You may say the prettiest of the bunch – but I couldn’t possibly comment… After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that’s why every horse, pony and donkey is loved equally here at Countryside Adventures (well mostly).
We are delighted to say that Ben, Kid, Fugitive, Winston and Sorbetto have been with us almost two weeks now and are settling into their new home. The Paso Fino’s belong to Mrs Pam Johnson and had enjoyed over the past 8 years, a drastically improved lifestyle since being rescued by her and her team at Biras Creek, Virgin Gorda. These gorgeous horses are now residing at Diamond Estate Farm and Country Centre and to the handful of lucky visitors that have a had a sneak view of the boys, they are VERY popular!
Introducing 5 new geldings to an established herd is not a fast process and we don’t intend to create one huge stampeding group anyway, but meeting and chatting over the fence is an important part of this process. Personalities show through quickly. The bossy ones, the ones that can reach and get away with a little nip on the new boy’s butt (you know who you are), the mares that flirt with the pretty boys and the ‘old boy’ who just stands and stares at whichever mare he is in love with today.
Over the next couple of weeks we are looking forward to guiding 3 of the newbies around the trails and making them feel at home under saddle. This breed of horse is renowned for making riding an armchair experience – so there’s no excuse now. You have to come out and give it a go!!
Mento of course has a permanent bedroom laid out for him everyday, storm preparation nights he shares the barn with cats and kittens, bunnies, tortoises and Jamie the donkey. We figured the ducks would be okay – as long as they stand head to wind like seabirds do (actually not sure Muscovy Ducks know how to do that, should have briefed them on that one!) Anyway they are pretty fat they won’t blow too far…
The herd are out on the hill, they have the choice of hanging out in the ‘Enchanted Forest’ or coming down and taking advantage of the barn eaves for some shelter. Our new charges ‘The Fab 5’, who we will introduce properly very soon, are 5 Paso Fino geldings. All beautiful and all on the hillside within paddocks and under their brand new sheds armed with enough hay and water to see them through . A storm warning sounds simple really…
Lots of activities and projects mean less time to write about them. A summer that although is definitely not over yet (we have two weeks to go before schools call their students back), but one that saw many successes and challenges for both humans and equines alike. Running off the back of the ‘Horse and Pony Show’ we were suddenly famous and even now I still hear people say to each other “were you there?” like it was a Royal wedding!
The busiest weeks in July I was lucky enough to have help from the US in the form of ‘Monica’ an 18 year old Tufts College student, with a lifetime of riding experience under her belt. She was great to have around and a Godsend to the horses, myself and the children. Backed up by Tola Broderick who also did her bit ably before she headed out on her European summer tour with her family.
During this time probably one of the the sweetest connections I have seen, developed between Chippy and Coralie. Very young and having never ridden before, Coralie and the little Appaloosa pony – who ‘does not suffer fools gladly’ for any long period of time, just hit it off!
These connections between animals and humans are very hard to explain, at the end of the day many children are kind and attentive and keen – but sometimes there is just something that ‘clicks’.
This is Mento’s effort for today.
Adults – come out and ride this summer. $45.00 flat rate for all.
Mondays and Wednesdays, anytime between 4.00pm and 7.00pm
Saturdays and Sundays starting 10.00am or 3.30pm
Pick a time and day and come riding – it really is that simple
Monday July 6th – Friday July 10th
Then Mondays and Wednesdays for the remainder of the summer.
Daytime programme at Diamond Estate Farm and Country Centre for children 7 years and over. Including interacting with the animals in Pets Corner, introduction to ponies and donkeys, hillside escapades, exploring the countryside…
9.00am – 3.30pm $55.00 per person per day
Will be small groups only – email to book
email@example.com Tel: 542 2070
Some said it was too ‘different’ for Tortola, some wondered whether they would like it, some had no idea what to expect at all. However in every comment and reaction to Saturday’s Highland Spring Horse and Pony Show, was the phrase “beyond our wildest expectations…”
Countryside Adventures predicted a “Country Spectacle for all the family – not to be missed” and the 400 visitors that took them up on that and came out to Diamond Estate Farm and Country Centre were treated to nothing less!
There truly was continual action on the competition side of the fence with classes beginning with The Boys Stables sponsored ‘Best Turned out Horse or Pony’. Rodney Simmonds more at home on the Race Track winning the trophies, was on hand to present the rosettes at the end of the class, relying on the word of the judges including Mrs. Eileen Parsons, Mrs. Letty Hodge and Antonio Cordero. Freya Childs and the pretty, bay mare ‘Shuffle’, won for their presentation ahead of some incredible looking outfits and work put into braiding, dressing and imaginative themes of nine contenders.
Next up was the ‘Best Led Pony’ class sponsored by Forbes Hare and judged by Dr. Laura Palminteri of Canine Cats and Critters. These riders all young beginners, did a great job assisted where necessary by leaders. This class was won by Madison Smith on Chippy and the prizes were presented by Jose Santos.
The riding events began with competitors split into two age groups – the younger children being given a course to follow by the judge and marked on their ability to handle the pony, their confidence and technique. The older riders were asked to do a slightly longer course, both at a walk and a trot. The first prizes sponsored by Minines Plants and Landscaping and presented by Scarlett Steer, went to Owen Graham in the younger class and Tallulah Kinkead in the older group. Both riders displayed determination and the skill to ensure they went the correct way around the ring and not the way the ponies wanted to go!
With the action building ringside, the crowd had grown and spectators were seen spread around the country centre enjoying the view and the refreshments on offer. Everything from toffee apples, to English cream teas were available, as well as a bar and barbeque, fresh coconuts and chocolate cake!
Gymkhana Relays were scheduled next. As the ring was prepared, Al Broderick kept up his entertaining commentary ensuring that everyone could not only see, but understand and get to know, the competitors and their equine partners. The relays sponsored by Nagico Insurances were a three team competition with four riders on each team. ‘Team Red’ captained by Tola Broderick took the centre lane with ‘Team Lady’, captained by Tallulah Kinkead on the left and ‘Team Chippy’ on the right headed by Darci Reich. The races involving slaloms, spinning 360 degrees on the saddle, pole picking and apple bobbing were fast, furious and very close. Three rounds saw a win for each team – so the tiebreaker was called for with just one rider from each team being picked to do one more run for the win. ‘Team Chippy’ with four very determined young riders took the first position rosettes at the end of the day.
The last action event of the afternoon had been long anticipated by some of the more able and experienced young riders as well as the adults that had spent their day making sure that the children and their ponies were safe and ready to go. The ‘L&B Diamond Challenge’ with its own shiny perpetual trophy, was to be an impressive display of horsemanship from all that entered. Against the clock and with penalties added if a mistake was made by a horse and rider, the course was a tight one with two jumps and two slaloms to complete, passing through the ‘gate’ on each change of direction.
In the teenage group with fractions of seconds dividing them, Tola Broderick and Millie Holmes rode their horses Red and Joey with attitude and some serious class! Tallulah Kinkead back in the ring on ‘Lady’ who was definitely ‘feeling her oats’ on Saturday, smoked the course and took the first position away from the other two excellent riders. The adults turn finally came and although Lady reentered the ring with Scarlett Steer on her back to attempt a repeat performance, she took a penalty and just couldn’t quite keep the partnership of Jessica Broderick and Joey from the adult title! Mrs. Letty Hodge presented the L&B Stables sponsored prizes and asked why we had to wait another whole year for the next show!
The last, but by no means the least award of the day, was the Canines Cats and Critters ‘Horse of the Year’ – awarded to the horse or pony that had won the most rosettes of the day. This went to the black mare ‘Lady’ who had been in the ring with very small beginners with legs that could barely reach past the bottom of the saddle, to taking Tallulah on the ride of her life in the last event. Clare Cottreau presented a special, hard backed book on horses to Tallulah and Lady – the now famous horse, was awarded a large bag of sweetfeed from ‘The Boys Stables’ for her performances. Chippy took the Canines Cats and Critters Reserve Horse of the Year award. Both well deserved as these two ponies are the most popular and the hardest working of the herd that make up ‘the team’ at Countryside Adventures.
Even though the competition part of the afternoon was complete, some of the nearly seventy young children who had not ridden a horse before still queued for their chance at a pony ride. All of the proceeds of this were presented to the Humane Society of the BVI.
As schools close for the summer break, daytime programmes are available at Diamond Estate Farm and Country Centre and to reserve your child’s place or find out more, email Alison on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 542 2070
The Boys Stables – Best Turned Out Pony or Horse
- Freya Childs and Shuffle
- Millie Holmes and Joey
- Alejandro Santos and Storm
- Will Holmes and Squirt
Tola Broderick and Red
Sebby Santos and Lady
- Darci Reich and Chippy
- Sebastian Esser and Ricky
- Tallulah and Mento
Forbes Hare – Best Led Pony
Minines Plants and Landscaping – Best Ridden
- Owen Graham
- Isaac Sutherland Pilch
- Tom Bridson
- Kavirajh Pertabsingh
- Sebastian Esser
- Felix Thorp
- Tallulah Kinkead
- Freya Childs
- Millie Holmes
- Tola Broderick
Nagico Gymkhana Relays
- Team Chippy – Darci, Jolie, Owen, Sebby
- Team Red – Tola, Millie, Alejandro
Team Lady – Tallulah, Tom, Felix, Kavirajh
L&B Diamond Challenge
- Tallulah Kinkead / Lady
- Tola Broderick / Red
- Millie Holmes / Joey
- Jessica Broderick / Joey
- Scarlett Steer / Lady
- Emma Holmes / Red
Alison Knights / Mento
Clare Cottreau / Shuffle
A REAL, LIVE, COUNTRY SHOW AT
DIAMOND ESTATE FARM AND COUNTRY CENTRE
JUNE 20TH 2015 GATES OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT 12 NOON.
NOT TO BE MISSED FUN AND GAMES IN A COUNTRYSIDE SETTING!!
Ponies and Horses on display – children and adult riders doing their thing. Everything from beginners being led, to novices and experienced going head to head riding the ‘Diamond Challenge’..! Best Turned out horses, ponies and their riders – some in themed costumes all vying for special Rosettes awarded by the honoured judges…
Riding displays, fun action – Gymkhana relays – horses apple bobbing! All in front of the crowd.
A genuine rural atmosphere enhanced by live commentary and music from Al Broderick
Outside of the arena the will be a bar and barbecue by ‘The Cabernet’ restaurant. Special ‘Cream Teas’ and Snow Cones will be also be on sale..
The whole family can be a part of the country fun and games…
Gate entry fee of $5.00 per person will be charged for the afternoon event.
Jamie the donkey insists that he should have the same privileges as the ducks and bunnies, including eating their breakfasts! He is trying hard to pass as a ‘Pet‘ in Pets Corner! The Passion Fruit plants that decorate ‘The Burrow’ have finally become useful. As they fruit they will provide food for the parrots and tortoises.
Everyone is improving their riding skills and the herd continue to surprise us with their new found working ethic. Well most of them…
Bunnies are featuring this month with the ‘Montessori white bunny’ visiting us at sunset for food and water. He has been AWOL for quite a few weeks now from Century House, but seems quite chilled about the whole thing and is holding off going back to school till the exams are over. ‘Marsh Mellow’ is in the isolation ward due to some particular nasty itchy skin, whilst everyone else is trying their best to do what you are supposed to do in the springtime – with varying degrees of results..! This does still include the Rooster with a penchant for Muskovy ducks!!! Read More
Max has the reins…
We do have our moments of speed and adrenalin, and yes, it is as fun as it looks…