Emma and I arrived Friday late morning on at last a warm sunny day at the gorgeous estate! There is definitely something special about being at the invitation of Her Majesty that brings a sense of importance to our event. How lucky were we to be staying and competing in such fabulous grounds? The club camp site soon filled up with our members. A big thank you to Minta for carrying and unloading the boxes and walkie talkies for the obstacles, They take up so much space and my little trailer just fits our stuff in, just! Fortunately Minta's lorry is huge!
Fiona Powell had designed and already put out our cones course for Saturday, as usual an interesting and drivable course, everyone seemed to enjoy, even if some of us didn't drive it perfectly! Not an easy task to plan a course that challenges and yet keeps everyone a little happy, I still struggle putting out a practise course at home with a few cones!
I enjoyed going visiting friends on the national field and helping them to drink their wine, bit tricky to carry mine up there on the bike!
It was great that Saturday morning dawned sunny and warm, we had a excellent day of entertainment with the Nationals running their marathon, and I noticed the Duke also came along to watch along with some friends. Honest that is his hand sticking out the window! It is our only event, at least that I know of, where we get to watch the course driven one day and have a chance to copy the routes of the more experienced drivers, not sure how much that helps but it is fun to be a spectator for the day.
The Sunday morning, sadly, started with some heavy rain around 6am to 7am, this summer's pattern of cold or wet day followed by a good day continued. By the time Emma, Red and I set off the rain was torrential! Luckily Section A did not disappoint, we travelled through strawberry fields, currents and more, the countryside at its blooming best! Sometimes we went a little sideways or a little too fast, as Red made a big fuss about the many blue drums by the track, he was looking for an excuse to go much faster as he was feeling very excited about the marathon, making sure Emma hung on tight! We hit our first problem as we changed from road back to track, between 3rd and 4th KM I think, coming up behind an arctic lorry parked on the side with 3 tractors or JCB's on board, did anyone else meet them? But even better the fruit pickers, obviously fed up with the rain, all decided to go home at the same time, we got held as 32 transit vans came along the single track dirt road, slowly!
From Lucy at the start of A to the finish our stewards must be the greatest bunch of people ever! Apologies that I don't know all the names but I and all the club so appreciate you!
What a treat to have our halt under cover of the glass roof, we felt very Royal and had a lovely welcome from Liz Harcombe! To drive my horse in the gardens was such a treat and on to section B!
It wasn't to be our day, having completed 4 obstacles I managed to either not brake or have a brake failure in ob 5 and put my poor horse on a post, ouch! Broken harness and sore horse meant a slow walk back to the lorry park for us. A sad finish but I am happy to report that the on call vet, Rosie, checked my boy over and gave him a shot of Bute to get him home in comfort. I am happy to report it seems to be bruising and no worse. But again our helpers came to the rescue dear Rachel Horton, on duty in the obstacle, managed to say just the right thing to make me feel supported, thank you Rachel!
I am happy to report that many others had much more success the full results are on the club site but a big congratulations to the following: Ellie Sweetman winning pre novice horse, enjoying her first season and I always love watching her and her horse, they look such good chums! Susan Skeggs winner of open horse in great style and pony pair! Megan Wheeldon winning the hotly contested novice pony!
A big thank you to Lorna, Esther and Mike for keeping us all on track in so many ways and see you all at Blandings!