Where do I begin!
On the 1st September after a 6-hour journey, Maite, myself and our team of helpers arrived at the Exeter show ground, with our two PRMe’s to perform in a variety of competitions over a two-day show. This was a first for us and a first for the UK, until now no other venue had put on specific classes for the breed.
The horses arrived in good spirits; Bon Somni GSM, our stallion, was behaving well as was Blue Ocean our gelding, these boys only met on the lorry that morning, as Blue had recently arrived in the UK. Also joining us at the show was our good friend Claire Shearer with her lovely ridden mare Zaida, she too settled straight away.
Show time, Friday the 2nd had arrived, we had to prepare for dressage during the day and a parade class in the evening. Myself and Claire had entered for the British Dressage and Maite was taking on the MCI Lisboa test.
All three horses rode well and the scores were in:
- Chris Johns riding Blue Ocean – Novice 23 1stplace with 75%
- Claire Shearer riding Zaida – Medium 75 1stplace with 63%
- Maite Bonet riding Bon Somni GSM – MCI Lisboa 1st scoring 69.6%
What a start to this show, we had great scores, both my boys had entered their first tests receiving great scores plus Maite was able to ride typical Menorcan Dressage tack and outfit, something we all were fascinated to see.
That evening we had our 1st parade class. However I had been asked at short notice if Bon could step in and preform for classical trainer Nejc Turinek as his horse was lame, of course I said yes and with less than 10 minutes to go Nejc and Bon were on the same page and off they went to perform the “airs above the ground” to music, while we carried on getting ready for the parade class.
For the parade we had teamed up with Sian Parkes who owns Donald TB, Sian and Claire had decided to ride together in their British Dressage outfits while Maite and I were presenting the boys in traditional Menorcan fiesta attire. This was our opportunity to ride alongside the other horses form Spain and Portugal, and show the Menorcan’s off to the crowd. The horses were super and the huge crowd loved them, Maite and I also had the chance to perform the ‘Bot’, defiantly something the UK audience would love to see. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and definitely ended day one on a high.
Day two, Saturday 3rd September. It was an early start for us as we had to be in the ring for 8.20am for our in-hand class, then get ready for the ridden showing class. We presented them well in both the in hand and ridden classes, and they scored as follows.
In hand PRMe:
- Blue Ocean 1stplace
- Zaida 2ndplace
- Bon Somni GSM 3rdplace
- Bon Somni GSM 1stplace
- Blue Ocean 2ndplace
- Zaida 3rdplace
Later that day Bon and Nejc had another routine and we had our final parade class. The crowd were on fire, we could hear them cheering for Nejc and Bon Somni, although I was unable to watch them, it gave me a great feeling knowing my friends and family were in the crowd to see him do what he does best.
For the parade we presented them the same as the previous night, however this time we had a full house. There was an audience of 2100 people waiting for us. We paraded well and our time was coming to an end this time we held the horses back, until we were last in the arena, I could hear people in the crowd asking for more. So rather than leaving I looked at Maite and she gave the same look back so we about turned rode back up the arena preformed the ‘bot’ at the top end then at the bottom, leaving our mark on a very happy crowd, a moment we will never forget.
As the show came to an end, we rode for the last time to wave out the audience while carrying our flags, then stood outside the arena saying our goodbyes. We received amazing feedback about the horses and it was truly a magical few days.
We are already looking forward to the Festival of the Iberian Horse in September 2023 in the UK, come and visit us there!
Forbes Stock Stud