Thursday, 30 May 2013

Castle Howard

 Photo credit: Helen Gilbertson

  Photo credit: Sally Anne

What a beautiful long weekend we had at Castle Howard!  Everything from the setting to the weather was perfect.  I've never been to Castle Howard before, despite sharing a name with it, so it was lovely to spend three days there.

We set off on Friday afternoon with yet another new girl in tow, Lily this time.  Luckily everybody we've had so far has fitted into the clothing and costumes, and Lily was no exception.  After a much longer than necessary journey (navigation is not one of Helen's strong points!) we arrived and got set up.  There was nobody else on site whatsoever, so it was a very peaceful evening.  Tinker and Casper once again enjoyed being turned out on proper grass, and spent the majority of the evening stuffing their faces!

Everything went really well on Saturday, with both the boys doing lovely shows.  Benji was there with the Interesting and Unusual Team so it was good to see his displays.  It was absolutely baking hot and all three of us looked quite pink by the end of the day!  Once again we were all alone in the evening, and the boys (and me!) enjoyed snoozing in the evening sun in the arena.  

  Photo credit: Helen Gilbertson

Sunday was another beautiful day, and this time we had Ben with the Eagle and Vulture Team as company.  He arrived quite early and we were all still in bed!  I was awake though, and realised it was Ben as Tinker whinnied good morning at him.  Tinker is very particular with who he whinnies at (he has to know them very well), so I knew it had to be Ben!  Casper did his best show yet that morning, which was great as there were lots of people we knew watching us.  I can't say the same for Tinker, who was quite naughty in one section of his show!  It was during the choreography vaulting, and he is supposed to just be walking.  Every time I got into a new move he charged off into canter!  It took me about three attempts to get him to stay in walk - normally it's the other way around!  Sunday evening was beautiful again, with a really large full moon seemingly hanging in the sky.  Helen and I made the most of the lorry and had a lovely hot shower each, there was even enough hot water to wash our hair - what a novelty!  In all my nine years of performing at shows I have never once had a shower in a lorry.  It seems like such a small thing but it felt like a real luxury. 

We had been told it was going to rain on the Monday, and although it was slightly cooler and a bit windier there wasn't a drop of rain all day.  I had a slight costume malfunction during Casper's show, although nothing too embarrassing thankfully.  It was about three quarters of the way through the show when the zip of my lovely spotty dress burst open!  Helen and I had only been saying that morning that the zip felt quite weak (no rude jokes about my weight here please - the dress isn't at all tight!) and that it would probably pop one day - little did we know that one day would be that day!  I do wear a leotard underneath, so it wasn't too revealing, but still far from ideal.  Luckily my red cardigan was close to hand as I'd just taken it off for the catch during Casper's dance, so I was able to tie that round my waist and keep everything together - phew!  I finished the rest of the show in this fashion, and thankfully everything stayed together.  Definitely one of the more worrying moments I've had in a show for a while though!

Tinker's afternoon show was one of the best he's done in a long time.  His dance was foot perfect and he really did enjoy himself all the way through.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with him, and rounded the weekend off brilliantly.  We all had such a lovely time and it flew by - we couldn't believe it when it was time to pack up and go home already!  There's quite a few photos from the weekend, which you can see by clicking here.  We're off to Rawdon Fun Day next, and hoping for better weather there than we had last year!  I'll let you know how we get on.

Love Rosie x

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