This is the end of season blog which allows for a modicum of rant in a charming manner. I am not going to elaborate about our annual trip to Floresti, suffice to say that all the usual elements were included;
namely Tigger’s hoof cracked again, The Master knocked his leg on the journey, both stallions took fright at the crowds, Otto won with an extraordinary score and Dennis took his shirt off.
So an executive decision was taken and we loaded up to go to the CCI** at Pallare in Italy. Easy, easy journey stopping overnight at Reims sharing space with a smart lot of Showjumpers. If you think we have swanky lorries, you have to look at the extreme luxury the other discipline travel in. Our hosts were everything you would expect, most welcoming, do anything to help and completely laid back. Is the organisation slicker than here, no; is the course better, no; is the going kinder, no; is the timetabling on the button (you must be joking), no, but is the whole atmosphere and experience better, of course it is. All the riders actually talk to each other, help each other out regardless of rank or standing while the officials are understanding and very supportive. It has been a delight to be Rider Rep at two FEI events this year and my thanks go to the respective teams at Floresti and Pallare. Oh, by the way Otto was third on an excellent dressage and double clear, which now makes him an Advanced pony with more money going to BE on registration. If you consider that Advanced horses do far fewer competitions that the rest, you would think the price would be cheaper!
On that note, I should mention that the Mother did not get re-elected and breathed a sigh of relief. She feels that BE central costs are getting out of hand and that the IT system is swallowing reserves while Organisers are finding it hard to make a profit and Riders are paying more and more. Hard to represent the members when you have little or no chance to radically reform the way BE operates. So, this is what we are going to do next year… all the team are going to start unaffiliated either to introduce them to Eventing or as a cheaper pipe-opener before the grown-up competitions. Are there any voices at this point to persuade Nigel to run a UA Intermediate? Then looking at the options it will either be Barroca or Sopot both of which offer CIC one week and CCI the next which suits us very well.
Christmas planning is now at its height; the Mother has refused to consider decorations and Turkey, I have invited any and all overseas riders who can’t go home, the bolter has not been sighted and the ponies are already bored at being in the field and would like to fill the boxes up early December.