Saturday was the day before Sunday…………….. and the Derwent Trail Race, so Anna and I had a relaxing day at the Hesket Newmarket Show, to support Sally on her horse in the show ring.
There were all sorts of events going on, 3 main rings with horsey things going on in one, pet things and dogs in another and cattle and sheep in the third. Meanwhile there was a fell race up and down High Pike, a poultry tent, the usual crafts and produce competitions and a beer tent selling the local Hesket Brew………… Hmmmm???? Where to go first.
Sally was in the main show ring on her horse, so we headed there. There were all sizes and ages of both horse and rider; in fact the only category I didn’t see was best Panto horse, but maybe thats one for next year….
The Fell Race was a route up and down High Pike from the showground. No fun runners here … no they were all deadly serious and the winning time of 51 mins was pretty quick, although I believe Anna has this race in her sights for 2011?????
A lot of the produce section was quite familiar, and if only we’d known what was required, we might have entered; take a look at these puny excuses for courgettes, and these chucks in cages … nowhere near as gorgeous as my 3 girls (eggless at time of typing).
All in all it was a great day out and a must for next year, when I’ll be expecting prizes in the courgette class, the poultry, the male only cake baking, the ladies fell race (it gets Anna out of the house), and of course the new discipline of best Panto horse (with Pete).
On Saturday, Ian and I met Sally, James, Kirsty and Oliver at the Aspatria Point to Point race meeting. Breezy and sunny it was great weather, if a little chilly from time to time, and the meet was well-attended; we met several other people we knew at the course or in the beer tent.
As Oliver is not yet two it was his first experience of betting but Ian, who had a misspent youth himself, soon had him at the bookies’ stands getting odds on a horse also called Oliver.
All the horses competing are hunters, mostly locally in the north and Borders hunts. 23 hunts are listed in the Northern Area Point-to-Point Association; I must admit I had not realised there were quite so many. My equestrian ambition had always been to ride well enough to hunt but I doubt I will ever achieve this though Sally and I did discuss the novice meets with a chap dressed as if he knew what he was talking about.
I am reliably informed by my tipster that many of the horses have top pedigrees. The breeding isn’t something I know about but the look of the horses is enough evidence of quality. Sal and I were bowled over by some of the handsomest specimens – of the horses that is (just to clarify). A lot of the riders were women and they are braver than I; it is all very fast and scary especially over the jumps. At least if you fall off when climbing you are unlikely to be trampled by hooves. Fortunately on this particular day, although there were some falls, no-one was hurt.
And as our winnings more than covered our entry fees it was a great day’s free entertainment.
As the weather remains a bit dismal and the clouds over the fells look lowering – although admittedly it did not rain today – it is necessary to find forms of exercise other than climbing and fell-walking. (Yes we are still running, got soaked to the skin with freezing rain this week, made us feel like proper hard runners not just dilettantes, maybe we’ll be in the OMM next year….)
Luckily Nesta has two riding horses, as well as a donkey and an unbroken cob, so we took them out. It was ages since I’d used my riding kit, luckily jodhpurs are stretchy.
Jasper is huge. 17.2 at the withers. It is a long way down when you are up there and I do need to use the mounting block to get on board.
After a hair raising drive through Monterrey, we arrived at Hidaglo, a sprawling Mexican town dominated by the cement factory. The thing that struck me immediately was the number of emaciated dogs around the place, some lying on the road, others chasing cars. We stopped on the roadside to study the final directions to the Podosa camp ground. A car backfired, or so we thought, but then we saw the smoking gun and the fleeing dog! He’d live to bark another day.
Climbing to die for. Many routes just seconds from the road and all lengths and grade, though centre of gravity towards higher end.
Here you see Terry on the long corner second pitch of “Will the Wolf Survive’, 5.9
Everett did a good job on the third pitch, harder, steep and sustained 5.9
Meanwhile, the girls rode the canyon on their horses ‘Which way’s the border’