The Perils Of Show Jumping Sport - 2

It should not happen to a show jumper - but it does....

Well those of you who followed my previous blog will know that we were preparing to go to Longines Global Champions Tour in Valkenswaard last Wednesday after a mad dash home to change horses after Sam got accepted into the 5* classes. So far so good....I even managed to fit in laundry and as we sat on the early morning flight to East Midlands to meet the horses to make the trip to Holland I must admit I was feeling a little smug, giving myself little inner high-fives in having managed in 48 hours to get horses moved from England to Ireland and back, and all our clothes re-organised and re-packed....

Of course God and Karma love nothing better than keeping our feet on the ground - and boy did that happen!!

Before Spruce Meadows we had seen that Sam’s Schengen visa would need renewal as soon as we came home, but we worked it out that it would be tight but doable if we applied in London as soon as we got back from Calgary - and that Sam’s passport would be back on the day before Valkenswaard started; not ideal but with the horses in England workable.

However as each day passed it became apparent that the visa was not going to be ready in time - and that it was looking like we might have to load up and leave Sam’s passport less in London while we crossed over to the show in Holland.

Then a friend stepped in and with a lot of begging to the embassy he managed to get Sam’s passport released last thing Thursday night - we rushed to London, grabbed the passport and drove like mad to Dover to get the boat.

Just outside the docks Sam casually asked me to look at the visa- to find that it didn't start until the Monday AFTER Valkenswaard - and my optimistic "maybe they won’t notice plan" soon took a dive when the Gendarme at the passport control turned us away with a resounding - "non!"

There then ensued a madcap scenario where we got a police escort from a kind officer from the docks to the local train station - abandoned the car in the car park at Dover station and jumped on the train to London - hoping to find someone in the embassy who could fix the problem. We by this time had nine horses waiting for us in Holland - and only one rider – “moi” - who did not fancy deputising for Sam in the five-star!! (We later realised that it was a park and pay station so am sure we will at some stage find that the car has been clamped - or towed - or probably the way my luck has been going sold!! )

Long story short we managed an appointment for Sam in the embassy first thing this coming Friday morning - a flight from me from Stansted at “Omi-god-o’clock” to Eindhoven where I could jump in my classes and get Sam’s horses ready for his arrival - and Sam would follow on the Eurostar to Brussels as soon as he had the amended visa.

Of course I could not even do my bit right as I left my iPhone which has been my mobile office charging in the airport - while I was on the plane!!
Eventually we managed it; I got to the show - by this stage minus car and iPhone. Sam got to the ring just in time to leap on Zorro and qualify for the Grand Prix.

Was it worth it? I don t know!!! I’m too exhausted to even work that one out!!! But the moral of this all is the saying is definitely true - God laughs when man makes plans - and for sure this week I must have had Him in hysterics!!



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