Sunday, July 18, 2010

showing off

dear readers, i have been attempting to get herself to sit down and assist me for some time but this is the first opportunity that i have had to put paw to keyboard. last sunday was a write off from the writing point of view as the magnificent bonzo was in a hoss show. this was uncle gary's idea. uncle gary is very successful with his own hosses in hoss shows. he has a little stallion (who looks very like king charles the first) who scrubs up particularly well and often wins prizes for being the shiniest, hairiest or even simply the classiest little hoss at the show. because of his success uncle gary is asked by other people to show their hosses too. so many a summer weekend finds uncle gary giving one or more hosses a shampoo and set, ready for a hoss show.

uncle gary learned his shampooing skills in his previous career as a hairdresser. shampooing is what is known as a transferable skill. once you can shampoo a person it is fairly straightforward to branch out into hosses. there is the small matter of tails to perfect, but for someone as clever as uncle gary this presented no problems.

so how, i hear you ask, was herself persuaded to get involved in all this? for someone who makes a living arguing the toss with other people she is remarkably lacking in competitive spirit. and, while the magnificent bonzo certainly scrubs up well, herself is not known for her sartorial elegance. it seems that uncle gary sowed the seed a week or so before the show, with talk of it being a bonding experience for hoss and human and being a good opportunity for bonzo to practice his social skills. uncle gary is very good at psychology and knows that fluffy things like this appeal to herself.

it seems that there are classes where it is acceptable for the human to stay on the floor and lead the hoss round. these are known as 'in hand' classes. i have to say that this brought to my mind a rather colourful picture. the magnificent bonzo's magnificent wedding tackle is world famous through these pages and the thought of herself parading round the ring holding it brought tears to my eyes. but it appears that 'in hand' refers to the hosses head rather than parts further south.

anyway, the day before the show uncle gary and little lou gave the magnificent bonzo a bath in special blue shampoo to bring out his white bits. he was then dressed in a rather interesting garment which you can see from the picture. this was to keep him clean overnight (regular readers will be aware that bonzo shares young dave's proclivities in the rolling-in-poo department). herself was lent a tweed jacket by uncle gary and polished her boots up till i could see my face in them. she borrowed one of himself's ties and his white shirt.

the day of the show was sunny and hot. the hosses were put on the lorry and driven to the show. there were hoss vehicles everywhere. mrs rose was due to arrive later with her own hoss, fergus. mrs rose is an old hand at hoss shows, having been the hoss of the year show last year, so she is as cool as a cucumber about it all. my boy was lined up to come along to record the event with his camera. he duly arrived with himself, together with his lunch in the form of a flask of hot water and a tub of pot noodles. my boy is a great believer in being prepared for all eventualities.

the magnificent bonzo was entered in two classes: the best in hand coloured hoss and the handsomest gelding. (i appreciate to the uninitiated that all hosses are coloured, and indeed a black and white hoss like bonzo is less coloured than a brown hoss, but these hoss people are not the most logical souls). the classes involved the human leading the hoss round a field at a walk, then trotting along so the judge could see the fluffy feet in action.

it was the trotting bit that was herself's downfall. regular readers will know that herself had some difficulty in teaching bonzo that humans travel with considerably less velocity than hosses. however with perseverance and patience this has now been achieved. bonzo will walk along at herself's pace. all well and good until the time came to do the trotting bit. having been taught that trotting along with your human, particularly when they are face down on the ground clinging onto the end of the rope, was not good form, it was hardly surprising that bonzo would only walk round the ring. so he was placed last in the most handsomest gelding and fifth in the best coloured horse. herself was very happy with both as even coming in last place merited a rosette and bonzo was the most handsomest gelding in her eyes anyway.

as soon as she was out of the ring herself gratefully peeled off the tweed jacket and tie and got back into her "i never finish anyth" t-shirt. i feel that herself's showing career may have reached its peak. the hoss world will never know what it is missing...