Hot on the heels of Anna's wedding came the South of England Show. This is always three days of early mornings and a cross-country journey that would be better not done in an HGV. But it is a great show, and this year we were blessed with mainly lovely weather.
On Thursday morning we started with Charlie Purgal from Jersey, who is staying with us for two months with her lovely horse A Touch of Orlando, in the Newcomers. They jumped a good round with just a small, slightly blonde moment, for a good start to the show. I then jumped Benny in the 1.25 where we just had one down when I didn't sit up properly, and Emma jumped beautifully in the 1.35, but once again I didn't sit up quick enough in the jump-off.
Friday was a clear round day! Charlie and A Touch of Orlando jumped clear in the 1.15, I jumped clear in the 1.15 on the new boy Kvint (Kwint!), Benny jumped clear in the 1.30 and Emma jumped a fast clear in the 1.30 to finish 3rd.
Saturday started with a good clear for Kvint in the 1.15 before jumping Emma in the 1.40 Accumulator in the main ring. She jumped well, and very quickly just having an early fence, but I rather lost heart and let her run to the bottom of the huge joker which we duly demolished which was very bad luck on Emma. In retrospect I would have been better off waiting to jump the 1.40 in the Balcombe ring - but it is easy to be wise after the event! We then had quite a long wait for Benny to jump in the 1.30, but he made it well worth the wait with a really good double clear to finish 6th in a very competitive class. He absolutely loved all the razmataz of the show, especially the hounds and was almost as wild as Emma at the practice jump. Hopefully he'll still be feeling full of himself at Hickstead next week.
Sadly, my lovely little Catokyo has mysteriously hurt her neck either in the field or the stable. She has been x-rayed and luckily there are no fractures, so it is just a matter of resting her and then bringing her back into work very carefully and hoping that it has resolved itself. She is already nearly completely better so we will keep our fingers cross that this is just a one-off mystery.
We have had a lovely quiet week and are now ready to go to the Hickstead Derby Show next week. Hopefully everybody will be on their best form and we will have a great show. At least we have had a couple of weeks to get used to the hot weather now.
As always, many thanks to Steff Gibbs for her invaluable help at home and at the shows and at the South of England Show to Frankie Walker who was a great help to us on Saturday.