Well I won't lie, finding time to Blog at the moment is challenging. Now that we have teams up and running is Caen, Sartilly and Haras du Pin, I seem to spend most of the day chasing my backside and flying around in my Land Rover. Well, when I say flying I of course do not travel in the style of some of the Endurance big whigs (which is where I penning this ditti from). Why can't I have a helicopter!!
Trying to keep up with what is happening at all the Venues is very challenging and I have already missed some British performances. I thought I had it cracked this morning as I was able to watch the Eventing on TV in the empty Mixed Zone at Endurance. However, I had apparently infringed Article 765.7.8.a of the How to Build Relationships Regulations and was duly removed. I do have the App, which is excellent and which I will not name (see Article 765.7.8.b of the aforementioned Regulations) so I am hopeful that I will be able to watch Zara's and William's dressage tests.
So, to rewind a couple of days. Dressage...superb, they fought so hard and although Michael may have been a little disappointed with his Grand Prix, Team Silver was richly deserved and it is "job done" with regard to Olympic Qualification. The Para-Equestrian Dressage Team got off to a great start with winning (not a medal competition) performances from Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells and Natasha Baker. The Reining Team all put up very solid performances and have four riders through to the Consolation - well it is not really a "consolation" as another five riders will qualify for the Final to add to the fifteen already qualified.
I headed off to eventing land on Tuesday evening to have dinner with the Team and walk the cross-country on Wednesday. We have managed to secure a great hotel which is 5 minutes drive from the Venue but it only has 20 rooms. In order to free up more rooms for owners, Yogi Breisner, Brendan Murray and when we are there, Sarah Armstrong and myself are living in motor homes parked up at the hotel......it is a very long time since I lived in a motor home!
The cross country is a belter. Very technical with undulating terrain and of course with the continuing rain, the going could play a major part in the result. There was certainly an amount of head scratching by Team Managers as they finalised their team running orders. Saturday could be a very interesting day and I am certain tactics will come in to play as Teams seek to secure the all important Olympic qualification (top six teams) whilst also trying to challenge for medals.
Yesterday was another great day for dressage and Team GBR. Carl was a master on an inexperienced horse and Michael was back on top form. It was of course Charlotte who stole the show and landed our first Gold. Lee followed Charlotte's lead with Gold in the Ib down at the Para-Equestrian venue. So it was two Golds and a Silver that we celebrated at the Team dinner.
A big thank you to Kate Le Moigne! Kate runs the French Farmhouse B&B which is a very smart Gite just outside Caen where we have some people staying. The Le Moignes also run a large dairy herd and so has come to the rescue with fresh milk, clotted cream, scones and homemade jam......yummy!
Today is the maddest day of the fortnight; Endurance and Eventing (110 miles apart) at the outlying venues and Reining and Para-Equestrian in Caen.