Sydney Royal

The hardest/most stressful thing I find about Sydney Royal is actually get there and getting settled in, the rest is easy. We had literally the easiest Bump In ever and I was most happy to arrive in our aisle and find we were in with super lovely people! (Beats some old harness hag last year who hissed and spitted at everyone, including the feed guys! thankgod she left quickly). Also with one of the photographers and O M G the dedication she (and the rest) have is amazing, out on her feet photographing all day then back every night proofing photos. Don’t ever complain about paying the small amount they ask, that is for sure.

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In and settled that night we watched the Darcy’s Quest. OMG I think whoever came up with that was seriously on LSD, it was just bizarre from a big horse on a crane to people shooting static electricity at one another to kites of the back of quads with fireworks.

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Very easy schedule having the boys on separate days. I absolutely cannot fault how either of my boys worked, I’m so happy with them. E scored a good place in his Novice. Perhaps I am a little disheartened with our results as in a few particular classes some very naughty horses went up the line. Fair enough to ribbon a quality animal but seriously – at royal level they should be able to keep 4 feet on the ground when asked. Each to their own opinions anyway and this is mine!

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One class had the workouts shortened drastically due to time constraints – luckily we got a call but seriously for a royal show where you pay good money to enter, you would expect more than 3 laps on the ring – I seriously feel for those who went IRO within about 2 minutes.

On the flip side – nice to see horses being asked good workouts, stewards allowing a warmup circle or two and the lovely lady in marshalling keeping everyone informed even when classes got moved forward.

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I notice a lot of people are using google to search for opinions on the judging of the Show Hunters of which this blog seems to come up.

I didn’t get to watch the ponies but in the galloways he was definitely going for a heavier type – picture ASH/Welsh Cross/Saddle pony/WB cross etc. All the horses worked very well to deserve their wins/places. No rearing/bucking getting ribbons like other years which was most refreshing to see 🙂 Again, engaging workouts being asked for which was lovely to see.

As for the open galloways, the show jumping seemed to upset a lot of them, which as a rider is always disappointing but surely it beats having harness working in the ring any day.

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E being Uncle E with a very capable young rider…who was most enjoying doing flash lengthens impressing all the general public watching! I think E enjoyed it as well!

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It’s lovely to have use of the trail out to the park, we choose to work the boys over there when we can. On Thursday it was quite hot so I ended up riding 1 and ponying the other. I tacked J up and took him for a gallop on one of his free days, lots of fun…we did walk as well…he was keen to have a look at the boardwalk and much to my surprise happily clonked along it.

Being in Kelly Pavillion is quite good as you have the stairs up to the Main arena seats very close by, easy escape to the park…not having to battle the crowds and a work arena at one end. Only downer is you get a lot of crowds through at times, on Easter Saturday it was absolute madness – while I was trying to plait E people were streaming along our aisle with elbow room only. I snapped and strategically placed some wheelie bins…much easier! I don’t mind people patting the horses but sheesh they pack into the aisles and poke fingers at them whilst waving all manner of things from balloons, to sparklers to kids patting horses on the bum (eek! as they do it so lightly the horses flinch like it’s a fly!).

Not to forget Bumping Out, which entails a slightly dodgy (dark early morning and all that) walk over to the car park, locate car/float and do the circle around to get back in. Nice and easy thankfully, it wasn’t even raining! A joyously eventful trip home though we did stop and change drivers a few times, due to both of us being pretty tired! The boys were so happy to be home and eating fresh green grass! Not to mention E who has a phobia of rolling in the stables…so he enjoyed a good long roll!

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Canberra Day 2 – Shopping & Playing Ponies

It’s always nice to have the one full day there for the horses to settle in and things just seem to take so much longer! I’m not sure if it’s because everything is such a distance…nearest tap was about 100m away or you get stuck talking to people, or just waiting to use the tap but even a quick washdown is grab your hose fittings/hose/wash bucket, wait in line, convince now cooled off horse hosing *is* a good idea and so on…

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Both got verified height wise, no dramas there – it is wonderful Canberra accept SHC height certificates, makes it reasonably quick & painless…I think I only got to chat with two people before we were stamped and out of there!

Explored the trade stands, most were not setup. I did manage to pickup a pair of gorgeous Eurostar charcoal work breeches (a bigger woohoo for now knowing my size!).

It was almost eerie, by Tuesday Canberra is normally filling up, horses going every which way and the trade stands are doing a roaring trade. Not so much this year…about 60% of floats/trucks. It stayed like that for most of the show, I guess in trying to keep people from camping under the major power lines everyone has become a lot more spread out. I certainly would have our 1km walk over being stabled/camped far out the back! (The cows were right next to us…this baby was pretty cute!).

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E got an early morning session from 6am-7am when the grounds were open so got a good chance to look at everything, he settled into his work well but was a bit looky at so many horses! Admittedly so was I, there is literally 100+ horses all being ridden around at once…a lot to watch, so you generally pick your line and ride it, pass people left to left…and avoid any kids on ponies or those having trouble on hot hacks.

J got a ride/lunge in the sand arena, keeping things quiet for him. He always *knock wood* performs when he gets in the ring and being so deep the sand isn’t ideal (and neither is the back work arena which is rock hard)…E comes 1st as his classes are 1st

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E got another ride that afternoon, this time had a few tantrums, pent-up energy that required about 1hrs riding on the grass arena, 30mins lunging and another 1hr in the sand arena. Which had him exactly where I wanted him…tired but listening and concentrating on the work. I’m sure there are a few thinking ” is a LOT of work for a horse usually ridden 1hr a day”…Yes, it is! That is how I manage him at a royal or big show, over the next few days it means I could trust him with a warmup of the walk to marshalling & 2 laps around the marshalling trotting each direction then walking on and off in the laneways. If as planned, he would be nostrils flaring, ears pricked…but listening and responding to what was asked.

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On that note, we washed, we trimmed and we had dinner…and slept!