Stick or not to stick, that is the question

Tomorrow, I shall be getting up super early and heading to Addington Manor for the Sports Horse Breeding and British Show Horse Association joint Judges assessment day. I was so excited to have been accepted although now the nerves are kicking in a bit. I love judging and I am good at it but am I good enough for the top people who will be assessing me? The people who have judged me, who I […]

Continue Reading

Marks system – good or bad?

I am normally a fan of Simon Reynolds’ column – saying it how it is, not scared to be a bit controversial, bringing up current topics. But this week, discussing the marks system in showing and I have to object.I agree with him when it comes to “the same old rumblings” – it does seem to be a continual debate, seemingly as endless as the EU referendum. But I disagree that marks are a bad […]

Continue Reading

Conformation training day

Turning up at Folly Fields Farm in Wicken near Milton Keynes for the British Show Horse Association Conformation Training Day, I didn’t know what to expect. There was a gathering of people, mostly women, all in tweed, keeping warm with cups of tea. I stood out instantly as the baby of the group in a leather jacket! Thankfully I saw a familiar face in Sandra Curtis who I had judged with before so joined the […]

Continue Reading

“The Future of Showing” report

What is the FUTURE of SHOWING? An open debate held at Stoneleigh Park on Sunday 21st February 2016 with panel members of Sandy Anderson and Emma Wardell from Grandstand Media, Professional producers Craig Elenor and Rory Gilsenan, M&M exhibitor and judge Lizzie Briant, amateur exhibitor Jonathan Fry, show organiser Carolle Lee Jones and journalist Tricia Johnson.   Firstly, thank you to Gail Chapman from TSR for arranging the event. It was a fantastic opportunity for key […]

Continue Reading

New Year, New You

It’s 2016 and this year everything is going to be different! You have made a whole list of resolutions and it’s not even the end of January and you have already broken most of them. You know that gym membership is going to be wasted by February and the green healthy detox smoothie is getting boring already. I am a big fan of New Year – representing a fresh start but at the same time […]

Continue Reading

Taking a risk

Showing is about performing, it’s about standing out from the crowd, it’s about that something special… But where do you draw the line? When does showmanship become circus tricks, when does standing out become a distraction? I saw a Horse and Hound feature “7 incredible moments from 2015 showing season” – top of the list were two moments involving cobs. Firstly, Simon Charlesworth standing on top of Vicky Smith’s Fait Acobbli at the British Show […]

Continue Reading

Strictly Come Showing

I am loving Strictly Come Dancing – the elegance, the sparkles, the music. It’s harmless entertainment on a Saturday night. The only stress is –  Who to support? Jay McGuiness or Jeremy Vine? Three weeks ago, Jay did the most incredible Pulp Fiction themed dance scoring the first 9s of the series (definitely worth youtubing if you haven’t seen it). Jeremy however scored 4s and 5s with an awkward, stilted routine. There is no argument […]

Continue Reading

Burn all Scrunchies!

My eyes struggle to focus, I take a deep breath, my palms start to sweat, my breaths shorten – yes someone is wearing a scrunchie! People laugh at my ridiculous dislike for anything scrunchie related but they don’t understand that this is not just a mild issue – this is a marmite level of hate and something to be taken very seriously. Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City) famously declared that no woman of […]

Continue Reading

The plight of the Amateur show rider

Squeezing in a quick schooling session before a 9am meeting, trudging into a field wearing a suit with wellies, discussing financial profitability on the phone while applying a poultice – can an amateur ever truly compete against a professional? An amateur, by its dictionary definition, is someone who competes for the love of something rather than for an income – not necessarily an inferior. They may even be at an advantage over a professional in […]

Continue Reading