Thursday, 9 September 2010

Welsh Festival of the Horse

Wow! Wales is windy! On Friday Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker and I set off for Margam Park, South Wales, for the Welsh Festival of the Horse, where we were to be performing our duo shows for the two day show. Tim and Alex were due to arrive in the evening, as work and college commitments meant they couldn't travel down with us. We were looking forward to the weekend as there were going to be a couple of other teams performing who we know: The Independent Horse Extreme Demo Team and The Knights of Arkley.
Saturday morning came around and before our show Tim headed off to help out with the Independent Horse show. He was going to be horseboarding, which he'd had a go at the previous time we'd met at last years Middlesex Show. This time there was a bit of a difference though. Tim would be boarding behind a pair of horses being roman ridden by the team leader Dan, whilst his brother Tom was boarding as well! You can see from the photo above how it all worked - it looked really good! Tim did really well considering he's only ever done it once before - I don't think he fell off once in all four shows he did for them! It was really good to see the trick riding as well, it's always good to see others perform - it gives you all kinds of ideas!
Our shows both went really well although the arena was quite difficult. Not only was it on a slope but also quite bumpy. Tinker and Ronan looked after us really really well though and didn't put a foot wrong - they really are super boys! The only problem we had was the wind. It was so strong at times it was just ridiculous. My hair was utterly wild to the point I felt like I may as well have done the show blindfold! It was across my face, in my eyes, I even swallowed some of it at one point - not ideal when you're trying to talk on a mic!
Having finished our last show we all stopped to watch the jousting show (Tinker and Ronan included!). They were very good with lots of action - their horses are fiery little things! We stood at the side shouting BOO and HOOZAH, until we nearly had our heads swiped off by one of the bad knights! Tinker was a funny thing watching them all - he was standing at the side of the arena with me watching everything going on with his ears pricked and really paying attention. I think he may fancy a change of career!
In the evening we all sat around the obligatory washing machine drum bonfire with the other teams, although the wind was again very unhelpful and by the time we went to bed we all smelt like we'd been on fire ourselves! The wind didn't let up all night and I've never known the lorry to rock so much! The tent spent the night doing it's best jellyfish impression despite Rebecca's 3am attempts at tying all the wallings down! Luckily none of this seems to worry the boys, although Tinker did spend most of Sunday morning fast asleep, possibly trying to catch up on sleep he'd missed during the night!
Sunday was even more blustery than Saturday, and I can honestly say I have never struggled so much in a show! During the first show there was also a really heavy shower just as we were doing the strip - not ideal weather for taking you clothes off in! We had to laugh as we were stripping whilst people were huddling around the arena in welly boots under their umbrellas! Thankfully it was just a shower and for the rest of the day we only had the wind to contend with. This was enough though and gave Tinker's skipping rope a life of it's own! Roman riding was also tricky as the horses were struggling to canter uphill into the wind, we were struggling to stand on them, and to top it all off we couldn't see because of our hair! Fun and games!!
Despite the unhelpful weather both shows went really well again, and all in all we had a lovely weekend. It was great to see so many old friends, as well as making some new ones, and everyone at the show was very friendly and helpful - especially Roger the sound man who did a superb job!
We're off to Penistone Show in South Yorkshire tomorrow for a one day duo on Saturday. It was going to be a solo show and I'd been gearing up to take Casper for his big debut. However, the organisers rang on Tuesday and asked if they could have the duo instead, so Casper has been relieved of duty and Tinker doesn't get a weekend off after all! I'll tell you all about it soon, but in the meantime you can see a few photos from our windy Welsh weekend here.
Lots of love
Rosie xx

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