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Royal Highland Show 2004

Thursday 24th June

Heather Honey aka Heigh Ho

Photo by Stan Pritchard

Ronnie, Shona, Nicki, Diane and I had arrived at the showfield in convoy about 3.30pm on Wednesday, having travelled through horrible wind and rain. The ponies had all loaded well and travelled calmly. They settled in very quickly to their new accommodation.

We were up at the crack of dawn that morning to be ready for the first class (brood mares and foals) at 8.15am. Fortunately, all the ponies had stayed clean overnight. The weather was dreadful: pouring rain and a high wind, which had kept me awake and worried half the night. Willie Sinclair had agreed to lead Rabbie Burns for us. Rosemaree was sixth out of a strong class. We had a break after this when the yeld mares were shown. Then it was the turn of Elise, in the three year old filly class. She was seventh and just out of rosettes. Next to be shown was Heather Honey, the two year old filly by Fyfedene. She had only been shown once before and was on her mettle! She was placed second. Shona led Rhanna and Ronnie handled Hosanna in the yearling filly class. Rhanna was fourth.

Several changes of our clothing were soaked through and with no dry outdoor gear, we decided not to go to the HPS AGM

Friday 25th June

Hosanna and Rhanna, St John's Wells

Photo by Stan Pritchard

When we woke up this morning, it was like being on a different planet from yesterday's! The sun was shining, it was warm and the ground had dried up remarkably.

We all watched the Highland Pony Ridden classes, where the top ponies were excellent. Gillian McMurray's lovely mare, Trailtrow Taransay, won the small class and Millgrove Tayberry won the large. Both gave the judge, Erik McKechnie, very good rides, but, in the end, he chose Gillian's mare as Ridden Champion. She's a beautiful pony and a worthy representative of the breed to go forward to Olympia in December.

In the stand was a lovely gathering of people associated with us: Lena and Steve from Sweden, George, Barbara and Cameron from USA, Nicki and Diane from Norfolk, Chrissy Prichard, her boyfriend Mark and her father Stan (Chrissy used to keep her ponies at Fourmerk and now lives in Lanark), Shona, Kim(who was helping us with the ponies), Shona's friend Alison and her boyfriend, and as more friends arrived, I gave up trying to introduce them all.

Later in the day, Ronnie and Shona showed the yearling fillies in the St John's Wells competition, which is for the best matched pair by the same sire or out of the same dam. It's a spectacular sight to see all these pairs of ponies from M&M breeds. Our two young fillies behaved very well and ran out beautifully together.

Elspeth, a friend from Glasgow, who had never been to the Highland Show, came along for the day with Mike. Although she's been to the farm, I don't think she really knew what we did and so she had the chance to see. She was so lucky to have come on the one lovely day and realised that one day was not enough in which to see everything the show has to offer!


Saturday 26th June

Rosemaree and Rabbie Burns: "Please let us go home!"

Photo by Stan Pritchard

Another wet, miserable day and our thoughts went out to those who work so hard to organise this great Scottish event. It must be so disheartening for them! Our spirits weren't dampened by the rain! It's just great to be part of this show!

This was our first day of relaxation at the show: a chance to wander round the food hall and all the other stands and areas of the showground. The food hall was extremely good this year, with many new stands and many new and delicious samples! Ronnie and I especially liked the stand which sold dishes of hot seafood, accompanied by crusty bread and white wine. We had both mussels which were excellent!

The show is also a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new acquaintances. We did fraternise a few of the bars on the showground! We did duty on the HPS stand in the afternoon and that was enjoyable!

Sunday 27th June

Time flies at RHS and it was hard to believe that this was the last day - a showery one! Again, it was a relaxing day, with time to catch up on all the crack!

Every morning, we had eaten a very good breakfast at the restaurant in the wonderful Highland Hall, which houses the cattle on show and also the offices of RHASS. Each morning I had looked longingly at the Yahama quad bikes on display and had noticed that the company was running an offer: bid for the vehicles on display and the highest bidder would win the bike, if the reserve was met. I got a call to my mobile whilst we were having dinner in the hotel to say that I was second highest bidder and that if I would up my bid by £75 to meet the top bid, I could buy my quad! I'm over the moon: no more carrying bales of hay on my back up the hill. I can do wheelies! I need a crash helmet and want to get "Hell on Wheels" printed on it! Wheee!!!