I am so lucky and blessed with the friends I have. Yesterday, the ever-so-lovely Jennifer whisked me off to the New Forest Show. She had a spare ticket as her hubby, for work reasons, had to bow out, and I was her first choice :) The show is something I’ve always wanted to go to, but, for various reasons, never managed it.
It’s an agricultural show, which is rated among the top 10 such shows in the country, and promotes and encourages “the development of agriculture, forestry, equestrianism and horticulture and … the improvement in the breeding of stock.” It has a full range of equestrian classes – ridden and in hand champions, international show jumping, heavy horse pairs … also livestock competitions including cattle, pigs and sheep. Needless to say, Jennifer and I were there mainly for the horses.
We started with the ‘Arab Ridden’ … interestingly, all the horses taking part were greys, and I fell in love with the rose grey. Didn’t realise how many pictures of it I’d taken till I got home and the boys bemusedly pointed out that little detail. My excuse – I didn’t have my glasses on and couldn’t tell how good the pictures were … suppose I’d better put my glasses on next time! And I make no apologies for ‘decapitating’ the riders – my focus was entirely on the horses :)
Mountain and Moorland Ridden … so adorable!
We were standing right by the barrier when the 'World Breeds in Hand' started – I squawked when I spotted a Friesian!
Cleveland Bay - royal carriage horse of choice
This colouring in the sun is scrumptious, and the mane and tail looked so silky
Plain old Gorgeous!
In the 'back' area where the horses were being readied, we spied this beautiful little boy with his mummy ...
... and this Irish Draught being exercised ...
After lunch, we wandered around ...
Stunning wood sculpture
Don't worry, it's not real ;) For demo purposes only
Violet, an angora goat, with her twin girls, Fearne and Felicity, born Jan 2014 -- cute or what?!
... then made our way to where the Heavy Horse pairs were about to be put through their paces. Unfortunately, I can't remember all the breeds that took part.
Percherons; the only tandem pair
Comtois, I think
Shires ... these two are an actual working pair. The Wadworth brewery still delivers beer to pubs in this manner!
Another Shire pair, I think
I didn't catch what this pair are ...
... they were pulling this massive thing that weighed 3 tons!! A real crowd favourite.
Even though we were beginning to tire, we stuck around for the Light Trade Two Wheeled Vehicles. I am so glad we did - it featured another Friesian!! Obviously there were other horses, but I admit to being obsessed. Next time, I'm going to film these horses, the only way to truly appreciate them, high-stepping, trotting beauties.
There were loads more that we didn’t get around to seeing, but it was so, so hot that we were really starting to wilt, and left about 3:30. Jennifer’s daughter, poor love, only came because she had no choice but, for an 11-year-old, behaved very maturely and didn’t whinge, whine or moan once. When we climbed into Jennifer’s car, the temperature gauge read 33C!! We probably left about the right time as we sailed back to Bournemouth without encountering any traffic.
The exit route took us through the New Forest … blissfully beautiful … Apologies for poor quality photos – took them from the car.
New Forest ponies
With all that's been going on and the way I’ve been feeling, this outing proved to be the perfect tonic … horses, horses everywhere – what more could I have wanted?