Saturday, 11 October 2014

Kings Bromley Show

Photo by Beth Dillon

The last weekend in July saw us heading up to Staffordshire for Kings Bromley Show. Luckily Imie was out of hospital and on the mend, although she still looked quite pale and interesting!  As the show was northwards Helen was due to meet us on site, so it was just Tinker, Casper, Monty , Imie and myself who set off on the Friday afternoon.  After the expected horrendous M6 traffic we finally arrived on site, and what a beautiful little show ground it was!  Everything was very square and neat and tidy, with lots of white marquees and plenty of bunting - perfect!  We had our own little coral, which meant we could have the horses wandering about whilst we set up.  The horses always love going to shows, as there is always so much more grass than they have at home.  Unfortunately Helen had got held up in traffic as well, so it was just Imie and I setting the tent up.  Poor Imie was still feeling very weak, but we just about managed it between us.  We'd just got the main awning up on the lorry tracking when Helen turned up - perfect timing!

I'd been looking forward to this show, as some friends were also going to performing with their horse act, Big and Little, and I had been wanting to see them for a while.  Pete and Tash had also bought the old Jive Pony lorry (affectionately known as Big Dur), which I had spent many a year driving up and down the country, so I was looking forward to seeing the old girl too!  I know it's silly to get sentimental about vehicles, but when Becca told me she'd sold Big Dur to Pete and Tash I was so happy it was still going to be out and about on the show circuit, and was hoping I'd bump into it (not literally of course!) sooner or later. 

There was also another old friend on site who I hadn't seen for a year or so.  John Pollard, or Polly, has a parrot show using rescue parrots which he trains to do all kinds of things.  He has a lovely set up and the birds really have fallen on their feet when they end up with Polly.  He came over for a chat whilst we were setting up, and it was great to have a long overdue catch up.  One of my favourite things about going to shows is meeting up with other performers.  Over the course of the year we meet up with so many old friends, as well as making plenty of new ones!

It was such beautiful weather that once we were all set up we decided to dine al fresco.  The shop table doubles up as a brilliant dining table, although unfortunately our camping chairs are a bit too low - our food ends up at about chest height!  The horses were still mooching about, and typically they both wanted to get far too involved.  I got up to take a photograph but has to dash back as I nearly lost my supper to Casper!

After a peaceful night (I always sleep really well at shows) we woke to find Pete and Tash had arrived during the night.  Big Dur had been re-signwritten and smartened up quite a bit inside, with lots of spotty oil cloth and new paint.  It looked great but it was funny to be back inside it.  When Becca bought it it seemed like a massive lorry, and it was compared to what we'd had before.  But then I'd bought my lorry which is a bit bigger with a much more spacious living, and having got used to that Big Dur seemed quite small!  And Becca has since bought an even bigger new lorry - lorry size is escalating!!  We spent a large chunk of the morning catching up with Pete and Tash, and it was lovely to see them.  Monty got on well with their two collies, mother and daughter Pickle and Lily, and we also had a visit from Alice, one of our most loyal fans who we hadn't seen since Stapleford Carnival last year.

We were due to perform our double act, and the arena was absolutely perfect for us.  Just the right size and dead flat - a welcome change after our last show at Rushden!  We just about had time to watch Pete and Tash's first show with Billy and Magpie before having to dash off to warm up, and it was really sweet.  Billy and Magpie are ex-circus ponies, and they have a lovely little liberty routine which we all really enjoyed watching.  You can find out more about their act on their website.  Before we knew it we were into the arena and away!  The show started off really well and was going perfectly until the start of Tinker's dance.  We'd just got into it when a fly flew straight into my mouth and went straight down my throat.  Yuk!!  I was coughing and spluttering whilst all the time trying to continue on with Tink's dance as if nothing was happening.  It felt like it was there for an absolute age, but by the time Tink was finishing up with his bow I'd manage to dislodge/swallow the offending fly.  Much as I hated it I'm sure it was a far worse experience for the fly!

The rest of the show went through really well, and Casper was a very good boy!  Helen was once again very nervous about her walk freestyle, having fallen off at every previous attempt during performance, but... SHE STAYED ON!!!!!  Not even a bit of a wobble in the lie out, hooray!!  I was so pleased for her, and you could tell by the grin on her face that she was over the moon as well.  I knew she could do it, it was just a matter of time.  It helped that Casper was walking nicely, and he kept up the good behaviour for my canter work.  A chap called Mervyn filmed this section of the show, so you can see for yourself how good he was.  I was a bit cautious though and didn't let go as much as I usually do - I wasn't going to be lulled into a false sense of security as I know him too well!! 

Mervyn also managed to get a couple of really good shots of the show, you can see them here along with a few others.  The whole show went brilliantly, although by the end I felt like I may actually spontaneously combust.  It was one of the hottest days of the year, and to be running around and vaulting virtually non-stop for forty-five minutes is beyond exhausting!  We had a lovely time though, and were so well looked after.  It's definitely a show I would love to go back to again, so fingers crossed we get invited another year!  Next up is a trip down to Poole for the two day Poole Town and Country Show - I'll tell you all about it soon!

Love Rosie x

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