There are loads of new discussion areas including General Chat, General Horse Chat, Riding and Training, Horse Health and Care, Equine Breeding and Tack and Rider Wear. There's also an area for showing off pictures of your horses and ponies and a place especially for grumbles! On top of that, there are special areas for all of the disciplines, including Showing, SJ, Dressage, Hacking, Western Riding, Classical Training and more.
It would be great if we could make this into a really buzzy, friendly forum where we can share our successes-whether it is out at competition or our own victories at home-, have constructive discussions and learn from each other.
I'm a forum moderator so if you need any help or have any feedback, feel free to drop me a line, either through the forum or by email. I look forward to seeing you there!
Show Hunter Pony 143cm: Sophie Court on Braeglen Symphony
Like many others, I am impatient for the next show season to get started. My last competition was Royal Easter in April which seems an eternity ago (yes, yes, I know it was only a month ago but it feels like it has been a very long time!) I don't even know how I coped with not showing for the four years I was at university. Ah yes, I do....bar crawls and vodka shots.
Ummm...moving on. This impatience to get showing again has inspired me to come up with my own list of things to do during the long, cold, winter months. Feel free to share your own!
1) Start sending the local A&Ps emails, letters, text messages and carrier pigeons, hassling them to get their January 2011 schedule up online already. You've had at least a month to get the next show organised- what's taking you so long!
2) Spend hours in the paddock staring at your wild, hairy beast trying to remember what he looked like in his summer coat. Much more entertaining than staying inside and watching America's Next Top Model. Ignore the stares of non-showie horsey types and family members. Of course they wouldn't understand.
3) Spend some time in the kitchen concocting a new kind of show shine, then test it on your hapless equine. I wonder if a combination of olive oil, shoe polish, ginger and margarine would work....? If it doesn't, present it to your friends or partner and pretend it's a dessert you've invented.
4 ) It's very important to browse TradeMe during the boring winter months. There are so many fantastic winter projects for sale, how could you possibly resist? I recommend purchasing horses of the same colour, say bay, so that they all blend together and your partner can't tell whether you have bought any more equines when he peers out at the paddock. This will come in handy when you get fed up of being bucked off previously mentioned winter project and resort to throwing him out into the field until further notice.
5) Clip 'I love New Zealand Showing' into your horse's furry winter coat. Don't pay attention to the sniggers. They're just jealous and envy your superior showie knowledge.
6) Practice some new workout moves to impress your fellow showies with when you hit the show circuit again. Teaching your Park Hack to roll over, spin round or perform a leap into the air on command could really make you stand out from the crowd and will undoubtedly impress the judge. Of course, some of us have ultra-special horses that don't need any training and will execute such awesome moves without our intervention. Getting some practice in while out on hacks or at winter dressage shows never hurts though.
7) If it's raining outside, try mock-cantering around the living room, pretending that you have just won a title at Horse of the Year. Make your partner/children/family cheer and play some suitable music to make it extra authentic. You will appreciate the practice when you win a major prize in 2011 and have already perfected your lap of honour.
Despite the unpredictable weather, some brave souls have been out showing.... and yes, I'm jealous. I want it to be next season already!
I hear there was a good turnout at the Canterbury Foal Show. You can read full results here. It was great to see Tracy Crossan (breeder of my filly) doing well with her new colt, Thornfield Richie Mac Finn. He took out the Hunter Type Foal to Mature Over 158cm and Irish Hunter Foal classes. Well done Tracy! You can see photos of Mac Finn and the other Irish foals that competed at the Irish Horse NZ Facebook Page.
Supreme Champion was the Hewson Family's 'Weston Park Tekapo.'
There looked to be some top quality babies at the North Islands All Breeds Foal Show as well. Champion was the sensational palomino derivative 'Graemar Showtime' (bred and owned by the breeder of another of my girls!) and reserve was Regent Park Gossip Girl.
The next show that I know of is the Nelson Youngstock Show on 30th May. Entries are being accepted until the 21st May so get in quick if you want to take your youngster over for an outing. Schedules and entry forms can be obtained by emailing Ryan Teece on at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fledgling magazine, Show Circuit, pipped other media to the post at the New Zealand Showing Awards last night. This is a great reflection on the magazine and is an apt reward for all the effort and passion that has gone into producing this publication.
I have personally loved being involved in the magazine and hope to be a part of it for a long time to come. It's always so refreshing and inspiring to be around people that want to look at things a little differently and keep upping the bar. I know Show Circuit will keep setting new standards in equestrian media which is really exciting.
Anyway, enough gushing.................!
The New Zealand Showing Awards looked to be a great deal of fun- I wish I could have been there. Maybe next year...although I do feel a tad shy about events like that as I seem to know a lot of horsey New Zealanders through email, phone and Facebook but haven't met an awful lot of them! If, like me, you couldn't make it, check out the results and pictures on either the New Zealand Equestrian Scene Facebook Group or over at the Show Ring Forum.
Kudos to Elizabeth Charleston for organising this, along with everyone who supported her. It's events like this that will keep showing interesting, exciting and will keep attracting new people to the sport :)