Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tunstall Carnival

Well it was a few weeks ago now, but I've been that busy I'm only just writing about it now!  Saturday 27th July and myself, Helen, Tinker, Casper and (yet another new girl!) Carrie set off for Tunstall Carnival.  As we all know, it's been absolutely beautiful weather all summer, but just as we arrived on site the skies opened and it absolutely poured with rain!  Having set up as best we could (leaving as much as possible on the lorry), we settled down for the night.  

Unfortunately the stable tent has seen better days, and has pretty much lost all its waterproofness. So although the boys had a roof over their heads for the night, they were nonetheless pretty soggy come the morning.  In addition to this it sags all over and collects massive pools of water, meaning I had to get up in the night to empty it - not much fun!  A new marquee is top of my shopping list for next year!!

Thankfully by the morning the rain had eased off, and it actually came out quite nice for a while.  I had a really good morning practise on Casper, which I was especially pleased with as there was a fairground right next to us and he settled down very quickly.  Before too long it was time for the show, and unfortunately the rain started again just as we finished our warm up.  It then stopped again as we went into the arena and we thought our luck was in!  Casper was lovely, he did brilliant dancing and tricks, and was great to vault on. The arena was on a bit of a slope, which he normally uses as an excuse for naughtiness, but he held himself together beautifully so I was really pleased with him.  Towards the end of the show though our luck ran out.  Just as I started the explanation freestyle the rain came back - with a vengeance!  I haven't been rained on that heavily in a show (or at all in fact!) for years!  Casper took exception to it as well and kept trying to canter off.  I can hardly blame him, I'd have run away if I could.  However, it meant Helen had to lead him around so he stayed in walk, so not only were we all getting absolutely drenched, but I looked like I was on a lead rein too - not my best moment!  You can see from the little video below just how wet it was!

Unfortunately it really was too torrential to finish the show with the canter freestyle.  Especially with the arena slope it was just too dangerous.  We did canter round waving the fan to finish, and even though we'd lost most of the audience by that point, there were a remarkable number who stayed until the end clapping and cheering, albeit huddled together under umbrellas!  It had got to the point where we were all so wet it didn't really matter that it was raining any more.  By the time we'd got back to the tent, and the girls had packed the arena away we all looked like we'd been swimming.  We literally had to peel our costumes off, as well as everything else as we were all totally soaked to the skin.  Our make up didn't fair too well either and we all looked like very sad clowns!  Poor Carrie, it was her first day with us and not the best introduction.  Helen and I just kept apologising and telling her it usually is lots of fun, although I'm not sure she believed us!!

Not to worry, we're not made of sugar and we soon dried off.  We got into clean dry costume and I was just tacking Tinker up ready for a quick warm up before his display when we heard an announcement over the PA system that due to the weather they were cancelling the show, and thank you everyone for coming. Eeek! I raced up to see what was going on, and the organisers had in fact decided the ground conditions were too risky, and were already dismantling the arena.  It was such a shame, as of course the sun then came out and was blazing hot for the rest of the afternoon.  We were all very disappointed as we love doing the shows and it's always such a shame when events out of your control mean you are unable to.  I am very much hoping we will be able to return to Tunstall Carnival next year and be able to do two shows in glorious sunshine!  All the organisers were so lovely, so I hope for their sake as well next year is a scorcher.

We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to dry everything out as best we could whilst also packing away, although I'll still be spending the next week desperately trying to sort out and clean everything up. One hundred metres of soggy bunting is an absolute nightmare!

Next up is Garstang Show, where we will be performing our double act again.  It went really well at Byfleet Parish Day and it'll be the last time we're performing the double act this season, so I'm hoping it'll go out on a high. I'll let you know soon!

Love Rosie x