The Midland Counties Show on the first Saturday in June has traditionally been the first show of the season for Diva (Melland Queen of Scots), as it was this year, despite me entering a show the weekend before. Unfortunately, I was poorly and so had to miss that one, and literally until the day I wasn’t sure I would make this one either.

Black horse

I think the fact it was an afternoon class helped me to go, as it was a lot easier not rushing about, and with flu-like colds you usually feel worse early and late in the day. Plus, I really didn’t want to miss this one, as Diva has attended the show every year since she was two.

Flora the dog came along for the ride too, but I did end up arriving a little later than I had intended as things always take longer than you think they will when getting ready for a show! I went to collect my back number and then went to get Diva ready for her class.

We were ready in plenty of time, as the start was slightly delayed due to the judge, Mrs E Payne, being held up in the previous section she was judging. The classes got underway and soon it was time for Diva to go in the ring. We walked in first, as no one seemed keen to go in, and I do like to be first in if possible.

Horse in field

Diva walked out nicely and I was pleased with her initial trot round the outside of the ring. The steward indicated for me to stand in the middle after my trot, which saved some time for everyone as we all were ready to be looked at individually. Diva stood well, and then we walked away from the judge, before trotting back towards her, continuing round the ring a little further. When every pony had been seen, we were asked to walk around until the judge made her decision. To my absolute delight she pulled Diva in first place!

This win meant she went into the Shetland Championship, where she stepped out well once again, and the judge first awarded her Senior Champion, and then Overall Champion. I was so proud of her.

The championship win meant that Diva was eligible for the Price Family In-hand Championship. This is a very prestigious championship, with the winner going forwards to the final at the Horse of the Year Show in October. All stallions, mares, colts and fillies who won their breed or type championships are eligible and, with a place at HOYS at stake, most came forward. I was very proud of Diva flying the flag for the breed.

I did have to chuckle when we entered the ring and began to walk around with the other horses and ponies, as Diva was the smallest and, by far, hairiest equine in the ring! She again performed impeccably, and I discovered just how huge the ring was as we trotted for what felt like an age round to the back of the group.

The judge looked at each horse and pony individually, and then six were pulled forward for her final consideration. Diva wasn’t one of those six, but I could not have been more pleased or proud of my pony. All in all, a great day!

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