Area 36’s Debut Area Show (22nd April)
The first time we went to a show when we moved to Wales 6 years ago, we were confused by the titles of the classes and when we asked the person organising the driving classes what was wanted and why such odd class titles, we were told that people in West Wales ‘don’t do showing’. Well our first West Wales Area Show on Easter Monday exploded that myth with an astonishing 13 forward for the Exercise Vehicle class – and all good turnouts. We had the weather and no doubt that helped us but a walk around the lorry park proved that people had prepared for the day, not just turned up on a whim.
Our judge Mrs Vivien Hampton was thorough and helpful and made sure that she offered advice if needed and encouragement to our show ring newcomers. It was great to watch whips’ nerves dissolve as the classes went on and the smiles told the whole story.
There were a few truly stand out moments of the day and the opening class (Tack and Turnout) saw the show ring debut and win by a stunning black and white stallion, Jacko, beautifully produced and driven by Mysti Bartrum. This wonderfully mannered pony behaved impeccably all day and is definitely one to watch. Another special moment was the 3rdplace earned by Delia Harding and her pony Buffy. Delia had told me that this was the year she would enter her first and only show – just to prove that she could do it. A very well earned 3rdplace of the 7 forward in the Pleasure Driving and the delight on Delia’s face tells me we may see her out again. Peter Edwards driving Star was every inch the correct turnout but declined the Osborne 4 wheel Exercise Vehicle Qualifier as he and partner Rowena Moyse are scheduled to be away in Hungary for the FEI World Championships – good luck to them. That qualifier passed to Michelle Peter’s driving Anthea Birch’s newly combined and very promising pair of ponies, Merlin and Yanto. And we had a new Junior competitor in Piper Thomas, grand-daughter of Branch Chair Penny Hopkins. Piper’s enthusiasm and confidence driving Clare Powell’s gorgeous Sooty means that we have high hopes for her for the future.
The true stars of the day, however, were Mac and Jenny Humphries with their lovely pony Pennwood Wisper who stood Champion in the non-Traditional final. Mac looked completely overwhelmed but deserved the rewards for many years of patient hard work with this quirky pony. They also picked up qualifiers for the Osbornes, Victoria Foods and BDS Wales Championship. I don’t believe there was a person there who wouldn’t join me in wishing them well for the season.
Lots of other special people, ponies and horses but the photographs, especially the beautiful and moving ones taken by Glyn Evans (Ffotoimage), tell the story. The help of Angharad Morris and Ed, Priscilla Bubb, Toby Jackson, Annette Davies and stand in ring steward James Todd meant I enjoyed every moment of this show, even making the rolls at 6am! I love showing and wanted to prove that it can be fun, stress free and a learning experience – the feedback tells me it was and I’m fairly humbled by all the kind comments. Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters and well done everyone.
Jenny Todd (BDS Area 36 Area Commissioner)
Photos can be found on the BDS West Wales Facebook Group, as well as Glyn Evans’ Page.