Friday, 15 May 2009

Badminton Horse Trials

Well, a lovely time was had by all. Fantastic people, horses and an electric atmosphere.
In the group we had Estelle (the practical one with 2 cocker spaniels), Alison ( the organised one with a retriever) and myself ( the one who was eying up the bottles of Rose and trying to find my Weimerarmer who had gone to sniff out someone elses tent for food to pinch). Mother was around in the daytime but had the sensible idea of staying in a warm house with a friend. She is allowed to do this because she doesn't have a dog!

We arrived there on Thursday afternoon, after wanting to leave at 10:30am we eventually set off at 12:30. Well a girl has the right to be late , correct?
When we arrived it rained, trying to put up the awning on a caravan in the rain is not a thing I wish to do again in a hurry. Thankyou to my husband and his friends who colour coded the poles for us, it only took us an hour to do when I suppose we could have been going well into the night.
Before settling down and trying to light a bbq in the wet weather, holding an umbrella over the top of it, we took the dogs for a run (I think it was well needed by then after a long slow journey down) and then back to the caravan to wring ourselves out. That was the first set of clothing wet through, good job I packed enough for a fortnight!

The friday was a little wet in the morning for the 2nd half of the dressage but more than anything it was windy. The horses were fresh and kept us entertained with the airs above the ground when actually I believe it was meant to be halt and rein back.
We stayed to watch on the big screen as the dogs are not allowed in the grandstand but it is next to the beer tent and the strawberries and cream stand so not all that bad after all.
When we arrived back a little like we had been dragged through a hedge backwards due to the wind, we found the awning had blown down. My god, I loathe camping sometimes , no electric for my hair straightners and no bath for a long soak, I am such a girl.So off we went again, arms in the air trying to link colour coded poles together.

Saturday was lovely weather to be walking the cross country. Not to hot but nice and dry. We saw some fantastic jumping over the course and it was a good chance to wear the dogs out for once. Mother allowed us a few breaks to rest our aching legs at some good fences, it was a race between me and the dog as to who could lie down the quickest when we stopped.
When all was over on the XC we decided to take the dogs to the lake for a swim. Out of the 4 dogs, not one of them could swim! You had one cocker lying on the side watching the others trying to drown themselves, one cocker who only had to go in 2" deep before getting the bottom of her ears wet, the retriever who didnt want to retrive unless the ball was thrown over in the direction of something smelly on the grass in the distance she so deperately wanted to get to and my dog who has legs like a giraffe but didnt want to get deeper than about a foot. As she stood there watching the ball float away I decided to draw in the help of a random labrador and a springer to fetch it for her. I think I managed to just about get the "fetch" out before having to duck out of the way as a flying black thing that I think resembled a dog, flew over me and belly flopped into the lake, swimming merrily away to go and get the ball that my dog was still standing on the side whining about.
Next year, arm bands and a belly ring and she is going in!!!!
We decided to try out the communial showers, as long as you dont mind luke warm water and random hair in the drain holes, it wasn't that bad but anything would do at that point! I believe Estelle might have had a shower with her trainers on?!

Sunday was lovely, we walked over to the big screen early in the morning to watch the trot up, we really couldnt be bothered to fight through the crowds at Badminton House but you still got the commentary over the Badminton Radio.
Some lovely outfits on show by the riders this year but top marks go to Matt Ryan and his England flag t-shirt, as he is wanting to change nationality to be able to ride for our country, and Dee Kennedy for being able to run in those amazing high heel boots! Pleased to say all the horses looked fab for having been around the course the day before.
A spot of shopping and then back to the caravan to pop the dogs away for a sleep so we could go to the grandstand to watch the last 20 riders.
The atmosphere was excellent and a nail biting finish but huge congratulations must go to Oliver Townend and Flint Curtis who derserved the big win.
Every year I enjoy the Beaufort hounds and they didnt disappoint so it was eventually another year over and a walk back to get the dogs for another swim, which still didnt happen and I am sure I saw the belly flopping dog still doing laps around the lake.

Arrived back on Monday to have a well deserved warm shower, scrub, sleep and to count the bruises (Alison has around 5 or 6 from not being able to clamber on a jump in an elegant manner ) and prepare me for work on Tuesday and catch up on all I had missed over the 5 days.

No rest for the wicked , the dog is still nice and calm and I am sure I still have badminton dirt ingrained in my hands!

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