‘This is ho w shows should be’ s ays UK judg e of Royal show

The Witness - - NEWS - CHELSEA PI­ETER SE

AN eques­trian judge has flown in from the United King dom t o judg e some of the eques­trian e vents at this y ear’s R oyal Show.

Les­ley White­hall set foot in South Africa for the first time last Thurs­day evening as a judge of the Royal Show’s eques­trian show­ing clas s di­vi­sion.

White­hall said she was ap­proached last Septem­ber while at a show in the UK and asked if she w an­ted to be a judg e at the Royal Show. “It w as cold, it w as rain­ing and when I was asked, I said I ab­so­lutely would,” said W hite­hall.

White­hall has been a judge twice at the Horse of the Year show in the UK and seven times at the Royal In­ter­na­tional Horse show.

She said she had been a judeg­for “nearly ev­ery ma­jor c ounty show” in the UK as well as the Grand Na­tion­als in Aus­tralia.

White­hall has been impr essed with South Africa. She said she had alr eady made a “w hole ne w f am­ily” within the coun­try’s eque strian cir cle. “It is so r efresh­ing to judge here in South Africa. “Ev­ery­one loves their horses,” she said. She said in the UK, hor ses make a fair amount of money and are there­fore pro­duced for rid­ing but the rid­ers do not ride ev­ery day as South African rider s do.

She said this is be­cause most peo­ple in the UK are un­able to sta­ble them pri­vately and see them when­ever they like. “It has been a fab­u­lous com­pe­ti­tion and I’ve thor­oughly enjo yed it. T his is ho w sho ws should be.”

White­hall said she would be fly­ing back to the UK tonight, but in­tends to re­turn soon and to bring her f am­ily along with her. Speak­ing on be­half of the shwo’s or­gan­iser, D ar­ryn M cIn­tosh, sho w dir ec­tor Leanne Jamieson said it was a priv­i­lege to have “such a ca­pa­ble, ex­pe­ri­enced and de­light­fully ent er­tain­ing judg e all the w ay from the UK ”.

“Her en­thu­si­asm has been so­er­fresh­ing and we look f or­ward to hav­ing her o ver again ne xt y ear f or a big ger and bet ter show,” said J amieson.

“We also look for­ward to show­ing Les­ley more of our beau­ti­ful c oun­try.”

“It is so re­fresh­ing t o judge her e in South A frica. Ev­ery­one lo ves their hor ses.”

PHOTO: CHEL SEA PI­ETER SE

UKbased eque strian sho w judg e L es­ley Whit ehall (l eft) with the eque strian show dir ec­tor L eanne Jamie son at the R oyal Sho wgrounds y es­ter­day. Whit ehall flew fr om the UK t o p ar­tic­i­pate as a judg e in this y ear’s sho w.

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