We were a small select group this year for Ladies day at the RDS. Once again our tickets were given to us by Ms Joan O’Connor, a client of mine, to whom we are most grateful. F&I Association members, Grainne Sugars and Faith Ponsonby joined Lynn Petersen (BHS CEO) me and a friend Bridget Radnedge in the Judges and Stewards box for the morning entertainment of the 4 and 5 year old Young Event Horses. We then lunched in the Champagne Bar whilst watching some very smart Lightweight Hunters.
Lynn spent a busy afternoon shopping and networking, meeting up with the ladies who run the BHS stand – Susan Spratt (D.O. for Ireland) and Shelagh Laird (BHS Approvals officer for Ireland), Ms Linda Young of The Association of Irish Riding Schools and Declan McArdle who is another BHS Assessor and is employed by Teagasc , Ireland’s department of agriculture. Lynn has said she will not tell the BHS staff, who man the stands at various shows in the UK about the apparent luxury provided for Susan & Shelagh in the main shopping mall!
We then met Joan’s beautiful yearling filly who arrived ready for her class on the Friday with the other mares and foals owned by the breeder Mr Derry Rothwell of Co. Wicklow. To get the chance to walk around the stables looking at all this magnificent horseflesh was a pleasure in its self, and I see from the Horse and Hound reports that many of the winners went home with other owners. It is a well known fact that the majority of people showing at RDS hope to take fewer horses home at the end of the week. It was fairly obvious who was buying what when and where.
A trip to Simmonscourt afforded us the chance to see the show jumpers warming up ready for the afternoon’s jumping classes in the main arena, always interesting. Some light hearted demonstrations by Joel Chacon and Le Compte du Montacrue and later Clemence Faivre riding with no bridle as she performed some Haute Ecole movements around the Main Arena show jumps made sure we didn’t just watch show classes or jumping.
I always feel I want to spend every day at the show, Ireland winning the Nations Cup on the Friday was magic on the TV it must have been fantastic to be there. However we did return on the Saturday when Fran, Bridget and I were treated by Joan to lunch in the tiered grandstand whilst watching two jumping competitions. Bridget was amazed as everyone stood up and stood very still whilst the Irish National Anthem was played for the winners of those two classes – Billy Twomey and Conor Swail, both Irishmen. Now that doesn’t happen at Hickstead!
Report by Jillie Rogers BHSI