See part 1 here.
“We set up camp – the stables were amazing, brand new and they had laid down gravel paths so if it rained there would be no problems. We let the horses walk and then left them to rest, at which point we were passed red wine, delicious, and some lethal concoction claiming to have something to do with cherry… 2 sips of that and I was sent to bed. An hour later Lyn and Emily fell into the lorry, 3 hours after that Dennis who was in the sleeper cab attempted to enter the lorry, but gave up and slept in the gazebo!
The next day we were supplied with fresh Romanian bread (the French have nothing on the Romanians’ bread!). We hacked the ponies who all looked great after travelling, and walked the course which involved jumping a couple of the fences in each class twice and one in the 3* three times. We then got taken out to supper with the judges, course designer and commentator. We actually all made it to bed at a reasonable hour, and nearly sober.
The next day the ponies were schooled and trotted up on sand laid over grass, followed by another good supper. The weather was a gorgeous 27 degrees, we enjoyed wearing our shorts and dresses while not feeling too sorry for the English with their gales force winds and heavy rain!
Dressage day dawned beautiful and sunny. Faye did a very nice test to finish third overall. By the time Sirius went in the crowds were huge and cheering. After his medium trot the crowd starting clapping and he stopped to appreciate the applause before continuing, though I was pleased with him and he finished in 5th .Tigga was wild as usual and he finished last by 12 marks. That evening more wine and dodgy cherry liquor was consumed!
XC day arrived and with it the crowds 30,00 strong. Faye was first to go and the crowds were screaming so loud we nearly didn’t get to the first fence! She was so put off that she started jumping bigger and bigger and we ended up putting one stride in a three stride double. As I didn’t want to scare her I pulled her up, but I think she will have learnt and gained a lot of experience for when she moves up.
Again, Sirius nearly didn’t make the first fence but then started loving the cheering. He was flying and I was so proud of him for handling everything so well. When we came back into the main arena the noise was deafening, so he stopped to take it all in and wave to the crowds. Sadly they gave him a stop although he was not near a jump, but I wasn’t too concerned and we stayed in our 5th position.
After our fall at Burghley and with Pau in the back of my mind, I took Tig a bit steady. Though the course was nice and short and the ground was fab, I wanted to give him a good ride, which we did and stormed round the XC.
The party that evening, well as you can imagine from the rest of the week, was brilliant. Free food and alcohol, a DJ and lots of people. I went to bed with the girls at a respectable 1am – I did have to jump the next day!! Tig and Sirius sailed through the trot up the next morning, then it was onto the next phase…
Show jumping, not my strongest phase. Sirius was tired after his XC and had two down, but I was chuffed with him. He then had to stand while a queue of people lined up for photos, where they asked me to remove myself so they could get the whole family in shot. He loved it, stood there like a pro, ears forward and licking everyone in sight – not bad for a stallion. He now has his own Facebook page started by a Romanian girl, who asked if she could have him!!!
Tigs jumped out of his socks, clearing the jumps by a mile. Sadly I had a pilot error coming into the triple and caused him to have two parts down. I was so angry with myself! Tigga did not partake in the photo shoot after with his ears flat back and biting anyone who tried to pet him, although both horses were the only two to stand stock still throughout prize giving. Sirius felt that he should be on the lap of honour with the winner, mildly embarrassing but the crowd loved it.
My entry fees for 3 horses doing the CCI classes was 440 euros and despite me coming last in both classes, I won 668 euros. They also gave me 500 euros for fuel. What a great event, and I really hope more people travel out there.”