Since the days of Next Milton winning pretty much everything his turned his hooves to, I have watched the Christmas horse shows on TV. I love them: the Shetland Pony Derby, the dog agility, the big parade and the huge show jumping courses...
This year, as a thank you for the wedding cake that I made way back in May, I got a ticket to go to the live show at Olympia, to see them all for actual proper real.
I should say that I am not in any way a rider. I had riding lessons for a few years but after loving the first few years up at a small stables just outside Sheffield, I moved to Kent and just never found a stables I felt comfortable at. I cancelled all further lessons after falling for the third time from a horse that I had requested never to ride again after it had bucked me off. There wasn't a shred of confidence left and I couldn't really see it being rebuilt. But horses on the TV never lost their appeal, particularly ones with tinsel on :-)
Tim got everything arranged, with first class train travel and a lovely hotel so all I had to do was turn up and enjoy. We were both a bit worried about travelling to London on the last weekend before Christmas, but it turned out to be strangely quiet on both the train and the underground. Hope it wasn't bad news for the shops.
We had a wander around the exhibition area which was full of the horseyest horsey things you could ever need before getting settled for the evening show.
There really isn't any other word for it but FUN. It has enough competition to get you to the edge of your seat, enough skill to put your chin properly on your chest, lots of humour with the Shetlands and the agility dogs, plus comedy commentary and if you are lucky you'll be live on TV in the Eurosport coverage. Fun? I think so.
The only thing it was terrible for was photography. Too dark to get a decent picture of fast moving things. So apologies to whichever horse this is!