Scottish Grass Sickness Show 2010

Date posted: 8th June 2010

Scottish Grass Sickness show 2010

Last sunday (6th June) was the first ever Scottish Grass Sickness Show held in Blairgowrie, Perthshire. Having lost a youngster to the disease myself, I know first hand how awful it is so was delighted that someone had gone to the effort of creating a special show in order to raise funds for research as there is still so little known about the disease.

My 4 year old gelding Tjipke was in the in hand horse class where he was placed 2nd. The winner of this class was a lovely cleveland bay gelding and from the little I know of the breed he was indeed a good example and also well behaved, so a worthy winner.

The next class for us was the ridden horse and for this class I entered Oscar who was awarded 3rd place. Oscar had great fun trying to put on a show, he really fancied going a bit faster with the group of cantering horses and because I did not let him he decided to jump into the air instead! He really is such a show off but enjoys himself I am sure. The photographer, Robert Kilpatrick caught the performance and got some great pictures of Oscars little display.

Finally I entered Tjipke into the leisure horse class, this was his first ridden show and I was so pleased with his performance, he only made 7th place in this class, not marked down on anything he had done wrong but purely because the judge was looking for horses who she felt would be the perfect horse for hacking (which Tjipke is actually very good for) and suitable for anyone to ride. Although Tjipke did not put a foot wrong I do fully understand the judges decision as he is a big sporty horse and could look a little intimidating to the more nervous or inexperienced of riders. I am sure that the winners of this class would have been lovely leisure horses.

This was most certainly one of the better shows that I have been to so far for a number of reasons. Firstly, every effort had been made to create classes so that any breed of horse or level of rider/horse combination could take part. Secondly, the rings were big enough to safely canter around which was a refreshing change as it is so often not the case. Thirdly it was obvious that the judges were very knowledgeable and experienced horse men and women, who actually looked as though they wanted to be there. They made an effort to speak to every rider/handler, were friendly and what I think is ever so important is that they explained the way in which they judged the classes without being asked to do so. I firmly believe that every judge should be able to tell you why you have been marked up or down in your class and it makes showing a bit of a farse when the judge can not give his or her reasons for the way in which the class has been judged.

All in all the day proved to be a great experience for all involved, it was lovely to see such big classes too. I have to say I was a little worried about the amount of horses in the rings all cantering around together especially as it was Tjipkes first show under saddle but he handled it well and it was great fun. The organisers must have been pleased that so many people had come along to support the show in its first year. It was also great to see some Friesian crosses but especially good to see a very handsome purebred Friesian gelding who was a little sweetheart named Zorro and ridden by a young rider who was clearly enjoying the event which is what showing should be about.

The photographer, Mr Robert Kilpatrick took some fantastic pictures of all of the horses on the day which can be seen at www.robkil.co.uk

Picture of Oscar 314, taken by Robert Klpatrick.
The video clip is of Tjipke, my 4 year old boy.

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