After a week of foul weather, we suddenly had a heatwave for the first day of the 2018 Tatla Lake Gymkhana. Hot sun, fresh breeze, and no bugs. What a contrast from the storms and hail and hard frosts of the two weeks before. The first day of the Tatla Lake Gymkhana was a Saturday. The forecast was for good weather, and it was actually right for a change. On the Friday night we had the rainbow to prove it.The parade started 10.00:amOne lady, by no means young, rode in the parade and competed in many of the events using a side-saddle.The first contest was the ribbon race. Two riders, joined by a piece of flagging tape, had to run twice round a couple of barrels.The hard part was getting both horses to turn the corner together. (Those of you who looked at the Jungle Book post may have trouble recognizing Balloo the Bear on the left, and Colonel Hathi on the right!)A mum and daughter team. Connie, on the right, operates the lovely old Homathko River Inn in the Tatlayoko Valley. (She also drives the school bus.) Her website has a great slide show on it – well worth a watch.The egg and spoon race is always a hoot. Youngest children go first.The older folk race with a bit more pizazz – few eggs make it to the finishing line!Next the pole race. As with the barrels, riders must go twice round the poles. Younger children first – this is where the mums get a good work-out.Here is Colonel Hathi again. These kids are so talented in so many ways.Lunch time.It’s getting hot on the bleachers.The kids seem oblivious to the heat.Time for the pole bending. They must race to the end, then weave in and out, then weave in and out back, then race to the finish. Once again the mums are the ones doing the work for the youngest kids. (It’s getting pretty hot, now!)I’ve known this young woman’s parents since before she was born. She is always one of the cowboys at the Precipice Cattle Drive Party.For the potato race, contestants must spear potatoes in one tire and carry them across the arena to another. It looks like some medieval jousting match.The finale for the day is the relay race. Teams of three must race round a course holding a batton, and within the space of 2 lines, must pass the baton to the next rider at full gallop. Connie of the Homathko River Inn is the third rider of this team, waiting in the background…. Mum and daughter again, making a perfect end to a perfect day.I didn’t go today – and the temp got up to 27C in the shade so it would have been really hot. But I stayed home as this is my last day of freedom, and I am not sure when I would find time to make this post. Tomorrow I teach, and go to a meeting; Tuesday I go to t0wn, and while there pick up two more volunteers. Then we will get down to some serious work.