There's inspiration from a London trip to see the cream of equestrian talent for the residents of the farm on the M62

We left the farm, the animals, mud and chaos of life at Stott Hall Farm and headed south to a completely different type of chaos in the run-up to Christmas.
A pre-Christmas treat to see the best in equestrian entertainment is a welcome break from the farm.A pre-Christmas treat to see the best in equestrian entertainment is a welcome break from the farm.
A pre-Christmas treat to see the best in equestrian entertainment is a welcome break from the farm.

The lights and sound of the motorway were replaced with the bigger, brighter lights of London, thanks to my mother who had arranged for us to go to the London International Horse Show.

Following a very early start and panicked thoughts of missing our train thanks to the dense, chilling fog, we finally arrived in the capital, feeling very much like a fish out of water.

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After several attempts involving much hair pulling and exasperated expletives, an Uber taxi was ordered and we headed towards the ExCel arena.

My niece, who also came with us, was in complete awe of the endless skyscrapers, cafes, theatres and sheer volume of people. From the back seat of the taxi, she frantically took endless photos, her eyes wide in amazement at the sheer overwhelming splendour of it all.

The little guy saw it through slightly different eyes. Despite living with noise and constant traffic, he found the intensity of the concrete jungle, the lack of friendly greetings from passers-by, claustrophobic, alien to him. No animals, no open green spaces, just wall upon wall of steel and concrete stretching to the grey skies above.

His eyes lit up briefly when we passed the Queen’s house and the Tower of London. He acknowledged the beauty of some of the old buildings and demanded answer upon answer from the taxi driver, who thankfully was more than happy to be our tour guide.

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I too stared out of my window, marvelling at the grandeur of it, whilst recoiling in horror at the endless homeless people, litter and almost alien-like landscape. It was a real eye opener and like they say, one man’s meat, is another man’s poison!

The show did not disappoint. From the high speed rush of dog agility to watching in awe as John Whitaker yet again showed us why he is in a league of his own, we all sat spellbound.

The Household Cavalry left everyone overwhelmed with pride as they put on an immensely polished display that we could have marvelled at for hours.

And, of course, Father Christmas on his sleigh pulled by two very excited grey horses that weaved their way through the countless dancing elves. The whole performance was just spectacular leaving us happily exhausted.

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We arrived home just after midnight. John-William had slept from the minute we’d sat down on the train to arriving back in Sheffield.

The following morning he was up and at the world with fire in his belly. Jodhpurs were pulled on and he announced that as soon as he’d had several pancakes, he was saddling up and Bronze was going to be put through his paces.

As we’d watched everything from daredevil riding, a sort of charge of the light brigade to speed jumping over gigantic fences, who knows what lay ahead for Bronze!