Charlotte Burchell on Shadow Here and There. Picture by Peter Boam.
CARRIAGE driving was one of the star attractions at this year’s Royal IW County Show, as it made a triumphant return to the programme, and IW success was enjoyed as well.
It was first time lucky for Havenstreet sisters Kirsty and Abigail Newnham, who took along their cob pony, Troy, and a carriage lent to them by IW Riding for the Disabled, to compete in a few classes.
And the team certainly hit the ground running, winning the exercise pony class and coming third in the IW Residents’ class.
"This was our first time in carriage driving," said Abigail, 22. "We’ve had Troy five years now and he does a lot of work with Riding for the Disabled, and we thought 'why not have a go’. Riding for the Disabled lent us one of their carriages so we could take part and we’re so happy to have won first time.
"We’ll definitely be back for more!"
The wish to return to the rejuvenated show seemed to be echoed by all the competitors who, despite high winds which unsettled the horses at times, really enjoyed the experience.
As did the judges. Jo Halnan-Blackwell judged the carriage driving and could not believe the standard.
"I’ve just come from the Royal Cornwall show and I have to say the standard and quality of entries here eclipsed them. It has been a brilliant day. Carriages have come from all over the country to take part. Some of them are of national standard and looked incredible. It was an honour to judge."
The showing rings were also hailed a success by show secretary Trish Collins, who ran the show section with Rosemary Edwards.
She said entries were high and of a good standard, with a notable rise in the number of Shetland ponies as well as Mountain and Moorland (M&M) varieties.
"I think a large part of it is economics," she said. "Mountain and Moorlands are very hardy animals, that are cheaper to run and sturdy enough to still be ridden by adults, so I think people are tending to keep those more. The Shetland entry was fantastic, it would seem the trend for miniature animals has played its part."
Two of the big winners on the day were Brynera Elins Last, owned by Jennifer Attrill, which was named M&M part-bred and overall champion.
Youngstock horse Endymions I’m On Fire, owned by Lucinda Wilkins, was named young horse champion, and was reserve part-bred champion.
The showjumping ring had a packed day of action, with many mainlanders making a choppy crossing to take part as well.
Karen Begley kept the IW flag flying early in the day, winning the 80cm and 90cm open on Harlequinn II and My Mission Impossible, horses belonging to her sister, Sharon Waghorn.
Later in the day she rode her own horses, Dubai Star and Mondriaan II in the main senior events, the 1.20cm and 1.30cm open, picking up a second place rosette with Mondriaan in the 1.20cm.
It was a great day for Godshill youngster Sophie Colson in the junior classes, as she collected several prizes with three of her ponies.
She and Beaulieu Bandaide came third in the 80cm open and 90cm open, while she had triple success with Charlie Pride II, coming second in the 90cm open, third in the 1m open and winning the 1.10m open.
With Chrystal Chandelier, she won the 1m open and came second in the 1.10m open.
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
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