Aim to look professional, tidy and workmanlike.
Footwear – Adults long leather boots. (leather short boots and gaiters may be permitted, check rules of class). Adults cannot show in short boots only. Children under 12, short boots with jod clips. Children over 12, as per adults. Have your groom wipe your boots before you go in!
This year, at the 2015 Discover Ireland Dublin Horseshow, I did something I’d never done before. I did ladies day, dressed up like a lady. Normally at the horseshow I would be dressed comfortably and found either shopping, photographing, grooming or working on an article. This year I was invited to a lunch and a corporate afternoon of show jumping by Investec (www.investec.ie) which coincided with their sponsorship of the Irish Nations Cup Team.
1. Don’t drag your purchases around with you.
I didn’t know for years that there is actually a cloak room area in the main hall where you can leave your purchases and collect them when you are leaving, all for a small fee. For years I was the plank walking around, wide as I am high with shopping, sweating buckets with bag handles cutting the circulation off from my fingers while other shoppers bashed into me. The other upside to the cloak room is that once free from your earlier purchases, you forget how much you already bought and can go do it all again. Your welcome!
When the ladies side saddle class returned to the show ring in the 2014 RDS Dublin Horseshow it was not filled with professional riders on professional show horses. Instead the ring was filled with a variety of horses and riders that served as a beautiful demonstration of versatility. The majority of these riders were not professionals and each one had earned their right to be there by competing successfully at one of the four qualifiers held earlier in the year. The class included show horses, hunters, ex race horses and all-rounders. Likewise the riders themselves hailed from different backgrounds and disciplines from hunting to point to pointing.
A teenager that looks like a Spooks or Kingsland stall threw up on them.
A child with a face plastered in chocolate or ice cream.
A child crying because they want ice cream.
A pony with a cracking jump.
A child jumping higher on a 12.2 pony than you would ever have the balls to attempt on a horse.
A bored looking non horsey dad.
An inappropriately dressed groom (bonus point if they are getting asked to leave the ring at the time).
Stewards deep in discussion.
A lady wearing tweed and pearls.
A man carrying a bale of hay on his back.
Someone bawling crying because they won.
Someone bawling crying because they lost
Someone bawling because they fell off.
A horse and rider getting gated.
A near miss at a fence.
A shopaholic carrying more than four different shopping bags.
Someone frantically washing a horse that is meant to be grey.
Someone lunging a horse in the warm up ring.
An international rider signing an autograph.
A photographer taking a picture of a photographer.
A horse bouncing about while getting presented with a rosette and prize.
Someone trying and failing at haggling with a seller.
Someone who clearly spent too long at the long bar.
A lady dressed in side saddle attire (bonus point if they are not on or with a horse).
A lady who cannot walk in her heels.
Someone in a tweed mini skirt or short shorts.
People in a long toilet queue looking agitated.
A lady in a hat the size of a satellite dish.
A grumpy child having their hair done by an adult.
A rug addict excitedly buying and then trying to carry several bargain priced rugs.
Someone trying stuff on in the middle of a shop.
I went to the RDS Dublin Horse Show last week which can only mean one thing, well two things. 1. Cups of strawberries covered in chocolate (which ends up with me covered in chocolate) and 2. Shopping. Last week in an attempt to control myself I set myself a very specific short list of things I am permitted to purchase. The list included calmers that I have run out of (for the horse not me) and a new pair of jodhpur boots because my own ones have been worn to the point of almost falling apart.