Well they made it. Typically by the skin of their teeth but they made it! Not the horses… that was beautifully organised by Pedens but after the 9 horses at Burnham Market they woke up on Sunday morning to a flat on the car which, to cut a long story short, involved Tim and Jonelle sprinting to the airport in a taxi whilst legend Harriet Ashbridge was abandoned in Norfolk with a limping vehicle and Abel and Otis. (Harriet did get a garage to fix the flat and she and the kids did make it home to Little Thatch!)
The gate closed at 11.20 and they arrived with bags to check at 11.23. By some miracle they managed to check bags and get though and get on the plane and I have a feeling they are morphing into the Todds for whom late arrivals at the airport has become something of a norm for the last few decades.
They then had a row to themselves each which was quite nice and Jonelle and I swapped admin stuff before they got too far offshore. The horses meanwhile had been beautifully catered for at Louisville Quarantine and the girls had been allowed in twice a day to feed and handwalk around the barn, something we are so very grateful for. They are set up for the international arrivals this weekend for the Kentucky Derby next week so thanks to Pedens for negotiating a deal for us…it cuts around 24 hours off the old route to Kentucky by flying Stanstead-Indianapolis and is a major bonus for sure.
The crew which consists of Graeme Thom, Christiana Ober, Tim, Jonelle and Jesse Campbell have a lovely house which I found on AirBNB and the girls are on site in RV’s at Kentucky Horse Park which Graeme Thom organised. The horses have all travelled amazingly well and they are enjoying the blue skies of Lexington. We have Classic Moet (Molly) Grappa Nera ( Grape) Grovine de Reve ( Rev), Xavier Faer (Hugo) and Bango (Uno) on site as well as Kerryn Edmans, Lucy Miles and Megan Hodder. Molly in particular, having missed out on 2 Badmintons and 2 Burghleys is beside herself to be back at the party and she knows for sure this is a biggie. Grape has never flown before but is up for anything, Rev flew to the US for WEG but feels much fitter and more prepped for this, Hugo has been before but has only a dull recollection of his 3rd place as Hugo isn’t the smartest tool in the box and Uno remembers doing a sterling job until couple from home when he bolted into a corner and he and Tim went for a mud slide on the ground.
The only way to watch outside of Northern America is via a subscription to Horse and Country TV. Its £10 a month but is also available to cancel after one month.
Tim and Jonelle gave a great interview for Eventing Nation ‘behind the barn” series today, catch it here.
I leave you with Molly, so damn pleased to be back at the forefront of international competition! Credit Kerryn Edmans