Again this year we were given the honour of competing at Royal Windsor.

We left the yard as planned at 9.30am on Tuesday morning. The journey there went well and we pulled into the showground at 11am.

Literally as we pulled in the heavens opened and while Sara sat in the lorry staying dry Sarah Mac, Tom and Donna got soaked whilst trying to decide where to park! For the last few years we have always parked at one end of the lorry park, this year to give us a little more space they suggested we park at the other end. This made Sara very nervous as she doesn't like change! Once we had agreed where to park (Sara still nice and dry at this point) we decided we needed to park the lorry up on blocks as if the front end is not raised the lorry leaks right into Sara's bed!!! Well this caused a major drama as the ground was wet and the wood blocks wet and slippery and all the revving and acceleration in the world Sara couldn't get the lorry up onto the blocks! We are soaked by this point and Sara is still nice and dry! Next drama the block of wood got caught between the lorry wheel and the step, we were stuck couldn't go forwards or backwards without ripping the step off!!!! Sara then decided to wind her window down to work out what to do and the handle for the window fell off in her hand!!!! Luckily she cracked up laughing! Her response was 'well that's the 3 things it can only go well from now on'!!!! And it sure did.

Trot up on the Wednesday all went to plan and the ponies passed with no issues at all. Exercising and schooling on Wednesday and Thursday was an absolute dream. Not many people can say that they have had the pleasure of driving their ponies in beautiful flat ground with Windsor Castle as their backdrop.

Dressage was very late in the day on Friday which made Friday seem like it went on for ever. However it worked in our favour and we finished in 5th place. Sara has been working and training very hard with the dressage and has changed the format of the team for this phase, so 5th place just showed her hard work has paid off.

Marathon day on Saturday was an early start. A storming round put us in 1st place on the marathon something we have never achieved before in an International Competition so as you can imagine the champagne was flowing that evening!!! The marathon placing moved us up to 2nd place overall. More champagne!!!!

Sunday was cones which is always a very tense part of the event. The pony fours cones has changed, the speed has been increased and the cones made narrower! We had 3 cones down and a few time faults however it was enough to hold our 2nd Place!!!!!

Sunday late afternoon we were invited into the Prize Giving and Award Ceremony in the main arena in the presence of HRH The Queen and Prince Phillip. It was a truly amazing experience and there is nothing more rewarding that hearing all the supporters cheer for us as we trotted around the arena.

The ponies are now on a well deserved weeks holiday and Sara is back to reality and coaching at Camp in Underriver this week.

Our next event is not until Catton in July, however we are off to Ashfields next weekend for some cones practise!!!!

For more pictures, please visit the Ginger Howes Facebook page -