I don't often go to live shows, mostly because the majority of them take place at the other end of the country and as a (now former!) student with no job or driving ability, I rely entirely on my parents to take me and so if I'd like to attend any kind of model horse event we have to organise a holiday around it to make it worth the cost of staying somewhere.
Luckily, a fellow collector, Stacey had organised a show substantially closer to me than any of the others had ever been. It still wasn't exactly 'local' but being in the Lake District of the north of England it was only a few hours drive away from home and within an hour and a half of my grandma down in Manchester so we could fit in a visit while we were down. Ideal!
Or so I thought - in true Christine fashion I managed to misread the dates listed on the forum and so we ended up booking a cottage for the wrong weekend.
I'm never going to be allowed to forget that one any time soon...
I did eventually realise about a week and a half before the show so we were able to book somewhere else but we still haven't heard back from the owners of the first place so we may get our money back (unlikely) or have to reschedule the weekend to another time in the year. (much more likely)
The cottage we stayed in was wonderful, mainly for two particular reasons but I'll get to that in another post... :P
ANYWAY, onto the show itself!
Having never been to the little village of Storth before, my dad had printed out a map specially so we could track down the hall where the show was to be held. He loudly and confidently proclaimed that we only had to make a couple of turns this way and that as it was a little tricky to find...just as this came into view.
Turned out, the hall was literally just round the corner and if we'd been following my dad's instructions we'd have ended up in the middle of nowhere. XD
We were met in the car park by the new Julip showrunner, Laura, who casually mentioned the massive box of spares she'd brought with her. I only had enough cash on me for one horse so I was hopeful that I'd be able to get in quick and snaffle something really nice before everyone else got involved. There were only seven of us so that seemed like a very good chance.
Once we'd all arrived and unpacked our herds (most people's in nice neat rows, mine in a big disorganised cluster as usual) it was time for the show to begin, or rather, it would have been, had Laura not announced that all the spares were out and we all rushed to her table like moths to a flame.
Terrible photo but I only snapped it quickly so I could get on with the difficult business of choosing who to take home with me. There are several missing already at this point...
One of the wonderful things that Laura (and her husband Richard!) has brought to Julip is the sheer range of colours and customisation in the companion animals. Until very recently, the only dogs available were very plain - either a dalmation, labrador or a hound (all the same mould, just different colours) and a couple of terriers, all in pretty simple paintjobs with little variation. Same with the cats. All that has changed now and every spares page brings a brand new pack of dogs, cats, doves and foxes - every one of them different in their own way, from added face fuzz and tongues to wired legs in some cases.
This time there was even a new mould - a sitting dog! The mould probably isn't going to last though sadly, so there won't be many of them made. They really were super cute.
I bought a horse and a dog - the horse is yet to be named but the dog, a little black brindled terrier with socks and a white tail-tip, I called Bruce, a name suggested by my mum.
Buying frenzy over (until someone went back for more throughout the day - naming no names but you know who you are. :P) we were finally ready to get started. I tried to take photos for each class but didn't quite manage it...
First up were the Arabs - classes were run according to mould or type, hence the selection of rather un-Arabian colours.
Two of mine placed - Fantastia the Arab/Appaloosa mare and Oberyn, one of my unintroduced spares from the last batch. I'd have loved him to have placed higher but the certificate matches his halter so well I'm actually quite pleased. :P
These were 'New Horses' aka horse moulds that are still in production, no vintages.
Same with the 'New Ponies'
You may be wondering about the significance of the pennies - as you can't really judge Julips the same way you would resins or more realistic models, they tend to be judged 'en masse' by all the entrants of the show by placing a penny next to the horse you like best, as simple as that. With only seven people though we soon found this to be problematic - we ended up with lots of models tied for virtually every placing so we switched to the 3-2-1 version - three pennies for your first choice, two for your second and one for third. This worked a lot better, though we still had ties in almost every class. XD
We switched to actual judges for the performance classes - something I managed to forget about when I deposited a tacked up pony and rider on the 'Ridden Pony' class table, only to find that it had already been judged. *facepalms forever*
'Old Ponies' - I love the Irish on the left here - such a nice dynamic pose.
I think every collector longs to have a vintage Fell in their herd and this one was a real beauty.
I didn't take any photos of what looked like an explosion in a latex workshop (aka my table) but here's everyone else's herds. XD
Jan makes custom tack and rugs for Julips and other makes and I'd really recommend her work - she very kindly gave me a little ribbon browband for one of my ponies and it's lovely quality and makes Lady the welshie look smart for a change, not just homicidal!
I didn't dare count how many were on this table...there were more in boxes underneath!
Mambo the Zeedonk!
I think this was the mould championship? You can see Merrion and Giovanni on the far left there.
The winner; a lovely vintage Shire.
'Spots and Stripes' - the four on the left are mine - I didn't realise how many spottys I had!
'Roan' - oddly, most seemed to be the exact same colour!
The 'Pairs' class is always fun - no preparing for in advance, you have to find a twin in another person's collection. I was busy trying to get horses tacked up for another class so I had to rely on someone else doing most of the work I'm afraid! Still, Rhona looks chuffed with her long lost sibling so I can't complain.
There was also a class just for the animals so it was no surprise to see a lot of lovely little dogs.
I think that little tricolour at the front would really like to live with me... :P
Another good one is the conga class. Pretty self explanatory, though it does often prompt the whole 'I have HOW many?!' inner screaming at times. Unfortunately, due to space constraints I had to leave Tully and Manchego at home so I was down two on my Family Horse conga. :(
I need more welshies too, three just isn't enough, not by a long shot! (also, admire Lady's new browband - isn't it just perfect for her?!)
...although, I think I'm a long way from reaching anything like Stacey's Dartmoor army.
I don't really like the Horse In Action mould, though I think it's a bit of a Marmite model - you either love it or hate it. I have to say though, it does look good in a group!
A conga of a different kind - so many bays!
Oh yes, we're all normal here. :P
The scene classes are probably my favourite as everyone always puts in so much effort and there's usually a bit of a humorous element to them all.
Unfortunately the majority of the scene entries were over by the window on the darkest end of the hall so my pictures are pretty awful and don't do any of them justice.
I made this cross country water jump the week before the show, using some fancy new modelling water I'd picked up specially. Alas, after being left in a hot car, the water melted a bit and the surface went all strange but as an experiment I really think it has potential.
As simple as it was, I was really pleased by how well my endurance ride setup turned out, and believe it or not but I was actually sad enough to research the exact font used in British road signs just so I could make these. I don't speak Gaelic so I haven't the foggiest idea how to pronounce their other names but I did my research so they should be correct. :P
It obviously paid off because this entry won the class!
Supreme Champion went to Jan's very lovely Ballymena in finely detailed XC tack.
Horror of horrors - as the only person without a horse in the final lineup, after a tie for Reserve Champion, I was tasked to pick between them all! In the end I narrowed it down to either the lovely black Fell or the roan Connemara and really struggled to decide, though the Connemara eventually won me over.
We packed up (with time to spare, it was a miracle!) and headed straight to the pub down the road for tea and a final good bit of banter. (though we had to remember that there was no Bolognese, pies or wedges and that pretty much everyone was having the scampi. :P)
All in all it was a wonderful day with a brilliant bunch of people and I can't wait for the next one. Massive thanks to Stacey and her mum for organising it all and of course to Laura for providing us with such a good choice of horses to throw our money at!
Roll on the next one! :D
...and because I had no internet, I had to do something in my spare time. :P