|Highclere Horse Trials This Weekend Too|
I keep telling myself I planned it this way, but the truth is I’ve been procrastinating over this particular holiday weekend for while. It’s the Europeans at Luhmühlen, and I’ve not been there since I lived in Aachen when Thatcher was in power, and continental Europe still had controlled borders, where they made you unload travelling horses on a whim (what a pain that was, when you lived literally 50 yards the wrong side of the border). Highclere is also running this weekend, one of my all time favourite events. I’ve competed there every year for a while now, and with the prospect of my horse’s imminent retirement, Highclere was high on my bucket list. Add to this a commitment to look after the children at least one day over the weekend, and hopefully you’re starting to see my dilemma, or at least I hope you are. Can I do all three? That’s surely pushing it!
|I’m Off To Join Team GBR|
Well, sod it! The last few days has seen a real surge in news, blogs, and general chit-chat about the FEI HSBC European Eventing Championships, and I’m all fired up! Team GBR won an historic gold in the Dressage, and even though “ze Germans” are out of the blocks and way ahead in the eventing competition, the Brits have a good shot at retaining the title, especially if the last WEG, is any bench mark!
So, day one of the August bank holiday, it’s 8:30am and I’m sat in Heathrow Terminal 1 waiting for a
BA Lufthansa flight off to Hamburg. After a flat tyre on the way here, the day hasn’t started well and I missed my original flight, but hey, whata ya gonna do, some adventures are just more exciting than others. I’m not really sure how I’m getting from the Flughäfen to Luhmühlen or back again, or for that matter if I’m coming back today or tomorrow.
My company has a small office in Hamburg, but ironically no one there seems to drive or own a car, so I have completely failed on the bribery front to get passage for the last leg to Luhmühlen. Perhaps I should have used a stick instead of a carrot! I could of course just hire a car. Anyway, can we please hold the next championship is Barcelona, where we have a fabulous company flat to compliment the weather.
Still, I have a laptop, the prospect of an 8MB upstream internet connection and a sparkly new camera to keep me occupied for at least the next 10 hours so all other plans are on ice until the last horse is off the cross country course, home and hosed. At this rate anything could, and probably will happen. I hear there’s an after XC party too…
I’m getting a little De JaVu; as I write, a battalion of Germans are occupying the front rows of the grid after the dressage phase, it’s as though the top slots after dressage are reserved for Team GER. There’s a pun in there about beach towels I’m sure. This leaves a gaping hole to the British in 2nd, and a couple of hungry nations rubbing shoulders for Bronze. I keep checking the weather forecast with everyone from NASA to my trusty iPhone, and the rain is back. Sod it!, but who cares, hurricane Irene is a long way from here, Team GBR are used to these conditions, and Nicola Wilson will be hedge hunting out in front on Opposition Buzz, no doubt with rein back farthest from her mind. So I’m travelling light (although I did remember my toothbrush – you just never know!) as I need to be out of arrivals and heading down the A7 autobhan likety-split, to witness this wonder horse ping round a championship course once more. Sadly I think this morning’s pit stop and the delay in my flight has put paid to seeing those two go round.
|…..And Watch Top French Rider Nicholas Touzaint|
I’ve been making lists of horses and riders I really must see and watch on the cross country, I should have just saved myself the RSI and wtritten down, TEAM GBR, TEAM GER, TEAM FRA, plus a few specials. However as Michael Jung rarely ventures across the channel, he and his million dollar mount are top of my list along with Nicholas Touzaint for similar reasons, and whilst I think of it I can’t help feeling a little dismayed not to see Piia Pantsu in the line up. She really is a class act!
In case you have nothing better to do with your weekend, and have decided to join me on this impromptu trip, let me apologise now. I may just attempt a video interview in German (when in Rome), ……..as if getting to the event wasn’t challenge enough……
boarding……..so until I land, find some method of transportation, get hardwired into the event and the internet, please visit the event website, analyse the results, news, XC course, and start your predictions:
If that doesn’t get you fired up for the action ahead, take 12 minutes to get your XC face on by riding ’round Badminton.