Caroline Paterson tells us about the experience of competing at Home Internationals.
One of my goals this year was to try and get on the Scottish team for the Home International in Wales, so I was delighted to get the email from Emma Stewart to say we had been selected to ride at Elementary level. We set off on Thursday 5th October and after a 9 hour drive we arrived and settled into our stable at The David Broome Centre. I met up with our fellow Scottish team member Alison Townsley with her horse Summer. Later on we met Annabelle Trigg (from North West region) and Delerie Chambers (from South West region) who were also in our team to make up the Scottish Pic and Mix Team. As Scotland was a small group we joined in with the North West Region who had set up a gazebo close to our lorries so it was like being part of a happy family. We had a quiet evening ready for our warm up class the following morning.
Following a fairly successful “clear round” we then prepared for the trot up which was held in regions and teams at allocated times in the main arena. We all sailed through.
The opening ceremony had a Carnival Theme this year and we had our team mascot, named Morag!
There were some really good costumes and it was a great evening. I met up with my friend Kerry Wright from the Central Region, we used to be at the same livery yard, years of catching up was done! Elaine Simpson (Senior Training Rep for Scotland) had also joined us on the Friday to help as Chef d’equipe, at this point I’d like to thank Elaine for making sure we were in the right place at the right time with no boots or whips! This was great as myself and Alison had ventured off on our travels alone. The Saturday evening was a relaxing BBQ where everyone just got together and shared portable BBQ’s around the lorry park.
So over the weekend each team member rode one test each day, there were over all placings for each level as individuals and there were over all team placings. Annabelle was our Super Star and won the Advanced Medium over all with the lovely Rockefeller 61 and Delerie came an amazing 8th overall with her lovely boy Expression M in the medium. Alison and myself did our best but no placings and the final team placing was 16th out of 34.
The closing ceremony was exciting and it was lovely to see Annabelle on the podium receiving her prizes. The Pick and Mix team really supported each other in the warm up, watching each other’s tests and helping each other around the stables.
The North West RDO Lou Jones was a great support as we had lost Emma to the Team Quest Regional Final Competition – we did miss you Emma but thanks for sending us Morag the Mascot, next year you can be our mascot!
I have to say it was one of the best feelings being part of a team, it has really made me realise how special Alletta is, she didn’t put a foot wrong, I just need to take my warm up work into the main arena (sounds simple), we will get there, we are aiming for the teams again next year.
Thanks to BD for putting together our team and holding this amazing competition, we have made some lovely new friends and memories to treasure.