Horse of the Year Show is, for many, the pinnacle of the showing calendar. It started yesterday and I went along to do some shopping and watch the Mountain and Moorland Connemara class.
It’s my fifth visit and I was delighted that the organisers have changed the timetable for the Mountain and Moorlands on the Wednesday morning. The Fells & Dales are the first in the ring, and the New Forest Pony and the Connemara Pony classes have been split. The upshot is that I get an extra half hour in bed 🙂
It was a shame to see only 10 New Forest ponies come forward – they are an iconic breed, versatile and suitable for adults and children alike. In comparison, 39 Connemara’s competed in their respective class.
I’m no expert on showing nor on the Connemara breed, so I won’t comment on the entries, however, as an enthusiastic amateur keen to show my on Connie, it was very interesting to see how the professionals do it (more on that here).
Considering how early it was, there were lots of spectators and a great atmosphere .
The tradestands open at 9am, so after watching these showing classes we headed to the shopping.
There were noticeably fewer shops this year, and as usual, there were quite alot of non-horsey stands (from makeup and nails, to massagers and exercise machines). I’m not saying this is bad – the massage machines were very good, and welcome after a long day – just an observation.
In the main, the majority of the equestrian stands were good quality and I spotted some new, innovative products as well as some bargins.