We had a fantastic day out competing at the Epworth Agricultural Show a few weeks ago with my daughter, Alyssia and her pony Jazz.
I can't believe it was only last year that she was there on lead rein and it was her first competition. This year she came back on her pony and was riding in the classes on her own.
I nearly chewed my arm off with nerves watching her. However, my 7 year old never had any nerves whatsoever and was really excited about going in the ring.
We arrived there early as we like plenty of time to enter our classes (pay our money and register) and then get ready. I always make sure Alyssia has all her showing clothes on under pull on trousers and a fleece to keep her clean so there isn't much to do other than plait her hair and do last minute brushing of our pony.
Everything is organised the night before. We bath our pony and Alyssia cleans her tack. I help her with the fiddly bits but she does the main bulk of the work. Usually we both come in from the stables looking filthy and need a bath ourselves.
We found everyone was very friendly at the show and we will definitely return. Our friends (the people we originally bought our pony off) were there showjumping and we bumped into lots of people we knew there too. It's a great atmosphere.
Alyssia entered Best Turned Out Pony and came third winning a beautiful medal and a rosette then she went in and competed in the Best Ridden Pony class, which had everything in from side saddle to lead rein in it. She came out with another third rosette and a medal too. She was so pleased.
As parents we were so proud of her - to think only last year she was being led around the ring by me. The way she is coming on is fantastic and she's really having a lot of fun. That's what it is all about in the end.