European events go out of their way to keep the crowd entertained at all times — I’ve seen a falconry demonstration at Luhmühlen, a mock hunt (replete with actual dead animal on a string) at Boekelo, and a Dirty Dancing line-dance themed award ceremony at Pau. But I’ve not yet witnessed anything as adorable as the mid-afternoon leadline cross country class here at Luhmühlen.
The pony brigade entered the ring and, in the spirit of a proper cross country competition, the excitement began immediately, with one feisty mount pitching its toddler straight into the arms of his handler. The ponies began filing in one-by-one to tackle the course, a miniature obstacle course that included a brush, a log jump and even a teensy-tiny water.
Faces of determination:
Here’s a wee video:
After everyone had successfully completed their rounds, the judging committee, which included Michael Jung, deliberated on their performances.
Meanwhile the kids grew restless on the sidelines.
They were offered refreshment from the Stirrup Cup …
… which I assume was water, although this kiddo’s face indicates that it may have been something stiffer.
In the end, of course, they were all winners. Each received a rosette, their very own Willbury Wonderpony, and a job-well-done from Princess Anne.
We’ll be back soon with more from this afternoon’s CCI4* dressage competition!