Due to my livery yard having a strangles outbreak, I have been unable to do much since the new year. Bow is in great form and thankfully didn't catch it. He will come back in to work in March - and we will both have to work on our fitness after 8 weeks without riding!
I intend to have a steady year competing and would like to re-visit some local shows this year for some fun with Bow as I have decided to do a little bit of travelling and finish decorating my new house. I will still be doing a little bit of judging and have already accepted some exciting dates including a new NCPA show, some ROR Hickstead qualifiers and Equifest 2017.
I got a lovely surprise in the post in February from SSDL: a trophy, rosette and prize bag for winning the pre-veteran performance awards with Deards Blue Print for his fantastic results in 2016. Although Bow only did a very small amount of shows last season, he managed to scoop the overall stallion award and won the hunting award at the HPEC Performance awards. He is now advertised to cover mares from 2017 onwards...
In March, I had a lovely time judging for Abby Tolley at her Winter Woolies Show. It was well supported with some promising combinations forward.
We got a lovely package of Vitamunch in the post from Equilibrium Products. Look out for the feature in the next issue of Showing World Magazine!
Bow is back in work and we are making the most of sunnier weather and lighter evenings for hacking out.
I was so excited for some much needed pony time in the Easter holidays! I have 3 judging appointments: BSPS 1a RIHS PBA, Eastern Spectacular NCPA and Warren Farm Sash Show for SSDL 1st round qualifiers.
During the first week of my Easter break, a friend messaged me asking if I knew of anyone searching for an ex racehorse. Despite many offers for racehorses, I have always declined the opportunity to re-visit the ROR classes; however, on this occasion I have finally given in! Within 24 hours, 'Blue' (Stilo Blue Native) found himself in a paddock for the next few months to put on some weight. He last raced on 13th April and so will enjoy some down time. I am very grateful to John Wade for allowing me to have him to retrain. I am unsure which path to take with him at this stage but would like to try some local ROR Novice classes to begin with. In time it would be nice to head to Aintree for the first time and do the Hickstead and Challenge classes for a change of direction from the HOYS R2R classes I used to ride in. Blue is a huge animal compared to my stallion Bow; he stands at 17hh and I am hoping he will make a nice novice large riding horse for next year. Blue will also go hunting, show-jumping and do some dressage over the winter months. Thank you to everyone who has sent lovely messages about Blue; it is really encouraging at this early stage!!
See pictures below:
On 6th May, I rode for Anna Pennel at the Dales Pony Breed Spring Show at Streatlam. I took the ride on Nipna Flora (who finished 3rd at HOYS last season). She was a delight to ride and gave me a fabulous first impression of riding a Dales pony! I rode her in the championship class where she finished reserve champion. We then took part in a traditional class, which was interesting as it required an extended trot and a free walk on a long rein. She did a beautiful show to stand reserve champion and then later went on to take reserve supreme of the show! It was a great way to get back in the show ring for my first show of the season. (Photos shared by K.Owens)
I am looking forwards to partnering Anna's Highland, Tarquin of Forglen in some classes this season, starting with NECWPCA on 14th May.
Summer news 2017...
Thanks to a lovely Facebook friend, I gathered some new cracking photos of Bow as a foal this week...
In the next month, I am looking forward to giving HOYS qualifiers a go for the first time since 2013. I will be heading to Midland Counties, Derby Festival and The Royal Highland Show. I haven't ridden at the RHS before so I am particularly looking forward to this outing and it will be amazing to see a class of 39 campaign for the ticket.
A huge well done to Nipna Flora for gaining her Olympia ticket at Bath and West for Anna Pennell who I am riding for this season. I was lucky enough to ride her at the breed show last month to stand reserve supreme champion of show. She is a fantastic mare and I will make sure I have a front row seat at Olympia this year to watch her!
On 17th June, I went to Melissa Chapman's dressage yard for a lesson on Jodie Hooks' Papaver Dior. Poppy had one of the most impressive inhand careers as a baby and I am delighted to have been asked to partner her from this summer onwards for the start of her ridden career. She is a princess pony with so much presense and I feel very lucky to be taking up the reins....
On 18th June, I rode for Bev Harker on her novice hunter mare, Ziva. It was our first show together but she managed to bag top spot in a strong class of 11 novice hunters.
The following weekend (July 2nd) I felt very privileged to judge in the main ring at Malton Show. Again, I judged a good class of 20 ROR amateur entries before judging the Challenge and Inhand ROR sections. I was so excited after leaving the show that I decided to jump on board Blue for the first time. I only walked but he gave me such a lovely feel! I now have access to a school and am looking forward to the summer holidays starting so that I can get cracking with retraining work. In the mean time I have kick started some schooling work with Bow - see pics below:
I was also delighted to receive an invite from Equilibrium Products to this year's Showing World Magazine Awards. Last year's event was amazing and I am looking forward to spending the evening at East of England again in October!
On 15th July, I enjoyed a judging appointment for ROR at Bishop Wilton Show. It was my first time at the show and I would like to return to compete next year.
I am very tired at the moment after applying for and getting a new teaching job and doing lots of exam marking; however, I have managed to find time twice to sit on ROR Blue, who finished his racing career just 12 weeks ago. I am so excited about him! See photo below:
My next stop is NPS Championships for the HOYS ridden Highlands on Tarquin of Forglen.
Next stop: Equifest!
Bow has been on fire recently, bagging himself reserve supreme in the President's Cup at Pony of the Year NCPA in a mixed class of supreme show champions. He then bagged another couple of sashes at The British Elite with a win and a reserve champion in strong line ups and big classes.
I enjoyed switching my tweed to a navy to ride Papaver Dior at CHAPS championships for 2 days. Her debut under saddle was the HOYS qualifier where she finished 2nd and her education developed in open classes over the next 2 days where she was placed well in all classes. I am excited to have the ride on this mare next season and am grateful to Jodie Hooks for selecting me as her show jockey.
Blue is progressing well and forever gaining weight and knowledge. In just 5 months since his last race, he has come on so much!