From Rutland, it is much easier to go north or south than to go west, so the journey – although shorter in duration to when we went up to the Royal Highland Show – felt longer with the changes of motorways followed by the lesser roads near to the showground. We made it though and as usual the ponies, Diva (Melland Queen of Scots) and Jackson (Melland Jackson Jive), had travelled without turning a hair.

Our priority on arrival is always to find the ponies’ stables and get them settled in. Their stables were in one of the barns and I have to say they are the best we’ve ever stayed in with lovely wide corridors between the rows. We soon got the shavings down, water buckets filled and hay nets packed to capacity. Jackson always rolls in a new stable and this time was no different. Diva just set about the hay net as if she hadn’t been eating on the horsebox the whole journey.

Horses lining up

We then parked the horsebox up and got our bearings before going to give the ponies a bit of a leg stretch and final spruce up ready for the morning. The town is within walking distance, so we walked in with Flora to find something to eat and for her to also have a nice walk.

As you would expect, the quality in every class is always strong at the breed show. Both Jackson and Diva were third in their classes, which were good results. Diva had another class to compete in this year: the progeny class for a mare and two of her progenies. It was lovely to see Diva’s mum (Melland Ieper Star) and sister (Melland Precious Clover) for the first time since I went to see Diva as a yearling. They are very alike, and we were delighted that they won the class.

Next year’s breed show is up in Inverness, and we won’t be taking the ponies there as it is just too long a journey. Fingers crossed that the next one is further south, so we can take them, as it is lovely to see a show dedicated specifically to the Shetland pony with classes in hand, ridden, working hunter, and driving.

Horse with ribbon on head

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