I thought I would introduce you properly to Diva’s granny! I bought Mabel back in 2004 as an unshown five-year-old, and she is my horse of a lifetime. (Diva, please note: you are a pony!).
I remember the first show I took her to; she was very green, and I chose a ridden novice class for her. She came second, I think, and I still have the lovely photo of her head taken at the show. Later that same season, she qualified for the BSPA class at the Royal International Horse Show. The ride she gave me there was great, and despite being out of the placings, it still rates as one of my best experiences with her despite several more outings at the show.
Other high notes include winning the Royal International Qualifier at the BSPA Winter Championships ahead of my friend Kirsten on her traditional mare, a stable mate to Mabel. There might have been a bit of an unprofessional squeal from me when Kirsten got pulled in second! I also won at the Royal Norfolk Show, having travelled there alone and borrowed a friend’s boyfriend to groom for me. She was also fourth in the Novice Working Cob class at Lincolnshire County Show.
We have galloped up beaches and stubble fields like kids and then put our best bib and tucker on and competed at some of the best shows in the country. My only regret is that I never took her to the Great Yorkshire Show, which was the show I went to watch as a child.
After retiring her from the show ring due to injury, I decided to put her in foal and was delighted that the 30-year-old elite graded stallion Amadeus was still covering a select few. Mabel got in foal easily, and she safely delivered a beautiful piebald filly foal,Florence, on my birthday no less, in 2013.