As well as all the excitement of the Big Move, we also had a rather exciting trip up to Leicestershire for the Fernie Hunt Team Chase.
This may have been the most fun I have ever had on a horse, even more than last time as I had some sort of control - result!
We had rather an early start. The alarm went off at 5am, but as the clocks had just gone forward, our bodies still very much felt it as 4am! Thankfully the children were at their first sleepover with a friend of ours, so two less things to worry about. My husband was also up at that time, but because of work.
As S, my good friend and sometime super groom was also riding today, B stepped in as team groom and general supporter (oh, and brownie maker - that girl has a gift!)
We got a lift up with another team member in their box which was rather a novelty. I provided the entertainment in the form of endless wittering on about nothing in particular, and mild help with the sat nav. You know you are in trouble if you need me for directions!
The rest of the team got there within 10mins of us, so we all went to the Secretary to collect number bibs, and have our hats and body protectors checked. We then headed off to walk the course.
It was wonderful! Full of hedges and rails and things you could happily jump every day for the rest of your life. We did have a gate to open and close, a water combination, and a Pen though. The Pen is literally that, a pen you jump into and jump out of, except in Team Chasing you have to have 12 hooves in the pen at the same time. This was, erm, interesting, but we managed it, maybe some team tactics are in order for next time! The water was a rail, a few strides, then a step down into water, all managed very easily by our team.
The gate could have been done quicker, but I think it is the first gate any of us have had to do in competition for a long time.
All our team flew round clear, and the feeling going through the finish was wonderful.
Having gone only for a jolly, having gone clear we waited eagerly for our times. Sadly we were 40 seconds off the bogey time, leaving us out of the placings.
Added to all of this it was a beautiful day and we had a leisurely picnic in the sunshine sat on rugs in front of the lorry.
We stayed on to watch some of the open class. The speed is crazy! Where we were trying to get our horses back to us, gain some control, or whatever, these guys were just landing and kicking on! Serious spectator sport, and if you have the chance to go to a Team Chase to watch, jump at that chance, you will not be disappointed. The official British Team Chasing website has all the dates and info you may need http://www.teamchasing.co.uk/
I've added the only half decent team picture (taken by B) It was a very difficult task getting them all to stand still after all the excitement! And as you can see one of our team is missing from the picture.