The sun shone for Ladies day at the Royal International horse show, giving us the opportunity to get our posh frocks (and our legs!) out for an airing.

About twenty of us enjoyed the facilities of a box with a great view of the main arena. The group included our chairman Jillie Rogers and her guests, Tessa Martin–Bird FBHS and.Alison Le Fevre, head of the BHS training department.

Coffee was available during the morning although most people headed for the Pimms bar. A delicious lunch was served offering plenty of choice and ensuring we would be fuelled up for the lengthy (well it felt like it after an unnecessary second helping) course walk.

We were guided around the track for the Queen Elizabeth cup by Lucy Cabrita one of the team of course designers. She explained how and why the fences were built and the challenges they posed for the horses and riders. Many of us were surprised by how undulating the ground was and were in awe of the size of the fences.

Some super photos of the party and the fences have appeared on the F and I Facebook page and worth a giggle to see who forgot they were in a dress and not sat on a horse! (Err, that would be me)

The competition itself was really exciting culminating in a very tightly contested jump off. Shane Breen rode brilliantly to claim the victory giving Sam Champney-Warrener’s guest his second win in the sweepstake in three years. He asked not to be named in case of match fixing allegations.

The speed class which followed was no less entertaining as the final fence was right in front of our box.

A spot of retail therapy and a nice cup of tea provided a perfect end to the day.

If you didn’t come this time make it a priority next year. It’s a great opportunity for socialising with other members and a very good value day out.

Liz Eaton BHSI