VQHA Trailblazer show 2003

Saturday, 4th of January 2003

On the third of January 2003, Willow (Shelby Leo Gold) and I made our annual trip to the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) Melbourne Summer Royal Horse Show. Usually I compete in both the Western Breeds section and the Adult Riding Club section. However, with Dumb still lame and Willow not qualified for the ARC section, I only competed in the Western breeds section. In 2004, I hope to be competing in the Western Breeds, Australian Stock Horse and ARC sections - fingers crossed!
The Summer Royal is the largest horse show in the southern hemisphere and is usually held at the Royal Showgrounds in Flemington. However, due to demolition/reconstruction works at the showgrounds, the show was relocated to the National Equestrian Center (NEC) in Werribee. Initially I was rather p***ed off about the change of venue (showgrounds is a wonderful venue with great facilities for horse and rider, Werribee is windy and dusty with good facilities for the horse but not the rider) however I found out that the Victorian Quarter Horse Association (VQHA) were holding their AA Trailblazer show at the NEC on the day before the RASV Western breeds classes. So going the extra distance to Werribee for two shows didn't seem so bad.

the float Thanks to the fact we booked our stable through the VQHA we got a stable for the Friday and Saturday nights. Many who booked throught RASV didn't get stables at all and therefore had to use the yards. That still left us with no accomodation for us. Luckily, the lady who transports me to shows kindly let us have her float to sleep in for the weekend. Here's Sioux (my faithful super strapper/drink fetcher/cheer squad/counsellor/assistant/flatmate) having a moment's rest, sitting at the front of the float. In the yard next to the float was the ASH stallion My Limited Edition (by My Bobbi Dazzler) owned by the Mellingtons. Unfortunately the RASV couldn't/wouldn't give them a yard, so this stallion lived in a yard at the show for five days! Ridiculous!
Willow's bum Here's Will in her stable, doing her Homer Simpson impression - "Can't talk - eating". This was taken just after she was unloaded off the float. She got stuck into her hay net straight away. After all, she had two hours lost eating time to make up for!

So after an early night, we got up at 5AM to start getting Willow ready. I don't like washing Will the night before a show as she ALWAYS rolls and somehow manages to get manure stains all over, no matter how many rugs you use or how much show sheen. So we started with breakfast, then a wash, then banding her mane. One nice thing about Willow is that she doesn't need any working in - unlike Dumb or any of the other Thoroughbreds I have owned! So a 5AM start is almost a sleep in compared to when I used to do the show hack thing.
The VQHA show started at 9 AM and was in the indoor arena - out of the sun and away from the wind and dust.
Third in 3yo QH filly We came third in 3yo Quarter Horse Filly which wasn't bad considering there were some nice fillies in the ring
starting the pattern Next came Amateur Showmanship. There were a few entries in this class, and showmanship isn't exactly one of my strengths. Here we are, about to start the pattern.
in the lineup and again in the line. Unfortuately we came 6th or something. Perhaps I should actually practice more at home ....
DA Lil' Bearcat lookalike When we arrived back at the stable, we found that Will had a new neighbour - a lovely Australian Spotted Pony gelding called Tya Leonardo. The first thing Sioux and I said was "he looks just like DA Lil' Bearcat!". And he really did. Unfortunately I didn't get any pics of him without his rugs :-( But he was very cute.

I decided to leave Will's bands in for the next day, hoping that she wouldn't rub her mane and trash them. Her mother, Dumb, is notorious for horse show sabotage - I swear that she holds a doctorate on the subject! It seems as though Dumb will do anything to sabotage my horse show preparations eg pulling shoes, rubbing out her mane or plaits, blowing tendons, cutting herself, getting into fights etc. all on the night before. I just hoped that Dumb hadn't taught her daughter any of these tricks, particularly the mane rubbing one ....
Continue on to day 2, the Summer Royal 2003