The Perils Of Show Jumping Sport - 17

Well it's been a while since my last blog but to be honest things have just been too hectic to stop and take a minute to even breathe!!

My last sad blog was from Mijas in Spain where we had unfortunately lost our good mare Lady’s Queen in a freak incident at the trot up. We were meant to stay for three weeks at CSI Mijas - Horses International Show with me competing in the last two.

Sam achieved some nice results with his two mares Elegance Casablanca and Princess Leah, but to be truthful, when I arrived for the second week I just wasn’t happy enough with the ground conditions to stay and jump for the last week. The show is in a super location beside the airport at Malaga and close to the celebrity spots of Marbella and Puerto Banus - so in this way it's great, but the arenas were just newly put down and after a few horses jumped, the surface became very loose and a lot of horses lost their footing with some even tripping and falling. Don’t get me wrong; some horses coped with it well but after everything that had happened I took the decision to move the WKD Team back to the cold North and head indoors!

So we packed up one of the lorries and trailer and took five horses to Le Mans in France for a one star show there - the idea being we had Sam’s two good mares Sumas Zorro and WKD Pepperpot to start jumping after their break following Spruce Meadows in Canada back in September, and my mare Champions was also to start jumping after her break. Therefore a one star was the perfect place to do this. I also brought my new mare Townhead Cassita and Sam had Princess Leah, a pretty 8-year-old mare by Douglas out of an Irish dam, owned by Marcus Buser from Switzerland.

The rest of the horses would stay in Mijas for another week as I had brought some horses for other people who were staying on for the three weeks, and I couldn’t really abandon them!!

So it was last Thursday on November 13th that Sam and I headed to Paris airport via Birmingham; it was unfortunate that our luggage however did not!! I’m not sure at what point it decided to part company from us but after staring forlornly at the baggage carousel we realised that a weekend recycling what clothes we had already in the lorry lay ahead - nude show jumping not really being an option!

Le Mans is a fantastic centre with two decent indoor arenas, at least twelve outdoor arenas, stabling everywhere, and so many tack shops! Well, as I had no luggage it was only sensible to have a little shopping trip. And no matter what Sam believes a girl can never have too many sparkles or too many fancy jumping breeches.....Lol.

With so many different classes taking part, it is amazing how this show is organised but everything ran to time, and although the practice arenas were akin to driving in Cairo - there appears to be no rules regarding whoever shouts the loudest or who approaches the practice fence and wins. It was all extremely relaxed and enjoyable with the horses jumping really well and getting back after their holidays. I was especially pleased with my two mares as Cassita jumped some lovely rounds and I managed to move her up a class while Sam got Zorro and Pepper into the ring - although I couldn't help feel they were a bit put out at having to lower themselves to a one star!!

And so my usual Monday commute is taking place as I fly back to Belfast - of course it would never be straight forward (Sigh). As I sat on the wrong train to Paris and only realising at the last second mine was on the OTHER platform, it was a bit of an adrenaline buzz! I now have to try to navigate the Paris metro system to Charles de Gaulle, run for my plane to Luton, then change to Belfast.... Good job really I have no luggage!!

Next week will see the Team move to a two star in Strazeele, further north in France and much colder. Let's hope our clothes finally arrive!!!



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