Equestrian Life – May 2011

Words by:
Bernard Bale
Featured in:
May 2011

May brings us the first of the big shows and we’re all looking forward to the Newark and Nottinghamshire County Show on Saturday and Sunday 14th and 15th May. That really does herald the start of the season and for those of us with equestrian things in mind there is plenty to see and do. So on with the show!
All roads lead to Newark Show ground on Saturday and Sunday 14th and15th May for what has been described as ‘The Family Event of the Year’.

One of the major Main Ring attractions is the fast and furious Mounted Games GB riders with their super-charged ponies that can turn on a sixpence. This is presented by the Mounted Games Association whose display provides thrilling, fast-moving, family entertainment.

Teams of young riders on very fast ponies compete in a variety of obstacle and relay type races. The speed of the ponies and the skill of the riders are breathtaking and combine to produce a colourful, all action arena display.

Members of the audience are invited to support their local team as points are awarded for each game, giving a competitive edge to the entertainment. The Association was founded in 1984 with just seven teams but now there are more than eighty teams in Great Britain and eighteen affiliated nations across the world.

Elsewhere on the showground there is Show Jumping and all the usual equine and livestock showing classes, Sheep Racing, Dog and Duck Display, Morris Dancing, Forestry Area, Antique Village, Farming Heritage, Countryside Area, Youth Zone and much, much more!

So, all roads lead to Newark Show Ground.

The Pony Club’s Musto Open Eventing League got off to a flying start with a One Day Event at Brocklesby Park while at the same time Caistor Equestrian Centre held its first outdoor dressage event of the season. Good to see the cobwebs flying off everyone.

South Wold North Pony Club is holding a mini One Day Event at Hallington Top near Louth on 2nd May. Novices are welcome for special events as well as experienced young riders. Want to know more? Email bethan.leather@virgin.net

The clocks have changed back to ‘proper time’, which still remains a controversial issue but I personally do like it when we are able to gain those longer lighter evenings in spring and summer. The memories of ‘that snow’ are now distant and we are gearing up to spend more time with our equine friends.

A lot of people were affected by the snow to the extent that they were not able to ride and train their horses for a considerable period of time and for others it was only a minor interruption in their schedule. Whichever category you fall into and whatever equestrian discipline you follow it is time to look forward to a great summer of competitions, training or hacking around the amazing countryside that is Lincolnshire! Now is the time to reap the rewards for all those dark mornings, even darker evenings and having to knock the ice off the water trough several times a day so that your horses and ponies could get through the winter period in a degree of comfort, whilst you endured varying degrees of discomfort and potential hypothermia!

For those of us that compete it is a good time to take stock of where we are at and if we have had a long layoff over the winter then it would be a good idea to get some training sessions in to get us back up to speed. Most of the summer schedules for the various disciplines have been made available to us already so we can sit down and decide which shows to go to and where the many ‘qualifiers’ are being held etc; This is also a good time to double-check to ensure that we are at the particular level of training and fitness in order to make the most of our competitive outing. Planning ahead is admirable however with animals (and children) things don’t always go to plan, so don’t despair re-evaluate the situation and adjust those plans accordingly.

Whatever it is you will be doing this season, please remember – enjoy it!

Sarah Payne, Sheepgate Equestrian, in Boston. Full details of activites can be viewed on www.sheepgate.co.uk

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