Saturday, 21 July 2012

Day Six - Hickstead and Home

I have just arrived back in London....kinda home now. I was going to stay another night near Hickstead and enjoy the post Nations Cup hospitality: A couple of reasons (photos from my hotel room below – sink plug and air duct) which dampened my ardour but also the Torch will be going through Greenwich early tomorrow....and I would like to be there!

Reasons for not staying another night
So Nations Cup day at Hickstead.....I think I said the French and Germans looked strong and they were...finishing 2nd and 3rd but it was the Irish that really “pulled it out the bag” landing their first win of the season and pulling themselves up from last in the League to 7th.

For the Brits it was a day of 4 faults....nothing jumped badly it was just one of those days when not everything went “quite to plan”. Tina Fletcher and Hello Sailor jumped an excellent clear in the first round but joined the team of 4s in the second....Tina is travelling reserve for the Games so this was the perfect demonstration that they are ready to step up to the plate if required. It must be one of the most difficult tasks being a 1st reserve; you want to be a team player and support your fellow riders.....but is there a niggling feeling lurking at the back of your mind that whispers..maybe, just maybe? Tina is fulfilling her role as travelling reserve with great aplomb.

So it is as close as it can be in the League. Well Germany have won and France are safe....but the rest of us head to Dublin needing a good result. Why is it important the observant ones ask! Yes, this is likely to be the last year of the current format for the Top Level Nations Cup League (8 teams competing at 8 shows) – there are many ideas floating around but it is not impossible that there will be some sort of series / league that draws on the top 6 of this year’s League....and being able to choose Teams to compete at 5* Nations Cup shows is vital for the development of the sport in GBR post London 2012. Riders in the top 30 of the Rolex Rankings can get to all the top Shows...but others struggle...and to move up the Rankings, one needs to be at the top Shows! Also Nations Cups allow developing riders and developing horses the opportunity to compete at the top level. So Dublin will be important......and Agha Khan day (Nations Cup) in Dublin is a very very special day in the Jumping have got to be there to feel it and drink the atmosphere (you will not alone in the drinking bit!) book your tickets now!!!

Arrivals start tomorrow. Sophie Thomas, Sarah Armstrong, Claire Shand and Brendan Murray all arrive tomorrow. I am not sure how many Games Brendan has done (eventing farrier) but he seems to recall the last time the Games were in London with great clarity. I will take them up to the Olympic Village to validate their accreditation and have a nose around; the ladies can go shopping and Brendan and I will head to the Dining Hall to see if the Swedish ladies’ soccer team are still in town....

So, tomorrow the graft starts; we will have three Land Rovers full of kit to unload in to our Office / Conference Room. It is tempting to work late right from the off....and that tends to bite you on the posterior at a later stage of the, on that note...good night!


  1. Hope you complained about your hotel room !

  2. these blogs are great thank you - a real insight - and urghh but you seem to be gerring better at taking photos!!!

  3. Glad to hear you like the blog... I'll only keep writing so long as you keep reading and that's a threat!