If you’re planning to compete at this year’s Equifest and want to enjoy this fantastic event here Moggy provides advice to help make the occasion memorable, stress free and hopefully a winning one.
- Keep a list of all your classes and rings and make a few copies of your number so you’re always organised and in case you lose it over the five days!
- Always turnout to perfection, ‘that will do’, is not good enough! When I was competing we made sure everything from the plaits to the gleam on the coat, and the final preparation touch-ups were the best they could be. There are so many tricks of the trade such as where you set the plaits to how you finish your sharks teeth and quarters marks that really make a difference.
- Take a wheelbarrow to transport equipment because you don’t want to be carrying everything around. The main thing to think about is having a good time, and making sure your time at the show isn’t spent walking from one end of the showground to the other with tack, feed and bedding – the less stress the more fun and better results will come.
- If your horse lives out normally, be aware that his legs may fill when stabled so make sure you have a set of stable bandages and leg wraps in the horsebox. Often when horses get to the show and are first put into the stables they can be a bit excited so having legs well bandaged for protection also makes sense.
- Equifest has brilliant on site facilities including, Showers, Toilets, 24 hour security, Shop, Fodder shop, Cash Points and Bars. There is also a doctor, paramedics, vet and farrier on site all week. It may sound silly and obvious but make sure your horsebox is packed with plenty of food and refreshments a long day at a show means hungry mouths at the end of the day. When we were showing and mum was around the picnics were fabulous and always a great way to enjoy the event.
- From the moment you enter the ring you are being judged so make sure you show off your horse or pony to the max. The walk when you enter the ring is very important as it is the first-pace the judges see. Make sure there is plenty of space around you and the judge can see you. But remember there is a fine line between being seen and trampling over the top of the judge to catch their attention.
- Keep a drink in your grooming basket for riders when their horse is stripped. Hopefully in August the weather will be nice and there is nothing more welcome from a rider’s point of view to have a quick drink of water while waiting for the conformation judging.
- When your groom or helper enters the ring make sure they have everything you need to give the horse a quick brush over and polish when the saddle is removed. This is not the time for a major groom but a cloth, some wipes, a body brush and hoof oil are key essentials.
- Don’t forget plenty of fly spray and a summer sheet is also useful when waiting around in the heat.
- Last but not least – have fun! Equifest is a great event – go and enjoy it, keep open minded to learn and take in the occasion and brilliant atmosphere.
Held at East of England Showground, Peterborough, August 17 to 21, 2016, Equifest is one of the largest events in the equestrian calendar and provides a hugely enjoyable occasion for all the family whether competing or spectating.