I am now slowly recovering from multi tasking at The National Shire Show last weekend, combining my love of showing heavies with working on the Saracen trade stand. I am very lucky that my employers actively want to support the heavy breeds and felt it was important to have a presence at such a poignant show in the calendar, but also recognised how important it was for me to be able to continue showing our own horses. To enable us to do this my colleague, Kate Hayward, was drafted in for the weekend. Kates horse experience was wholly based around light horses, with a passion for eventing, but the power of the heavy horse world and meeting Richard and Emma Green’s two gorgeous Shire stallions, Ringston Rueben and Acle Supreme soon had her hooked on the “fluffy feet”, as she now calls them! Our well positioned trade stand allowed us to see Acle Supreme take the Novice Ridden class and Ringston Rueben win a hotly contested HOYS Ridden class, kicking the show off to a great start for Saracen competitors!! Friday saw so many Saracen fed horses come through the ring, which was amazing to see and be there to support our customers.
Saturday was a day for coffee, following a 4am start, to get our 3 horses ready for the ring that morning. First class being at 8am with the 2yr old gelding, at his first ever show (nothing like going in at the deep-end!! Immediately after the class I was back on the stand ready to speak to the many customers we had coming to visit us. We were overwhelmed with the amount of people wanting to come and have a chat about their horses’ diets, particularly after seeing how well so many Saracen fed horses were looking in the ring down below. This was just in time for the prominent Senior Stallion class, in which another of our loyal customers, Paul Clayton, competing his stallion Tremm-Y-Wydffa Huws’s Curiosity took the class by a storm for another Saracen win! Kate was completely mesmerised by all the goings on, being so far removed from what she is used to, and being a self-confessed magpie on the sight of all the shiny turnouts when they came in for their class. She even made noises about hanging up her HS1 and body protector in exchange for a flat cap and an in hand whip!
Not only was Sunday another 4am start, but someone had deemed it necessary to dump the white stuff all over the showground the night before, making it very difficult to move horses around and get prepped. But, us heavy horse people are made of strong stuff and we all cracked on despite the weather, the Shire Horse Society did a great job of clearing the showground, in Victoria Claytons own words “I don’t like being beaten, not even by mother nature!!” We needed to produce two horses for the ring this time, as it was our “big day” and time to crack out the decorated harness!!! Ground conditions were too bad to get to the ring first thing, so judging took place in the stable block and we were absolutely delighted to win the class with our own Craghall Connor, owned by Pip Read. Therefore, making it yet another win for Saracen horses at the show! Spectators were understandably put off with the weather so unfortunately the footfall was down throughout Sunday, but competitors stood firm and got their horses in the ring to compete regardless.
All in all, a great weekend all round. I’ve been inundated with messages from people with heavy horses of all descriptions since the show requesting advice for the season ahead, which is fantastic. We saw at least 4 wins for Saracen fed horses as well as numerous placings and so many happy customers coming to tell us how pleased they are with the difference in their horses. We can’t wait till next year’s show, to catch up with everyone again. Who knows I might have even managed to convert Kate to buying her own by then too!!