Two Internationals, two weeks, too much Rain!!!

walking in the forest in a small window of sun!!!!

Sunshine!! Hooray

Our first time in Saumur the famous Cadre Noir and it rain, rain, rained!!

We had a few small pockets of sunshine, which we took advantage of and walked in the beautiful forest bridleways which criss cross this lovely venue.

Such a shame that the rain made it a hard show for all as the arenas were either like concrete, or  totally water logged, like riding in a river. The German A squad and Danish, Belgian and Swiss top pony combinations were all out in force and the competition tough.

Team test day was not great. Arena had no give and mistakes in the test from Remy and Maisie left them 17th on 67% the same score all the British Nations cup team ended up on, with or without mistakes.

Learning from this the next day was torrential rain all day and the arena was like the somme!! sludgy and waterlogged, but it had more give and the ponies all seemed to do better in these conditions.  Maisie and Remy did a very careful and controlled test with no mistakes and ended up 5th on a 69%+ score gaining a huge 12 places from the day before.

Kur day dawned and yet again more rain.  Maisie and Remy  again rode a very safe and controlled, mistake free test with no great mediums or extensions as the going was not good ,  this suited the judges as she gained a 6th place with 72.250 and another rosette and prize giving in the beautiful main indoor arena. This venue really salutes the horses and riders making it a special show, how lovely it must be in the sunshine.



Leaving Saumur we head to Belgium to stay with Werner De vrieze and his lovely wife Anne.

Werner helped us in our pony search and found us Remy. We stayed for 2 days and re charged our batteries with team mates Beth Horobin and Junior Gabby Lucas, before heading to Holland and Roosendaal.

We headed straight into torrential rain again and a showground which was waterlogged!!!

The arenas were all great and the ground staff so organised, ferrying tack lockers and pulling lorries out of the mud. Nothing was a problem and the atmosphere much more relaxed. A proper British camp in the stables made for lots of support and all competitors watched each other whenever possible, real team spirit.

Trot up was very slow as the Netherlands had a huge amount of ponies entered, but all went smoothly and Nations cup day dawned.

Robyn Smith with Siepke Celtic, Bethany Horobin with Gigolo, Maisie with Rembrandt and Erin Williams with Dynasty made up the GBR  nations cup team. All scored well  Robyn and Beth put in a 65 and a 67, with a few discrepancies in the judging,  Maisie and Remy gaining 70+, 71+ then a 65 which really brought her average down to 69.6 which was a shame. Erin put in a 72 and Hooray!!  we came 3rd in the Nations cup,  first time the ponies have been placed for 4 or 5 years, so a great result.

Individual tests the next day went well, Maisie and Remy did a much better test but had a mistake in the rein back and a couple of changes were not clean enough,and gained a 5th place , another prize giving and a place in the Kur. Team mate Erin made it to the Kur also. The kur was ok but Remy not quite warmed up enough had changed tactics and warmed up with team trainer and the music was again very loud and that was with a sound check!! Lots of the ponies did not like the speakers on the ground.

Remy was very good and Maisie gentled him around the test but tension in the walk due to the speakers and needing longer warm up resulted in 6th place again very nice but just out of the prize giving as strangely it only went to 5th.

Two International shows, three countries four prize givings, all in all an enjoyable trip. Time for a short rest, exam revision and back to training. Big thanks to Julie Blanchard for her support of Maisie and Rembrandt, and all our team mates who made the trip so much fun.

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