Moorsele CPEDI3*


Irish Grade IV rider Roma Oakes website here

April 2009

Richmond EC Para Spring Qualifier - 5th April 09

We decided not to take Trevor to Richmond so I could concentrate on Indi in the run up to Belgium.

I came 1st on Indi in Grade III Team Test ahead of my friend Lindsay McLaren. Lindsey won the Restricted Grade III with 70% so she also had a good day.

I was also 2nd in Elem 42 with over 68%.

Also, I was given the chance to ride the Grade III Championship Test as a practice for Belgium and got 68%.

Gerry Savage won her Grade Ia Test, and Sue came 2nd in her Restricted Medium and Advanced Medium Tests (3rd overall in both).

So overall it was a good but very long day! Thankfully the sun shone all day - it can be a very cold and windy place at Richmond!

Indi was dropped off at Sue's yard on the way back and will not return home until after Belgium now - he's spending the week at Sue's and I will be going over to train.

A few weeks later, I was pleased to hear that I had qualified for the Para Spring Championships at Weston Lawns but decided not to go as Indi has been having a well-earned rest after Belgium, while I concentrate on Trevor.

Moorsele, Belgium CPEDI3*

Tuesday 14th - The Journey
Indi and all his luggage had already been taken to Sue and James' on the Sunday - so it was just me and mum to set off in the car from Hull to Zeebrugge overnight. On the way to Hull we heard snippets of news including rumours of a French fisherman’s blockade in Calais (just the way the horses were to set off.) We left a message for Sue and James and hoped they would pick it up. After what seemed an age a text came through - 'see you at Hull around 6pm' - quite a surprise but after numerous calls they had received permission to change boats, rebooked and were heading for the overnight crossing. We had a fun evening with a pleasant meal and a good nights sleep The horses were fine and travelled really well and the sea was like a mill pond.

Wednesday15th - Arrival

Off the boat and an hour down the road - arrived at Zilveren Spoor at 9am Belgian time. The horses all came off the lorry like spring chickens although they did tire later in the day when being worked. The others flew in from Brussels at about lunchtime - it was good to meet Ann (the new chef), Lizzie (the groom) and Michael (Helen's dad) - Donie was to fly in the next day.

We were at the same hotel as last year, about 25 mins down the road - not an easy place to find without Sat Nav. Both the cars were piled high with luggage and the drivers found their way eventually - we all met up for a nice meal and a team talk. Ann seems nice and is determined to learn the job of chef asap.

Thursday 16th - Trot up
Everyone was up and keen to get going – thank goodness we had two cars as it made such a difference to everyone now that we have more people. Sue helped me in the morning - I'm just so pleased we have the walkie talkie as the indoor gets quite full and it was a godsend to have Sue talking to me all the time. Some of the Continental riders have not heard of left to left!

Helen was reclassified today and dropped from a grade III to a grade Ib but not for this comp - this should help her no end. The trot up went well and all horses passed first time so now we could concentrate on Friday and the team test.

Ann brought back all the info from the chefs meeting – Grade III were to be on first which suits me a lot - Helen is also in this class. Breda is not on till later in the afternoon.

Friday 17th – Team test
There were 14 riders in my class so lots of opposition. I knew Bert from Belgium and Emma (GB) would be good. Also the French were there in force and I could see they had improved a lot and Jonathan from Israel was there on a lovely horse. Others were unknown but they all looked good to me so I was well pleased with my 65% and 6th place out of 14 which got me a place in the prize giving. Helen rode well but the tests have a lot of canter which she finds quite hard. Breda did well in the afternoon to get about 66% and 5th place in the grade Ib class.

Everyone was happy ready for an early night.


Saturday 18th – Individual championship test
Breda was on earlier today and again came 5th with around 67% -another nice test. Our Grade III was on early afternoon and I was near the end of the class. I was fairly pleased with the test but I still came out in 6th place with just over 65%- just 1% higher would put have put me up quite a few places!

Me in the prizegiving

In the evening it was the ‘Amical dinner’ - there were quite a lot of presentations and speeches before we could enjoy the lovely meal. The time in Belgium passed very quickly and now we were packing our bags ready for home straight after the kur on Sunday.

Sunday 19th – Kur and journey home
There was a buzz around the place today as we were expecting the Princess of Belgium and her husband in the afternoon. Security was high and as soon as everyone was in the stables back entrances were closed off and there were sniffer dogs and police everywhere. Grade III kur was in the morning and again we achieved a good score but it didn't come off quite as well as at the Para Winter Champs where I scored over 70%.

The Princess was to watch 1b kur and a display and then they were presented to lots of people. Helen, Michael, my mum and me shook hands with her and her hubby and she talked to us about when she had been to Ireland and how much she enjoyed it. Because of the security measures we were not able to leave too soon and we missed the Dunkerque 8pm ferry but got over on the 10pm ferry and fell into bed in Dover.

Monday 20th - The final lap
Next day was tiring and uneventful - it was after 5pm when we eventually arrived home – it's a long way from Kent to Yorkshire!. All in all a most enjoyable few days and a successful trip!

Full results at www.quadrille.bz



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