In The Saddle column: Mounting excitement for the annual show

Anita Marsh.
Anita Marsh.

The one date in the diary every year for our horse competitions is the Epworth Country Show.

We always love to support it and I think we’ve been coming on the trot now (pardon the pun) for a good five or six years, pretty much from the time we returned from living abroad.

It’s got such a brilliant show schedule for everyone to enjoy, as a spectator to a competitor, and we love to take one of our three horses.

The last three years, my daughter has been competing her first pony, Jazz, at the show.

We initially started out on the lead rein (where I hold her on a leather rope) and have since progressed each year from riding on her own on the flat to turning her hand to show jumping this year.

It’s the first year my eight-year-old has competed there in showjumping and it was also her highest competition to date, jumping 50cm.

Of course, it’s no problem for our pony club pony who has seen her fourth child go through the ropes and learn to jump with her.

She’s an old hand at it and knows her job well. That’s just the sort of horse you want as a first pony.

We met lots of horsey pals there and it was great to see so many attend.

Alyssia didn’t quite get her clear round so she tried again (with me shouting words of encouragement from the sidelines) and she went clear.

She then went on to do the next class, which was the same height, but more jumps and under showjumping rules.

I’m thrilled to say that she came in sixth place.

And, although she was initially disappointed with her result, she soon cheered up when I told her she had gone up against adults on big horses and that it was her first time jumping that height.

I reminded her how far she has come and that some days you can’t win them all.

We’ll be there again next year, so make sure you come up and say hello.