If I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front lately, you’ll understand why when you see the lovely pics below…
Yes, I’ve been a tad busy – competing and judging at the UK Winter Dressage Championships
(NAF are the title sponsors – Natural Animal Feeds)
Qualifying was a bit of a surprise – you always hope to do so, but rarely make it. This is the first time I’ve qualified in 12 years, so I’d had no plans in place before the Regional Finals. When I made the cut, I went into shock for a couple of weeks!
Then it was the planning frenzy. I keep my horses in livery, so I don’t have a groom to call upon, and the friend (also a client) who originally said she’d come, then also qualified to ride (yay!), but at the other end of the week, so a few more frantic phone calls were in order. The lovely Jo, who willingly gave up 3 days to come with me, was fabulous company and help, and she kept a photographic record of the behind-the-scenes goings on too.
I was never going to be in contention for a ribbon, my boy is a slow-burn project I have hopes for at the higher levels later in his life, when he’s stronger (he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and we’ve only had it under control for 18 months), so we went for the experience and the sheer enjoyment of competing with the best in the country (my class was won by the World and Olympic champion, Charlotte Dujardin).
I’m delighted to report, Alfie took the whole thing like a total Pro – I’m so proud of him, and we had a ball!
He quickly made himself at home
We had 2 days of chilling out before the competition
which included this manic busy arena familiarisation (yes, that’s me in the foreground)
And then it was time for the class…
The warm up
And the competition itself.
It’s a pity the arena looks empty in the photos – the audience all preferred the higher seats, so it looks like there’s nobody there!
And its all over – now to do it again next year – I hope!
This was followed by the packing up, long drive home (170 miles), one day to recover, and then back there again for the weekend to judge 2 classes.
Tomorrow I fly to Scotland to design floor plans for Dressage Freestyle competitors, teach, and compere an evening Dressage to Music extravaganza – no rest for the wicked!
I can’t deny it though, I do love my day job.
I also made full use of my long hours of driving to and from the show, and have a much clearer plan for my next book, and even got the first few pages down last night. I won’t be writing while I’m away, but the hours in the airport and on the plane provide me with quality reading time, so expect some more reviews soon.
Anyone else have a day job they love?