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The show went well, despite an unbelievably crazy thunderstorm on Saturday! We'd seen the clouds approaching and the sky getting darker all morning, and about an hour or so before we were due to go back in the ring for our second demo the skies opened and dumped everything they had on us. It was rain so heavy and fast that it hurt, thunder snarled and lightning lit up the sky. The showground had been absolutely heaving with crowds, but they vanished in seconds. We piled into the lorry, and had to shut all the windows because the wind was driving the rain inside. The horses, luckily, were tied bum to the wind so they stoically stood it out, but it was pretty miserable for them; we started rushing around to clear away all the harness and partitions and luggage so that we could bring them into the lorry, but just as we'd finished the rain eased off and the storm passed over. It was like something post-apocalyptic as slowly, slowly, people began to emerge from whatever shelter they'd found and stepped gingerly out in a new, extremely damp, world...

On Saturday it was also mum and dad's 28th wedding anniversary, so in the evening Ben and I went out for a meal with them which was really nice. And tasty! Yum yum.

Anyway, photos always say it best; and I'm afraid I've got a bit of a photo explosion for you. I hate doing photo dumps because I worry that no one will look at them (ain't nobody got time for that!), and it seems to negate the purpose of sharing photos if I share so many that no one wants to look. But, maybe someone out there has some time to kill. Or maybe you just like heavy horses as much as I do. :)

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Pepsi in her field shelter, early on Saturday morning. I love her expression! Haha! We were late arriving on Friday night, so she didn't know I was there until I surprised her in the morning.

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Ben trying to clean the rust off his chainmail, haha. :P

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Macey was - understandably - worried about the bouncy castle being inflated immediately behind him. None of the others cared. I love how his half-blue, half-brown eye makes him look like a cartoon horse in this picture!

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Another of the displays in the main ring was scurry racing. Ben and I went to watch them for a little bit between our own demos.

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This pair were being raced in tandem!! Blew my mind. While galloping between obstacles the wheeler would often draw level with the leader, but they straightened out when needed to and shot through 90 degree angles like it was nothing. Insane.

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This little lady was 24-years-old and had come out of retirement to help her driver, for whom it was only his second event. She stumped into the ring at this determined trot, head down, knees high, and when they began the race she just thundered round. It was clear she knew exactly what her job was. Her name was Lola, I think she was everyone's favourite that day!

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Walking back to the lorry, you can see the storm approaching...

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Macey and the tumbling sky.

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Pretty shiny boy! ...For those who are new to the journal, Mace-moo is my favourite. I usually ride him when we do the ridden displays.

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Ben and Cooper do a meet 'n' greet - just before the storm hit.

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It was nice and sunny again afterwards! This is the only photo I got of Ben and Cooper dressed up in their gear. I was grooming for the roller, which was at the end of the line (Ben was in the lead) so there weren't any opportunities for me to grab a picture - except while in the ring. Which, of course, would not have been very professional.

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Coming back to the lorry. Before the storm hit, this was dry ground and green grass. There was so much water in the ground that the roller was squashing it like a sponge and sending up a bow wave. I tried to get a picture of it, but it isn't visible here.

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Pepsi coming to meet me later that evening. She is such a pretty little pony.

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I turned her out in Bea's field for a bit; Ben took this photo of her running to freedom!

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Me and Bea, who was flapping the lead rope with her top lip. I look freakin' grumpy - I was just tired!

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Beatrice chaaaaarge! Yes, I did run away.

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Elf and Macey doing a meet 'n' greet on Sunday between demos. Macey is fixated by the bungee thing to the left of our encampment, haha.

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Same horse, different handler! Sarah is my rival for Macey's affections, as we both think he is the best horse ever. :P

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More scurry. I could happily photograph these guys all day.

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Too fast! Love their harness, though.

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Now, the following pictures aren't good photos, but I'm sharing them anyway because a lot of people have the misconception that draught horses are just lumbering plods. So I give you: Henry.

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What is that stride, even?!

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The Friesian who started Henry's mad rampage.

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Love his white nose and little beard. :3

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On Sunday evening we helped take down the marquee that was still up from grandad's birthday last week. I found a string of balloons and, naturally, decided to introduce Pepsi to them.

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Shame about the poo in the background (I cleared it all later on), but Pepsi looks awesome here - proper moorland wildling!

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She is such a good mare. I mean yeh, alright, she is nearly 29 and should have more of a been there, done that attitude ... but it still blows my mind how accepting she is of things I ask her to do. She looked at me, walked around for a bit - in her "You're being annoying again" way, rather than an "I'm scared and want to run away" reaction - then came over and just bobbed the balloons with her nose. It was very windy and they were bouncing all over the place, but she didn't mind.

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Beatrice, on the other hand, DID mind. And this is the mare who was was of the leaders in the Lord Mayor's line-up! Ben did eventually get her to come up to him while he was holding the balloons, but she couldn't let them touch her.

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The moment when I reached my goal of putting the balloons over Pepsi's back. She's looking at sheep in this photo.

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Edit: I am so sorry to anyone who saw this entry without a cut - I made a tiny change to one of the spoiler pictures, and it inexplicably put all the large photos outside the cut! Gah!

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