I was determined to make it to this particular show however, as it was a little bit special, celebrating Julip's 70th Anniversary!
Laura held a photo contest for it earlier in the year, which I didn't win unfortunately, but I loved setting everything up for the picture.
Since Laura took over Julip Originals a couple of years ago, Julip has gone from strength to strength and this show seemed like the culmination of all her hard work, so how could I not go? It also offered me the chance to catch up in person with some friends I hadn't seen in nearly five years, so it had a lot going for it!
My parents and I were due to go on holiday the week before, then head down to Manchester to see my grandma for a few days and I thought that getting the train from there would work out a lot cheaper than having to go all the way from Glasgow. Right up until a few weeks before, everything was still rather up in the air as to whether or not I could make it though, as the plan hinged on me finding someone to stay with down in Oxford (where it was being held) as I'd have no transport.
Luckily my friend and fellow collector Alex/julipfarm offered me a place to stay and a lift to and from the show for which I am eternally grateful!
I travelled down on the day before the show, and, two trains and a short car journey later, arrived. After scoffing a rather tasty portion of fish and chips I was taken to meet the menagerie...but more on them in another post. :P
The day of the show finally dawned and, rather shockingly, I was actually up to see it. To anyone who has known me for more than five minutes, this seems exceedingly unlikely as I'm most definitely a night owl, and am more likely to go to bed at quarter to six in the morning than wake up then, but whether it was excitement, anticipation or simply sleeping in a different bed that did it, I have no idea, but I was wide awake before I knew what had hit me.
We got to the show around 9am, just in time to see a gaggle of collectors surrounding the freshly laid out spares table. Knowing how quickly they tend to vanish, I left my suitcase and bag in the middle of the hall and legged it over there before they all disappeared. I managed to nab two, along with a couple of dogs later in the day and some more bunnies even later still.
|They're tentatively named Lewis and Morse but Bill and Ben are also very close contenders|
What can I say, they're addictive! (and to anyone who's not made it to a Julip show before - the mad rush that happens when the latest batch of spares goes up on the forum is pretty much exactly what happens in person!)
|I'm afraid to say there wasn't much left at the end of the day, even out of these leftovers!|
After the usual excited greeting of old friends and new, the first entries for the scene classes started to emerge. As ever with Julip shows, they were all incredibly detailed and creative, with a large dose of humour and I just wish there'd been more time to study them all more closely!
(and on that note, I did try to photograph everything, but my phone filled up incredibly quickly, so I had to upload them to flickr regularly so I could delete them to make room for more, so I did often miss stuff)
This was one of my favourites!
|This kind of requires knowledge of a conversation about a very, very wonky pit pony at the Lake District show to be fully appreciated, but it's still hilarious even without context!|
Stacey and Nicky pushed the proverbial (and literal!) boat out once again with their scenes...
Having Doctor Who figures in the same scale really comes in handy sometimes...
I hadn't brought much with me because of space constraints but I still managed to scrape a couple of entries together.
Maisie's peat gathering scene had already been used at previous shows but I like it anyway.
To be surprise and delight, I placed with it!
Open scene is always a good one as the possibilities are endless!
I was SO chuffed to see that my endurance ride setup had won the class...
..and even more so to see that fantastic Champion rosette!
I shared a table with George,and while it started off relatively tidy (for me anyway) it gradually got more and more messy as the day wore on.
We each got a lovely goodie bag with lots of brilliant stuff housed within - a handful of raffle tickets, a gorgeous handmade card/calendar, a bookmark, show schedule, 70th anniversary rosette (and a julip scale one for the stables!) and my favourite - a little bag of plastic carrots 'for good Julips' XD
I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I'd taken everything out of the bag when I came to pack up so everything got muddled.
Half the fun of shows really is just walking around and ogling everyone else's ponies...
It's really quite sad that often you can recognise whose table it is based solely on recognising their Julips over the person themselves. XD
Next up was the ridden classes...
Two of mine had a go in Ridden Pony...
...and Ridden Horse was a very competitive class!
Yay! Go Kirkby!
...and Spud didn't do too badly either, especially considering that his rider's feet barely reach the stirrups! XD
Next up was the mould classes, and I found more than a few models I'd have liked to smuggle back home with me...
As ever, the cob class was pretty full...
...but do you get the feeling that Arabs are popular or something? XD
Yay, Danny! (I accidentally left him out of my big picture of winners at the end and now I feel terrible)
I discovered when I went to pick her back up that poor old Lyra has a big split down her bent foreleg, exposing part of her leg-wire, so I think this might have to be her last outing. :( Still, she went out winning, and in her colour too!
This is the closest to a full group photo that I could manage - I meant to organise one at lunchtime but completely forgot!
Speaking of lunchtime, the sales table was popular!
I'd made up a massive batch of headcollars and leadropes to sell and was able to buy some of my spare animals with the proceeds so thanks everyone who bought them!
Some great moments of hilarity occurred during lunch, including the never to be forgotten conversation about wrens/moorhens and their capacity for scaring horses. XD
After lunch, the Colour classes began and ooooft, who knew we all had so many bays?!
That's a roan, not a grey!
The 'Anything Dappled' class was a massive eye-candy fest...
Everybody loves a good dun/buckskin as this class showed all too clearly!
Woot! :D :D
Yay, Fanta! (and in her colours too!)
Palominos are evidently popular too...
...but EVERYONE loves pintos!
One of my newbies did very well, and he suits that shade of purple so much, I think it's going to have to be his colour for tack and things! (especially apt, seeing as I bought some ribbon off Manda at lunchtime the exact same shade!)
|I'll introduce him properly later, along with his batchmate - his mane is refusing to behave right now...|
When it came to voting for the Colour Champion, there was a tie...
...and after someone shouted for everyone to point to their favourite, which was hilarious,
|I took this pic too late - virtually everyone leaned in and pointed|
...eventually Laura made the decision, and luckily for me, it was Maisie! Yay!
After the colour classes, it was time for the Fun section and first up was 'Parent and Offspring'
I felt rather smug at having met the real Sweep... :P
Customs, Decorators and PYO.
Owner's Favourite was really hard as you could only enter one...
The Pairs class is probably everyone's favourite. You have to go and find a horse from someone else's herd that matches one of yours and pair them up on the table...only it usually ends up becoming more of a 'group' class. XD
The pet class...
|Must be a crossbreed.|
All of a sudden, it was the end of the show and the Grand Championship.
To absolutely nobody's surprise, Stacey and Nicky's fantastic canal scene clinched the Grand Champion trophy, medal and rosette.
When it came to the Reserve however...
SO, so happy! :D :D The rosette is (huge!) gorgeous, and the little champion sash and trophy are adorable - they'll be going in my riding school office pretty sharpish I reckon!
Really unusually for a show, it ran with time to spare so we managed ot squeeze in a couple of extra classes.
Some ponies turned out to be cheekier than others...
...while others were just plain dangerous!
The final class was devised by Manda, but we all managed to epically misunderstand it at first and had to start again! XD We were to take a big step to our left while we faced the middle, and choose our favourite model from our neighbour's table, then put it in the ring for judging. Unfortunately instead of going left, then turning around, we all did the opposite, so ended up at the table on our left rather than on our right...see, I'm making it sound even more complicated! XD
Terrible picture I know, but it shows that my neighbour had impeccable taste. :P
It was such a brilliant idea for a class, though I do like the sound of 'Julip that looks most like it's owner' for the next show... ;)
As everyone else seemed to have the mysterious ability to pack up their Julips in under five minutes, I somehow ended up with several helpers (lifesavers, seriously!) to get all mine rugged and individually wrapped up - by the time we were finished just about everyone else had gone home! D: I'm so sorry I didn't get to bid you all farewell!
I took photos of all my winnings this afternoon, but somehow managed to forget to include poor wee Danny - sorry pony! :(
I got one of the 70th anniversary rosettes at the last live I went to, so with the big reserve champ one and the two in the goodie bag, I've got the whole family! XD
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had such a brilliant day - more than worth the long trek down! Special thanks to Laura for organising everything and for making such a gorgeous array of spares, Manda for being that magical combination of hilarious, loud and organised, and therefore able to keep everyone on track throughout the day, and a huge massive thank you to Alex and family for putting me up for a couple of days! :D