It was a fine dry evening with some lovely sunshine and enough of a breeze to merit an amendment to the AIRC dressage tack sheet: in future bandanas are permissable at our club dressage competitions (they might even be permissable for the horses, if they lobby strongly enough!).
Day after day of fine dry weather together with meticulous preparation of the surface contrived to produce a desert landscape where everybody expected a tumbleweed to blow through at any moment. Suzanne and Liz rode first and delivered accomplished and practiced tests which bore testament to the tuition they had received from Patricia over the preceding weeks. Libby and Rachel were next into the arena and bore equally telling testament to their lack of tuition. They had both chosen to concentrate the previous weeks on the challenge of Flowerhill and their dressage performances told the tale. But they did at least perform, thus overcoming (at least for Libby and Mai) a major psychological obstacle standing between them and the upcoming show season.
The wild west scene was completed when Leo rode next into the arena. His lovely new mare (as yet unnamed but Tumbleweed or High Noon are surely possibilities?) was on her toes but Leo managed manfully under the cool and collected direction of Liz who orchestrated things from the centre of the arena as she calmly called the test. Patricia concentrated on the performance, shouting some instruction at hairy moments, while her scribe, Joanne Cuffe, dusted the sand from her quill and recorded Leo’s progress diligently.
Vera and Finbar arrived just in advance of Paddy. Meanwhile, Cyril quietly tacked up Lady and hopped on board in time for a thorough warm up. The evening was in full swing as the first competitors departed and the later shift arrived. All in all, it was an excellently organised competition where everybody got great value from a patient and helpful judge. Many thanks to Liz, Joanne and Patricia.
Pictured below: Milford’s wild west show complete with motley performers. More pictures in the Gallery.