Diva’s next show just happened to be scheduled for one of the hottest days of the summer! Her pal, Melland Jackson Jive, had stayed over at the yard so my sister and I could travel together on the day. Jackson made us chuckle when he rolled in the stable and ended up wearing what looked like as many shavings as were on the stable floor.

We were up at the crack of dawn and it was already getting warm. We fed the ponies and then gave them a brush and put on some hoof oil before loading them up and heading off for the two-hour journey to the 2019 Aylsham Show in the beautiful grounds of Blickling Hall.

We travelled through some lovely countryside and arrived at the already busy showground in good time. Diva was the first of the ponies in the ring, so I got changed into my showing outfit and Michelle went to the secretary’s tent to get our competitor numbers and to locate our ring. We got Diva off the horsebox when Michelle got back, and with a final polish Diva was ready for the ring.

Luckily, there was plenty of shade outside the ring, and Diva—or Melland Queen of Scots to give her show name—waited patiently, having a pick of grass until her class was called in the ring. The judge complimented me on Diva’s manners when she was looking her over and thought she had a bright future in front of her. The standard of the class was high and I was pleased with our fourth place.

Michelle and Jackson arrived at the ringside as Diva and I were doing our lap of honour. They walked back to the horsebox with us and after offering Diva a drink I loaded her up and then we went back to the ring in time for Jackson’s class. He’s really looking mature now and was placed second in another very strong class. This qualified them for the championship, and by now the day was really heating up. I have never been so pleased at not getting into a championship, as it was much nicer standing in the shade than running around in the ring!

Although Jackson wasn’t placed in the championship, we were very pleased with him and took him back to the box to have a drink and to give both ponies some hay and a small feed. I had moved the horsebox round so that the ponies were in the shade and the interior nice and cool.

Once the ponies were settled, Michelle and I changed into shorts and T-shirts and had a wander around the trade stands at the show. There was a display of budgerigars and as Michelle was looking at the multicoloured birds I had a go on the fundraising tombola. To my surprise I won a pretty scented candle. Michelle decided to have a go too and I had to laugh when she won a dustpan and brush!

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