Lake District Live
by Christine Sutcliffe
Lake District Live is honestly one of my favourite shows to go to. As with all Julip shows, it's chilled out and great fun, with a really friendly atmosphere. Rather than the usual real horse disciplines you see at most general model horse shows, Julip shows tend to be a little more open to interpretation, and especially at this show, where the class themes change every year. And this year we had some really interesting titles to inspire us...
The first division was the Mould classes, with 'New Horse' and 'New Pony' up first.This was for the moulds that are still in production today, as opposed to the vintages that are no longer made.
As with previous years, votes were cast with coloured tokens in order of preference - red for favourite, blue for second favourite etc. If you're used to judging model horses based on conformation and breed standard, or even condition, Julip shows will be something of a shock to the system as we pick our favourites on the basis of personal taste alone! Some classes are harder to judge than others though, especially the ponies!
Next up were the 'Old' mould classes, for the moulds that were no longer in production and pre-recast versions.
The Youngstock class was up next, with lots of adorable foals to ogle.
There is indeed a foal under there somewhere!
Before we knew it, it was time for the Mould Championship, so all the first and second places were put forward for final judging.
The Fun Division was up next, starting with Ridden Horse/Pony.
One of the best things about Julip showing is that you don't need really precise or expensive tack to do well. You could win with vintage leather or homemade tack just as easily as with a professionally made Rio Rondo saddle kit, it's entirely personal preference!
The 'Pairs' class is always a favourite - on the day, you have to find a twin for some of your Julips!
The 'Happy Families' class is another good one. Most Julip foals tend to look exactly the same as both parents, (latex genetics are different to real horses, everyone knows that!) but there are the odd exceptions to the rule.
'Best Conga' was next.
After lunch, the Colour section began. These classes are always super popular and difficult to judge, and this year was no exception!
There's always huge variation amongst the horses in terms of shade and things, just like the real thing, and if you've been collecting for long enough you can tell who painted each horse just from the way they shade dapples and paint eyes and markings!
After the main colour classes, came the 'Customised' one, for any Julips that have been repainted; this included 'Paint Your Own' models from previous live shows and custom HOTYs.
The very worthy winners of the Colour Division!
Finally the Scene Division was ready to be judged, and it was a difficult one this year with four theme classes. First up was the 'Summer Fun' class. This one had a bit of everything, from frolicking foals at the beach...
...BBQs by the loch...
...a much needed ice cream to escape the heat...
...a cob going through an existential crisis...
...and the more traditional bringing in of the harvest.
I had two entries. The first was a cobbled togehter Western camping scene, using my only Western tack set and some assorted bits and pieces. I was able to incorporate the fabulous tents that my friend Lucy made me and sent all the way from Australia years ago that I never quite managed to do anything with before!
Somehow that one got a third!
My main entry was an Egyptian market scene.
This was inspired by a little souvenir Anubis statue I'd picked up at the local boot sale the previous week for 50p. I've always loved Ancient Egypt so I've amassed quite a few themed knick-knacks over the years. The clincher was rediscovering the plastic moulds of some wall friezes and a sarcophagus from a craft kit I had as a child - I knew then exactly what I was going to do - a souvenir/ancient relic market stall with some Arab horses walking past and a gaggle of tourists around the tables!
Since the literal Ark of the Covenant was sitting right at the front, I thought a suitably ironic sign was in order, complete with Arabic translation courtesy of google!
Considering it was pretty much thrown together at the last minute, I'm not going to lie, I think it's one of my best scene entries to date! It just goes to show that sometimes a total lack of planning and organisation can yield good results from time to time! And it won the class!
Next was 'Heroes & Villains– Show us your helpful ponies saving the day or naughty ponies causing trouble.' The picture of villainy, this highway robbery really stole the show!
My favourite detail isn't actually intentional I think, but it looks like the bloke is trying to hide rather unsuccessfully behind his wife.
As for my entry, I'd had an idea for something similar to this for a photostory that never got made, where some neds snuck into the yard and vandalised it, eventually being arrested and given community service which involved copious amounts of mucking out and menial yard work until they'd learned their lesson! I never got round to making it happen in story form so I thought I might as well give it a go for a show entry, complete with angry pony!
Next was the '3-Day Event – Pick any scene from a 3-day event including Dressage, Cross Country or Show Jumping'. I planned on doing a cross country entry but mine really was thrown together from bits and pieces and upon seeing the competition I immediately packed everything away as it didn't stand a chance! I did however do a pretty basic showjumping setup with Digby just so I could say I entered.
Cross Country was obviously the favoured discipline this year!
Finally, one of the biggest classes: 'No horses allowed! – A Pets only scene class.' This one had loads of scope and all the entries were amazingly creative.
Mine was a pretty boring 'feeding time' kind of thing with all my bunnies and hens, but I had fun putting everything together.
Heather's entry really cracked me up, with Julip versions of some real 'pet shaming' posts from facebook!
I can't remember who won that class sadly, though they're all winners in my book!
The final section was purely for all the animals, separated by species.
After the Pet championship, it was time for the final vote and the overall champs!
...and just like that, the show was over! Except, of course, for the after show dinner!
What a fun day! Thank you, Christine!