We left Solo on his own at the RWF at around 12.30 pm on Wednesday night. We had stayed to watch the show and then we walked him one last time, fluffed up his bed and tucked him in. He was NOT sleepy.
The General Governor’s Cup, the line class for three year old Canadian Sport Horses in hand, started at 7.30 in the morning. WOW, I expect to have to do the odd eventing dressage test at seven thirty but I wasn’t expecting to have to produce a polished line horse at that anti social hour. We went to bed around 2am and got up at 4am. We were lucky enough to be able to stay with Sean and Geraldine Dennis who own half of Solo. They live 10 minutes from the Exhibition Centre and we really appreciated being able to go ‘home’ to a warm cozy house to sleep. When we got to the RWF around twenty past four, the place was already a bustle of activity. At 5.30 the warm ups began in the main ring and we saw a little of Nancy McLaughlin’s wonderful musical freestyle warm up at six thirty. There are no late mornings at the Royal.
Finally it was time to go into the ring. Solo was primped and preened and Selena was just putting on her outfit when I realized the number was still in the truck and the truck was in a car park, fifteen minutes there and back…..I did it in ten. Sean (who is a high-up at the Royal) went into the ring and handed Selena her number. Extremely useful that Solo’s owner just happened to have the authority to go right into the ring….phew!
There were sixty horses in the class. They all just stood there and the judge wandered around looking at them. Finally, after what seemed like hours they asked everyone except the chosen few to leave…..sigh…..yup, we had to leave, I guess the judge must be blind 😉 BUT!!!! Solo behaved like a star and he looked quite beautiful. The owner of “A Fine Romance”, Solo’s sire came to watch the class. She had not seen Solo before and she was very complimentary. As I looked around the ring there were many beautiful horses but none I liked any better than Solo.
We were really disappointed not to have the opportunity to trot Solo up for the judge. He is a spectacular mover and we had been practicing hard to be able to show him to his best advantage. It was a bit depressing to have done nothing but stand still, however, he DID stand still!
Coming home he once more loaded and traveled quietly and without incident. Once back at home, the whole experience caught up with him and he spent two days sleeping whether he was in the paddock or his stall. Solo now goes back to being a regular three year old, a lot less pampered and polished, and a major focus on under saddle work.
The Royal Winter Fair is always a fabulous time. This year it was really outstanding, and I would like to thank everyone who puts on this unique equestrian and agricultural gala. In particular, Brian the stabling supervisor, and Janice Blakeney, the show coordinator for their extra help in making the Royal such a wonderful and enjoyable first show for Solo.