Seren James with Blurock Amethyst Dolly Pembrokeshire County Show 2017.
The Pembrokeshire County Show is definitely an event that overflows with talented people. From all corners, all walks of life, this gathering is a marvellous showcase of how a community comes together in what can surely be seen as a celebration of life and, of course, rural life in particular.
The talent is evident right across the board and can be seen in every aspect; organisers, support-team, participants – those who show and the contestants and judges…
From the many who stand out at such an event as an example of excellence in their chosen field, those who inspire and delight, we would surely all want to hold on to the memories, the moments we shared in witnessing their successes. It’s even better to be able to capture those moments and share them with the world who couldn’t be there. We enjoyed plenty of these at this year’s show but one, in particular, presented a complete picture of how this event is a zenith that motivates so many to achieve so much in the county.
Young rider, twelve-year-old, Seren James‘ well-deserved win with her mount, Dolly, was wonderful to watch. Seren’s bond with her horse is obvious and they make a perfect team. But they displayed much more than their excellent performance; as the sense of teamwork and preparation that brought them this far was palpable.
We caught up with her mum and sisters after Seren’s win.
This interview with Mel James of Wiston.
We had a great county show this year and it is so fab to win on home turf. We live in Wiston so I go to the show every day. I can come home each day, too, which is a relief, especially this year as the weather was so awful.
I have three children including Seren, aged 12 (soon to be 13 – on Saturday). At the County Show, she was riding Blurock Amethyst, aka Dolly to us at home. Dolly is a Welsh part-bred 6-year-old mare: she was bred in Pembs, too, by Mel Harries. I leased her from Mr. Bert Lavis, her owner, for this season – this was to ‘up our game’ and go for bigger shows and qualifiers. Sadly, Bert died earlier on in the season, having been poorly for a short time. Right up until he passed away we went to see him in the hospital and he delighted in seeing pictures of Dolly competing!
We had just won Reserve Supreme at St. Clears Show at the last time we spoke, but he advised me to the end. Not long after, Seren won the Young Riders final at the Midland Arabian festival held in Malvern on Dolly, having qualified for it at Pembrokeshire County Show last year in the part bred classes.
Seren has again qualified for this, gaining the yellow qualification card.
Seren also rode a coloured pony, homebred by our Granny Val, called The One And Only Zebedee, a 4-year-old. They won the Working Hunter Pony Mixed Heights class on Wednesday morning and she also competed in the side saddle equitation, being placed and winning the costume class. As a family we were thrilled.
My eldest daughter Alis, who is 14 years old, competed in the scurry challenge with Mr. John Marsen, from Swansea. He needed a groom so she stepped in. They qualified on the Tuesday for the Wednesday championship and finished 4th. They really went for it, especially in those ground conditions: the two ponies are called Jess and Pinocchio – late teens, at a guess. The scurry was exhilarating to watch; even great Nan came to watch, with Granny Val making it four generations of our family!!
I have been showing all my life, and competed at Pembrokeshire County Show as a child, side saddle and show ponies. I’ve been taking Seren since around 2010.
Our results with Dolly:Welsh Part-Bred Champion, Children’s Riding Pony Champion, Seren won the best child rider, and they were placed in the part bred classes.
Results for Zebedee were: Mixed Heights Working Hunter Winner – on a fair course, and 3rd in the Open 14hh Working Hunter – taking on the Bullfinch Fence. They were also 2nd Junior Side Saddle Equitation and won the Costume Side Saddle Class.
We did attend The Longines Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead, earlier this season and were placed in both classes. As a ‘home-produced’ entry, taking that on was no mean feat, against the best in the country. The mud there was abundant, making it so testing, but Dolly glided round, as she does, and brought home two lovely rosettes and photos.
What does the future look like?
With Seren’s dedication, we look forward to whatever the future holds with this pair. I can not be prouder – we just wish Bert (Lavis) was around to see it. This brings a tear as he was so happy watching us last season. His wife, Mair Lavis, and daughter Heather were at the show to watch us, too.
A fantastic show.
There is so much to see, do and enjoy at the annual County Show, and more besides. Of course, it’s a great event for catching up with old friends, and meeting new as it draws participants and visitors from outside the county and beyond, but what a spectacular showcase of some of the best of Pembrokeshire.
Again, we came away delighted and inspired.
Editorial / Photography,
Pembrokeshire County Show, 2017
A Photographic essay
by Ieuan Morris – IantoMor-Photography
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