On Tuesday, we went to the New Forest Show – ‘we’ being Liam and me, with Jennifer; Gordon wasn’t too interested. Instead of driving, and getting stuck in the long lines of traffic waiting to get into the show car park, we decided to take the train. Depending on how many stations the service stops at, the journey takes between 15-30mins. There was a special shuttle bus service solely for the New Forest Show, and that took barely 10mins, and was very frequent.
Unlike last year, which was scorching hot, this year the weather was much cooler, and windy. Thanks to Jennifer’s membership at a garden centre, our tickets allowed us entry to the covered seats, and the use of the centre’s hospitality tent, and free drinks and snacks. Obviously, there are different levels of ‘hospitality’ … some of the other hospitality tents were very up-market indeed, with china cups and saucers, and real glasses, and people dressed as if they were going to a fancy wedding, or even Ascot!
Jennifer’s favourite breed is the Arab, but by the time we got there, that event had finished. Unfortunately, it’s on first thing, at 08:00 … which is bizarre because the show only opens at 08:30! We managed to see most of it last year because they were running late. However, later on in the day, there was the ‘Ridden Arab’ event; sadly only 1 of the 3 entries was present but she still put her gelding through his paces. They won, obviously, but she didn’t appear that thrilled – can’t say I blame her.
Liam was very taken with the ‘Ridden Hunter’ event, especially when the horses were galloped around the field – he hasn’t learnt galloping yet, but from the look on his face, I think he might be ready to give it a go.
The ‘Miniature in Hand’ event was just too adorable! Never mind the adult miniatures, which were cute enough, there were a couple of miniature babies!! We were cooing like a pair of maternal hens, even Liam was getting all soft and soppy … I just wanted to pick one up!
‘Mountain and Moorland Ridden’ – I love these guys, so chunky!
I think these are Welsh Section A …
Unlike last year, there wasn’t the ‘World Breeds’ event, but we did catch the Iberians - Andalusians and Lusitanos. So breathtakingly gorgeous … I was coveting like mad! The riders were dressed in Spanish-style riding dress, and there was Spanish guitar music playing, which gave the event a special quality.
Andalusian stallion - this guy was my favourite
Lusitano gelding - love what she's wearing
I am particularly pleased with the next 2 pictures ...
Lusitano mare; this lady is mother to the lady in the picture below
Didn't feel at all like a competition; I think the entrants knew each other
My favourite won :)
We saw the heavy horse teams, same as last year … I’m sure the same team won again. And the ‘Light Trade 2-wheeled Vehicles’, but the Friesian wasn’t there. There was a gorgeous hackney, but I couldn’t get a clear shot of it – beautiful high-stepping action.
For me, the main attraction was the Household Cavalry; apparently they haven’t performed at the Show for about 20 years. The most popular event of the day, and nigh on impossible to get a good view of them. Not helped by the young couple in front of me, with disinterested toddler in father’s arms. And mother who kept bending down to get things from the buggy, then glaring at me because she kept knocking into my bag! People … whaddaya do?? Anyway, I managed to record a little – the cavalry, not the family *heh* – barely satisfactory, but at least I got to see them, and that’s the main thing. Just before I stopped recording, I got footage of a rider getting his horse back up, pretty pleased I did :)
This was Liam’s first time; he usually works Tuesdays, but swapped that day to work Thursday instead. He was happy to just be there, soaking up the atmosphere, seeing all the horses. He tried out the ‘equine simulator’, and got some pointers about his riding technique. The equipment is amazing – there’s even a sensor in the ‘head’ so that when you pull the reins, it slows down, and if you pull too hard, it stops.
For me, it was great having Liam’s company; he’d like to go again, and, hopefully, he can get the time off next year. Because, as long as I’m able to, I’d like to make this an annual thing, especially as getting to the show via the train and shuttle bus is fairly effortless. And with views like this from the top deck of the bus, what a lovely way to end the outing …