo at 4.30pm and finally a parade and demo with Tinker in the main arena at 6pm – busy busy busy! All the shows went really well – although not completely flawless! For our very first show of the 2010 CLA Game Fair in the main arena we went in waving and smiling before I came to introduce the show – only my mic wouldn’t work! There followed an embarrassing few seconds of confusion before my mic was whisked away to be sorted out. Next thing I know I have both Tim and Alex racing towards me (both with a hilarious comedy run!) and both thrusting mics at me – so I went from no mic to two in the space of a few seconds, not the best start! The show then went really well until the roman riding section, where Tinker set off like a speeding bullet with Ronan doing his best to keep up. The start was very dicey but about half way through Ronan’s anchor kicked in and they both slowed to a much more manageable pace. Things went well again until the final part of the show when Tinker definitely engaged his turbo boost! I don’t think he physically could have gone any faster, he was flat out galloping with me hanging on as best I could doing my nice safe moves (including a shoulderhang though!!). I secretly love it when he goes fast – but not quite as much as he does! Both the solo shows and the evening parade went smoothly, but by the time the day was over we were absolutely exhausted, and I’m afraid to say Becca and I were in bed by about 9pm, and asleep not long after!

Saturday was a bit steadier as we had slightly longer between the duo show and the first solo, as well as there being no evening parade. We were very lucky in the morning as Katherin (Becca’s Mum) came over and gave both Becca and I, and the horses, a shiatsu treatment – which really helped all our achy bodies! All the shows went really well and we had an especially fantastic crowd in the grandstand of the main arena for the duo show. It gave us a real buzz as we whizzed past during the roman riding (not at quite such a speed as on Friday thankfully!) and saw everyone joining in with the ‘Greased Lightning’ arms! As we weren’t so tired in the evening Becca and I decided to go for a wander down to one of the main bars, and ended up sharing a jug of Pimms’ in the company of Chris Green and all the other BASC guys! We had a lovely evening chatting to them all, but it was way past our show day bed time by the time we eventually went to bed!

Sunday was our final day – and it seemed the day for everyone we knew to come and see us! Whilst waiting in the collecting area before going in for the duo show I saw at least thirteen people who’d come up to the main arena specially to see us. Although we love a big audience it makes you feel far more nervous than usual when there are people you know watching! Thankfully the show went without a hitch, and everyone was very complimentary afterwards! Both our solo shows went well too, and before we knew it we were packing up to come home! All in all we had a fantastic weekend, the weather was beautiful, our horses and glamourous assistants were brilliant, and the crowds were fantastic - so thank you if you were there cheering us on! We saw too many people to mention, but special hellos go to Paul and Sean, our most enthusiastic fans, Riva, our smallest fan, Stuart, an avid blog follower, Mike, who always brings Tink and Ronan treats, and of course the two Robins and Willow who always look after us so well - THANK YOU!! (And apologies to anyone else I've forgotten!) I must also make a special thank you to Justin from Hornets Hats, who not only sponsors Becca and I our gorgeous Top Hats, but this year has also sponsored the boys their fantastic Bowlers, which they are both over the moon with!

We've a busy day tomorrow as we're off down to Quainton Stud to teach at a Pony Club camp. We're going to be taking Navvy and Casper as it's high time they contributed to the whole earning effort! I'll let you know how we got on soon, but in the mean time you can see loads of photos from our time at the CLA here.

Lots of love
Rosie xx

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