Well I'm in full post-BMECS recovery, felt before I wrote this I should share this:
Yep on Saturday I did walk 9 miles just around the same hall! Fun times!
After weeks of preperation, an entire week of packing and much stress (and spreadsheets) we started our BMECS weekend Friday night. There was a bit of an initial chuckle as we collected our van and realised that we had been given a UK Mail Parcel Pete van. So yes we did spend the entire weekend looking like we were delivering parcels.
After an awful and slow drive up we eventually arrived at Leicester East services late on Friday evening. Immediately bumping into some hobby friends at check in and quickly meeting up with more friends as we had dinner.
A late night of immaturity and giggles of course ensued and we eventually decided to go to bed at around midnight (not the most sensible of ideas).
I slept awfully and awoke very early, settling down on the chair in the room to read my book until it reached a time where I could legitimately get out of bed and go and get coffee.
A large group of us were all staying at the same hotel, I do feel a little sorry for the staff in that service station. Having tormented Laura with cheese and generally filled ourselves with caffeine we headed of in convoy to the hall.
Unpacking is always the worst part. I had my larger string of horses on the Saturday and also all of the Chestnut Ridge stock to unpack. So it isn't really surprising I walked so much! Having emptied the van of everything bar Sunday's horses I organised my table and left Brendon to set up the Chestnut Ridge stall.
And so it begins...you can view all my pictures here but I have chosen a few selected highlights from the weekend to share below: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10154386107955155.1073742014.689360154&type=1&l=e1b5e4b389
The ran with four rings, with CCR closest to me, then there were OF and CT and Performance furthest away (which did result in me shouting at Brendon across the hall a lot)
My day got off to a pretty good start with Asilah winning one of the first classes of the day
It was, however, incredibly hectic and I was running around in a slightly crazed state. But that's totally OK!
What is always nice is seeing horses you've had for years still place, such as Autumn here who I bought on a wim from eBay
Or Madison Avenue (aka Monopoly) who not only won her class:
But also took a group winner!
For those who don't know at BMECS in the larger sections (OF, CT, CM & AR) there are group winners which go through to the section championships. So in a group such as this (light horse) there would have been two or three horses chosen as group winners from the 1st place horses. These horses would then go through to the overall section championship.
Performance started off with the scene class, I'm not going to share all the entries with you but here are some of my favourites:
I still can't believe I'm still showing this scene and people still laugh at it!
Back to the in hand showing. Henry refused to stand normally, but it didn't seem to impact his ability
A general shot of the hall (sorry it's so dark, I left my camera on auto all day because I had so much going on and was always in such a rush)!
Some classes were a lot larger than others, this one being an example!
And this being another!
CCR was the first section to finish, I didn't get to see much of it but there were the usual adorable entries
But not as adorable as the entries in CT :p This is Dizzy
In the smaller sections the 1st place horses go into the Top 10. As well as a champion, reserve and reserve to reserve 7 Top 10 placings are awarded, such as this one here in CCR
CCR Reserve Champion
CCR Reserve to Reserve Champion
After CCR the CC section then started.
Back to more performance, I think people hate me a little bit when I put this in the ring, nothing quite like a minimal effort entry (and perfect for BMECS when your running around loads)
In the CT section the group winners are split by make, the first section was Julip. Here is an adorable group winner
And this is Bishu who also go a group winner :D
The CC section contains newer Equorums and RubberNedz, this is one of my RubberNedz, Torment
It wouldn't be a live show without an Alborozo (intentional rhyme)
An example of one of the new Equorums in CC
The second section in CT was CollectA, here is one of the group winners
This is just a shot of a pretty horse, because basically staring at pretty horses is what it's all about :p
Not all classes look like they filled the table, this is one of the Mini Whinnie classes!
Throughout the weekend intrepid kitty reporter, McNabb was investigating the live showing world. Here he is learning all about Equorums. He learned that heavy horses eat A LOT
This is just a general shot taken from my table, look at all the pretty ponies!
In the downstairs area were the retailers and the raffle. There were also the naughty steps :p
And then finally it was time for lunch. I still haven't sat down by this point. Lunch also included the baking competition! YAY FOR BAKING. As you can see the tasting of cakes is a most important and technical matter
Having possibly added a few new horses to my herd (three RubberNedz to be precise) I was finally able to briefly sit down, but then had to get up again. No rest for me at BMECS!
It was then raffle time. So I did get a good sit down. Didn't win anything particularly special on the Saturday although I got a lovely new pony pouch made by Jan. You can never have enough pony pouches!
Once the raffle was over sales were cleared and it was back to the showing. It did feel like we had a long way to go, but I was fuelled on caffeine and sugar so was ON IT.
Performance was still ongoing, I didn't really have any entries until Western and CT so was kinda ignoring it a bit. But still managed to get some pretty pictures
Another minimal effort entry :p
Not everyone was rushing around loads (sorry Angharad)
It was then time for the CC championship, I had three entries in this Top 10 so was a little hopeful I'd get something :p
CC Reserve Champion
CC Reserve to Reserve - CRS Zeus
And I also go two top 10s
CRS Enchanted Songdance (Emily)
CRS Peregrine Pipsqueak (Pip)
After this the CT also ran in this ring, but here is a nice picture of a lovely OF (I have a bit of a thing about flash photos on bays)
A shot of the Mini Whinnie Top 10 just because you can barely see anything because they soooo tiny
We were finally onto Western performance which meant I had to like pay attention and stuff (never good). I really should learn not to do performance at BMECS, it just causes me to shout things loudly at my husband across the room and threaten to throw horses.
But other showers are a little more calm. This horse and rider combo are definitely nice and calm
I was really shocked with how well my minis did.
This is Gizmo
One of my favourite OF models, this isn't my own one, but she's so beautiful
The smaller OF models were split out this year, here is one of the smaller model classes
Performance is also split with CT performance being split out. This was a lovely scene entry based on the charity where the person had done some helping out
I think this is what is known as organised chaos and gives you an idea of the state of mind of most of the showers by this point on the Saturday afternoon
Was very impressed to see my Shiloh get a group winner, this horse has been nothing but a superstar for me so far!
Brendon put this horse in the ring for me whilst I was setting up performance, I sort of forgot about him. Was shocked to come back to the table and notice he'd been abandoned for a while and had got a group winner! Sorry Frutella! Mummy loves you really
My first real happy moment of the day was getting a 1st in CT Scene with my beloved model horse shop
TINY FOALS (just because there had been a lack of cuteness)
These are the CT performance group winners, note Crackers won his class!
Absolutely in love with this little model, he's so cool, he even had paws!
Nobody should ever underestimate how hard it is to judge. Performance supreme took a long time. I think the looks on the judges faces say it all!
Another of the CT group winners, this one is a Crystal Moon
Just another shot of yet another gorgeous model
CT does produce quite a lot of variety....the cuddly horse class!
It was now time for the OF championship, here is one of the group winners
It was being judged at the same time as the performance. I was using the brief break in proceedings as an excuse to photograph lots of things!
Just look at the dapples on this model, completely in love
If you love dapples then you are going to love the OF champion. What a completely stunning model.
OF Reserve Champion
OF Reserve to Reserve Champion
I was delighted to get two Top 10s in OF. Remember that little Chips I abandoned earlier?
And I was so happy about this. This horse is the star of my OF herd and she really deserved to do well this year. I was delighted to see her get a Top 10, CRS Black Widow Dawn
And just after judging in the OF Championship was done, judging of the performance was done.
I've never cried at a live show before. But I'm not ashamed to admit. I cried. A lot. I couldn't stop crying.
Three months of hard work (and a little bit of skin stuck to glue) went into this scene. My heart and soul went into it. It is worth saying a massive thank you to Brendon who helped set it up on the day (and therefore stole my rosette). This is my pride and joy, don't think I'll ever top this entry.
Performance Supreme - 'Model Horse Shop' by me :)
Performance Reserve to Reserve
Having pulled myself together (and had my rosette stole by my husband who was now wearing it) it was back into CT. Just a few more classes to go!
And here it is the CT championship.
The championship was happening on the two tables closest to me. I was watching (Brendon was loading/unloading van) and I saw them give a Top 10 to Bishu my Julip unicorn
So I was really happy :D
They just had the champion left to place. My mini whinnies were all in a line on the closest table and I saw them go near, but other people's horses were there too.
So I leaned round to see who had been placed and, well I won't repeat what I said (I sincerely apologise for that)!
CT champion - CRS Offence Pattern aka Gizmo
CT Reserve Champion (I adore this model)
CT Reserve to Reserve Champion
So Saturday was over, and I was in complete shock. So was Gizmo really...
A big rosette for a tiny horse!
Brendon had pretty much packed the ban so I helped pack away the final few things and we headed back to the hotel (in convoy).
Dinner involved fast food, and a lot of noise and giggles. But we were all incredibly tired (I was so exhausted) so didn't actually stay up that late. I'd had an amazing day, so headed off to bed for sleepies.
After a very very good nights sleep I awoke at just before 7.30 and headed off for more coffee and breakfast. Time for day 2.
Although we did have to briefly stop at the cash point to take out a nice chunk of money to pay for my new RubberNedz :p
Day 2 also ran over four rings with Workmanship, CM, AR and Custom Glazed China starting off the day.
I was in the same spot and didn't have too much to set up as I work from my boxes, so did a few 'hall shots' first
The reason I'm so poor...the Animal Artistry table
I just adored those rearing foals, but couldn't trust myself with them
As well as the normal raffle there is also a super raffle. This is one of the prizes, a glossy Copperfox Caramac
This is Hot to Trots stand
I also went around taking pictures of everyones tables, some pretty ponies on display
And some bored looking men...
I had a lot less entries on the Sunday so I spent a lot of time photographing individual horses as I would at a normal show. So here are some of my favourite bits of eye candy and a lot less of me talking :p
This was a Workmanship entry painted by myself
Another adorable Workmanship entry
Absolutely stunning chestnut Arab
Oo look a picture of a bay with the flash on, bet your shocked I would have done that :p
More cuteness from the AC section
And another chestnut Arab
Not a chestnut Arab
Sooo much shiny
And more shiny
And even more shiny
One of my favourite models on the show circuit, absolutely love this guy
Apparently I was on chestnut Arab mode
OK I'm going to stop now, this is a Thoroughbred
And because we haven't had a cute donkey for a while here is a picture of a cute donkey
One of my biggest shocks of the day was Jac beating my other two custom Thoroughbreds who normally do much much better than her. Both of them have had Top 10s at BMECS so I think it was only fair that Jac had her chance to win her class
The Artist Resin section at any show is always filled with eye candy, and of course at BMECS there is uber eye candy
The custom section was heavily dominated by Deb Browns, which is no surprise really. What is wonderful is to see such variety in them. There were a lot of different coloured Valegros :p
It is also no surprise that there were several Copperfox resin welsh and plastic welsh around
This is a very bad picture of two little Pegasus foals
Back on the subject of Valegros. Was really surprised to see Uti do so well, he won both his in hand and workmanship classes
One of my favourite shots of the day, good horse placement going on here
And a third custom Valegro, this time a gorgeous subtle grey
It was now time for the AC championship. Now this did make me chuckle a bit because just the other week this horses owner was commenting on how he didn't place that well and wondering what it was!
AC Reserve Champion
AC Reserve to Reserve Champion
Awful photo of the day award has to go to this one...
Back to my gallery of different coloured Valegros
This is Uti winning his second class of the day, workmanship
And taking a Custom group winner
At this point I think my ability to focus my camera had been lost. But anyway a nice brindle
One of the wonderful things about BMECS is lots of hobbyists get together and we can have a good gossip and some fun. The naughty corner seemed to be doing just that for most of the day!
As well as looking at pretty ponies of course. Love the paint job on this ISH
Apologies that all these pictures are out of focus!
This one is slightly better, some spots!
And some more spots (just look at that mane)
There were also quite a few custom Wyatts around, this one was lovely
Every year at BMECS an award is issued to the best newcommer. Congratulations to Mary who was this year's winner :)
This model was just stunning, I love the purple!
I appeared to have regained my ability to focus my camera at this point
Unfortunately not all my models are well behaved. Seigfried messed a little bit in the ring...
It was now time for the Workmanship Top 10. A beautiful selection of horses in all kinds of different styles, it must have been so hard to judge!
I was completely shocked to see a horse I painted get a top 10. Congratulations to her new owner!
Workmanship Reserve Champion
Workmanship Reserve to Reserve Champion
The AA section had been running whilst all the other classes were going on. I'd been the other side of the room and been running back and forth and back and forth all day. I had a couple of entries in the AA Top 10, so was feeling a little hopeful.
AA Reserve Champion
AA Reserve to Reserve Champion
And finally, I was so happy about this. This is one of my wedding cake toppers. This model has had an amazing showing career, but has never won her class at BMECS let alone take a Top 10. She's had numerous section champions and even a supreme, so I really wanted her to do well, just for once at BMECS, I felt she deserved it.
So I was absolutely delighted that Catriona finally got a BMECS Top 10
And because I feel I haven't shared enough AA eye candy here are a couple more Top 10s
Whilst I wasn't really paying attention horses that I had painted were winning their classes. Here is one of those:
Just like with OF the CM section had the smaller models split out. Here are some tiny little Shetlands
It was now time for the AR championship. There were a lot of really really beautiful models. But the winner was just in another league, mainly for cuteness!
AR Reserve Champion
AR Reserve to Reserve Champion
And one of the Top 10s who is absolutely gorgeous
A beautiful little purple unicorn I did as a commission a few years ago
The day had been long. My bones did the hurting and I was knackered and it was finally time for the Custom championship.
But it clearly wasn't going to be an easy judging task for those involved!
Here are some shots I took of just some of the contenders
However, the Supreme was no surprise really, I adore this model. Beautiful in every way.
Custom Reserve Champion
Custom Reserve to Reserve Champion
And finally I am leaving you with a picture of Gremlin, who is technically in foal to one of my horses (and I really should actually produce said foal). She is owned by a friend. I first saw her at a show a few years ago where I placed her 1st in her class. She has had a brilliant showing career since then and I just think she is the cutest thing in existence.
So there we go. We packed up the rest of the van, said our goodbyes (well I did and Brendon said "hurry up" repeatedly) and headed back home in the Parcel Pete van.
I was exhausted. We arrived home at about 9pm, unloaded the stock, collected the dog and our car. Unloaded all the horses and finally just fell into bed.
My post BMECS crash hit me late yesterday afternoon. With another live show on Saturday I've got a lot to do, but I am so knackered and everything hurts.
But totally worth it. I feel completely drained but I had a wonderful weekend and a massive thank you to all my hobby friends for such fun and laughs :)