The sound of rain on the roof of the truck at 6am never really inspires me to get up so after four snoozes I finally managed to make it to the stables for 6.30am. All the boys were hungry and definitely let me know about it! After doing the normal stable duties it was time for hand walking. Luckily the sun had come out and the show is in the grounds of the university so is in a really nice setting. Just outside of the stable area there is lovely walkways edged in wood chip which is perfectly designed for safe hand walking, not so sure if the university designed this for horses but it works great for us! Marco came to ride Cash at 9am so then I quickly plaited and made ready Porter for his 10 o'clock class. Porter jumped a lovely clear again today so is now qualified for the youngster final tomorrow evening.
Our early morning hand walking around the park was like the quiet before the storm as after Porter had jumped Marco directly rode CC. Whilst he was riding it was time for me to try and contain Spartis mane. Sparti is a bit of an elephant in size but has a mane like a lion! With no time for plaits lots of bunches were needed to at least keep it on one side! Luckily at this show there are food stands right next to the warm up arena so when Marco was up on Sparti I was able to get some food on the go! In the warm up Sparti was jumping super but in the ring all did not go to plan. Sparti was jumping the medium tour class today but decided that today he was a bit scared and had the back bar of number one down but was then clear the rest of the way around, oh well tomorrow is another day and Sparti is still a very handsome boy!
After Sparti had had a nice shower it was time to prepare Cash for jumping in the same class as Sparti, luckily there was 103 in the class so there was plenty of time between the two boys. I got on Cashi, nice and early before Marco started to ride him, to walk him around the paddock on nice long reins which he really enjoys. Cashi jumped a nice training round for just 1 time fault. It's super now to have Cash back with on the show after a long break through the summer, and he's jumping as good as ever and definitely showing the younger boys what to do! After Cash had finished jumping and was washed it was a very quick turnaround to make CC ready for the big tour class. CC was jumping really good today and was really quick but unfortunately had the last fence down which was a water tray under a vertical. Maybe he thought there were some aliens under there somewhere as he's usually quite good at spotting these things lurking in random places. Oh well not our day for winning today but all the boys were well behaved so treats all around!
So at 6 o'clock it was time to start to groom, walk and do the stables, obviously after the boys had eaten as they were famished after there hard days work! Whilst walking Sparti we both noticed about 20 hot air balloons in the sky above Munster which looked really beautiful, although I would never go up in one after googling 'hot air balloons' with Katta! So today was my day to be the last one finished but luckily team DZ bank were there to save the day, Nanna, Henricks groom brought refreshments, of my favourite kind! And Katta, Ludgers groom helped with the tack cleaning so we were all finished in the stables for 8.30. This meant that tonight we were able to all go out for dinner in the city where we found a super cute restaurant which served 'Hugo' and really nice food! This makes the long days much more enjoyable! Now night check is done and the boys are resting well, 2 already fast asleep in there beds!
Today was the best start to a show ever! 7am and still in my bed at home! I started in the stable at 8 making horses ready for Marco, and packing the last of the things in the truck for the show. As we only live 40 minutes from Munster all the horses were able to be ridden at home before loading up and heading off for the 1o'clock vet check. With me this week I have Cornet’s Cristallo, Cash, Pikeur Cole Porter and Spartacus. Seen as two of Cornets sons are here it's almost like he came with as both have lots of similarities to him! CC is obsessed with food even more so than Cornet and Porter is looking at lot like Cornet, not quite as handsome, but in brown!
After waiting for a long time to get in to the show and unload, infact more than double the time that it took for us to drive here I decided to take the horses very quickly through the vet check. This plan worked brilliantly as all of them were perfectly well behaved including Sparti. Sparti on all other occasions is the quietest stallion but at vet check he can find it all a little bit to much and get rather over excited with it. As he is the size of an elephant this can be a little bit difficult as I'm not the tallest!
After vet check it was time to organize the stables, I'm not so sure who had caused the explosion of equipment in the aisle but I guessed it was my job to tidy it up. Once the chaos was gone and everything was in order it was time to plait Porter for the youngster tour. This was a bit of an effort as he is sporting a bit of a Mohican hair do at the minute but he didn't look to bad in the end and even Marco commented on how the hair was much improved since Verden! Porter jumped a nice clear round today and he's still learning as he's only 7 years old and we'v only had him for about a month. Then it was time to finish up the other horses feed and do the boxes and water. The show seems super nice so far but the water is a bit of an issue as there is only 2 taps and we are stabled at the furthest point possible from them! Oh well thank god for my wheel barrow that can carry 6 buckets at once!
Our luck ran out on the way home... We were somewhere in France with a broken wheel on the trailer, 500km left to go! Waited for service for ages. Alltogether we lost 5.5 hours. The champion was doing fine though, was not bothered at all.
Otherwise I have no words to describe how I feel! Wednesday still feels unreal, was just amazing!Nino jumped super, Steve rode great, just everything went like in a book. I told Steve the day before to have dreams about the podium, obviously that’s what he did!!!
The games were all in all very successful. Everything was very well organized and people were extremely helpful. The grooms accommodation was just behind the corner,not too far away from the stables which were also great. Food was great and served nearly all day long. There were many rings to choose from to ride in or a big grass field that Nino especially enjoyed. Or I think he liked it even more when we went for grazing there. The only thing was that it was on top of a very steep hill, I was most of the time out of breath by halfway walking it up. Maybe I should take up on some exercise...
Final day started with a vet-check for the final horses. It’s always funny to see the riders trot their own horses. Most of the time they don't do it so well.. Steve has been practicing so he got 10 points and was accepted. After trot up Nino got some personal time in the box before the class. He used it wisely and had a pee and a drink. Between the rounds there was enough time for him to have a quick shower and little rest in the box again.I was over the moon when he jumped clear again.When Nick had 1 down and it was clear we won gold everybody went crazy. I think I was crying and laughing at the same time. Nino took everything very calmly and acted like a true star, just posing for cameras and happily receiving treats from everybody.
I want to thank everybody who has helped Steve and Nino to win this medal!Nino’s owner Urs Schwarzenbach, the people at home, especially Mari and Alex, our blacksmith Julien, the vet and of course trainer Thomas Fuchs just to name few. It’s team work and this time we made it!! I was nearly in tears again when we arrived home. Mari and Terhi had decorated Nino´s box and all kinds of treats were waiting for him and press was here too. I guess this is one of the moments that I will remember for the rest of my life. Just awesome!!
Her comes my last Estoril up date before we have to leave this great place travel back to Holland. (Holland is also nice though..) Today my first class started at 12.30 and once again I was very lucky to have some help from Yves schooling the horses in the morning,
Diego is a very soft man, but when he enters the arena he is very cool and fights over every fence to go clear. We had another very good round today and were double clear, but our time was not good enough for the money. I think Diego likes the GCT shows. This was his debut at this level, but he has behaved very well and been a star all weekend. Looking forward to seing what we can achieve together in the future. I’m already excited about our next show together. I just hope he likes the more regular shows as well;)
The big Grand Prix was not scheduled before 7 pm so after my ride I actually went for a run with my sister! Then time for nice swim and late lunch before it was time to get ready. Diablo and I were number two in so I didn’t have time to watch any of the other riders. But my plan was clear on how to ride and Diablo felt great on the warm up. We ended up having two fences down and because of a misunderstanding after the water we had to add some more points to our total score.
I was a bit disappointed about the result, but I must say these mistakes make you learn so much that I try and stay focused on the bigger goals in the end. It’s not always easy because you want to prove what you can do, but no one has made it at this level by giving up so that’s not an option. Good thing I have so much great people with me this weekend to cheer me up.
Time to get back and practice, practice, practice.
The first real class in Estoril was set to go Friday morning at ten o’clock. It was time for handsome Diego to show some muscles.. My trainer Yves - had given me a helping hand and did some flat work with him in the morning. Felt very princess-like to get this extra help and we where all in geat mood before the class. Ready to do some real work.
Diego felt great already in the warm up so the self confidence grew even bigger before we entered the ring. Too much self confidence not always the best thing, but a good feeling sure helps a lot to perform well.
We got a great start and a clear round!! Happy Yves, happy Røhl, happy best-sister-in-the-world and of course happy me and a very proud Diego - looking better than ever;) Lots of Polos where handed out of course. Need to fill up the storage soon if this continues.
First class over and time for some tanning, you just have to love these great shows in the sun. Also got to spend some quality time with my sister and biggest supporter who came to visit me this weekend. Really happy that she’s here. I don’t see her that much since I’m never home anymore and we are used to see each other in the stalbles nearly every day and living next to each other.
Then time for next class at 8 pm, but manjana delayed it and the first rider entered the ring at 8.30. Well well - it was a good course Frank Rothenberger had built. I entered the flood lighted arena as start number 12. Today Diablo found out he was scared of the dark and found the whole arena in general more scary than yesterday. So I take back the “he is used to this” part. He obviously still has his childish ways too.
Because he spooked a bit on the first fences I ended up putting too much pressure on him and got to pay... A bit disappointing, but after fence six things started to feel much better, and I was happy with the last part of the round. We keep learning every day and at every show. Good too know I still have many years ahead to learn..
Time for bed and getting ready for tomorrow. Diego is jumping a class at 1.30 and Diablo will hopefully have grown up and decided to not ever spook again so we can perform good at the GCT class.