Dan Williams’ RIHS vlog: Day one at Hickstead is almost as hot as Dubai

Day one at the Longines Royal International Horse Show was great fun, despite it being only 4°C lower than the temperature in Dubai!

We started early today, getting Darcie worked in before it got too hot. In true coloured cob style, she was filthy when we went to feed her, despite being immaculate last night when she went to bed! After we worked her, we took her to the wash bays that Hickstead provide. Hickstead provide some of the best facilities and it was so helpful being able to properly bath Darcie. We have two grey hunters arriving later this week, no doubt they’ll be taking advantage of the facilities here too!

We put Darcie away for an hour or so to let her chill out while we went back to the lorry to get ready ourselves. Just over an hour before the class, we started getting Darcie ready. The finishing touches like quarter marks and pristine tack make all the difference in showing so we wanted everything to be perfect.

Today, Darcie was piloted by her owner, Ailsa Duff. It was Ailsa’s first ride at the Royal International Horse Show so it was very special to be able to help them both get ready and into the ring.

Ailsa and Darcie had a great ride in Ring 5, which is one of my favourite rings to ride in. The surface around the outside means you can really go for it in the gallop without worrying about your horses legs or them slipping.

No placing today, but Darcie gave the ride judge a fantastic ride and in these temperatures, we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Continued below…

Once the class was over, we cracked open the Prosecco and finally had something to eat. The rest of the day was spent trying to stay cool and having a look around the show ground. Not everything is open today but I’m very much looking forward to the shopping over the next few days. I’ll make sure to get some footage of what’s on offer in the shopping village.

Tomorrow is our only day without a horse in the ring so I plan to top up the tan and spend my day getting some more content for tomorrow’s vlog.

Check back tomorrow to see everyone gets on in the show ponies and the natives.